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A Message from Michele
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Originally Posted by Hoch
Weve been in crisis in these past 5 years. In that time, Ive grown increasingly stressed out trying to manage it all, while my wife has crumpled in on herself and contributed less and less to an equal partnership. From my perspective, Ive grown angrier and angrier, crying out, where is my partner?? and feeling the complete lack of equal energy to steer the ship. Im starting to understand now that, in this great crisis weve experienced, what she wanted was a CAPTAIN to say, Ive got this, we will be ok, Im steering the ship.

Same experience, two different stories. The Im the captain, Im in charge role never occurred to me because I thought it was patriarchal sexism - but thats how I was RAISED to think. But from her perspective it must seem I dropped the ball.


Hoch - I don't usually speak too much to the male/female dynamic as my relationships are same-sex based so I understand there are differences. That being said... I totally disagree with above. It seems from what you told us is that in alot of ways you were trying to be the captain. You are the breadwinner. You watch the kids a ton. Give your w lots of breaks, etc. If you want to keep to the ship analogy - no captain runs a ship alone. Actually - the first mate is crucial to the ships successful voyage. Could you be strong and lead her down a path - sure... but to not expect equal partnership.. um.. you are married. That's a reasonable expectation.

I think were things went sour - its when you started placing responsibility on your w that wasn't hers to bear. Or times when you were being NGS with expectations. It is hard for resentment to make a home in your heart when you are woke to the idea of completely taking care of yourself. When you realize you are only in control of you and therefore need to always ask "What does Hoch need" and then to make it happen. Or when you set boundaries and don't "rescue" your wife because you don't have the emotional capacity to do so.

So for me - you talking about being the Captain is just a different way of being the fixer and Hoch - you've been a fixer way too long.

Originally Posted by Hoch
Ive been watching a lot of Fearless Man on YouTube which talks to this dynamic, the sexual polarity, and how the man creates a safe container for the woman to be feminine. While I do not condone the behavior, I can definitely see how my wifes anger and out of control reactionism are expressions of her masculine side that have come out since pregnancy. Right or wrong, ethical or unethical, it means those masculine energies were missing from the house and thats why they showed up. Im starting to change that by changing the balance of energies, for me.


I really just don't agree with this. All People are on a spectrum. I'm personally a masculine communicator - but I also am very feminine. I've spoken in great length with my therapist about this as often women are shamed for having masculine tendencies. So tread this thought lightly.... respect/leading a household/being strong - these are integrity traits NOT gender ones.

Originally Posted by Hoch
One thing I find strange, and maybe someone can speak to this. I definitely have shifted my energy to more masculine, grounded, in charge. I no longer put up with her back talk, and I dont put up with tantrums in the kids. They are definitely starting to respect me. My wifes energy toward me has softened, become more feminine and playful, and she is way more open in conversation. HOWEVER - she has taken off and wont wear her ring, and has started sleeping downstairs occasionally.


Just to continue beating my dead horse... again... not masculine traits! They are traits of someone with self esteem, integrity, boundaries, etc.

Originally Posted by Hoch
My intuition - which I am learning to foster - says shes opening up and is scared of it, so is leaning in with her energy but doing small things to distance. How do people who know these sitches read that? Im not interested in picking apart every minute detail, but the mixed messaging is confusing.


You are changing the dance of your relationship. Stop focusing on how your wife responds. It's gonna be cooky for a bit. She could be nice one minute/distant the next. It's all part of the process when the pattern is being changed...

.... which brings me to my final piece. Becareful about making decisions around the high you are feeling. Setting boundaries. Feeling confident is great. I mean who doesn't love it when they work hard at the gym all week and step on that scale and see they have lost 5 lbs.

But there are going to be days where you don't lose any weight. H3ll - you might even gain back a few lbs. That's what this process is.

There hasn't been enough time for these changes to settle in. Not for you. Not for her. Keep doing the work. Be patient with the process.


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.
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I very much appreciate the advice and perspectives here.

Im listening to my intuition, and it is also telling me to give these changes more time. Im not ready to pull the plug and mean it yet. If that time comes, I will know. I have a rough timeline in my head that I am going to put on a shelf for now.

In the moment I am recommitting to personal growth, honesty, and getting rid of the NGS. Ive spoken to my therapist about my two revelations - that while I was always the social and honest one in the relationship, Im now realizing that my NGS actually meant I was socially-anxious and DIShonest. He will be giving me tools to work on both.

One thing that I want to ask the group here: emotional transparency and honesty are new to me. Such as the other day, when my wife came home and I was tempted to say everything had been fine with the kids, but I was instead open and honest and said I was going to lie but this has been a nightmare. The honesty felt good and was received well.

So about that honesty - if Im pursuing full transparency, and my wife asks me if somethings wrong, wouldnt an open and honest person say Im having a really hard time because our marriage and relationship are so distant right now ?

Not blaming, not opening up a discussion, it would simply be honesty in the moment, and then I would walk away and expect no answer. Wouldnt that be honest? How honest is honest? It sure seems like honesty and no R talks are in conflict. Im curious to see what people say.

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Originally Posted by Hoch
I very much appreciate the advice and perspectives here.

Im listening to my intuition, and it is also telling me to give these changes more time. Im not ready to pull the plug and mean it yet. If that time comes, I will know. I have a rough timeline in my head that I am going to put on a shelf for now.

In the moment I am recommitting to personal growth, honesty, and getting rid of the NGS. Ive spoken to my therapist about my two revelations - that while I was always the social and honest one in the relationship, Im now realizing that my NGS actually meant I was socially-anxious and DIShonest. He will be giving me tools to work on both.

One thing that I want to ask the group here: emotional transparency and honesty are new to me. Such as the other day, when my wife came home and I was tempted to say everything had been fine with the kids, but I was instead open and honest and said I was going to lie but this has been a nightmare. The honesty felt good and was received well.

So about that honesty - if Im pursuing full transparency, and my wife asks me if somethings wrong, wouldnt an open and honest person say Im having a really hard time because our marriage and relationship are so distant right now ?

Not blaming, not opening up a discussion, it would simply be honesty in the moment, and then I would walk away and expect no answer. Wouldnt that be honest? How honest is honest? It sure seems like honesty and no R talks are in conflict. Im curious to see what people say.


Full transparency is for the WAS, not the LBS. The less you say the better. Did she ask how things were with the kids or did you just volunteer the info? Remember Sandi's rules! Always be DBin!!


M(52), W(53),D(17)
M-20, T-23 Bomb Drop - Dec.23, 2017
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H,

The problem with your honest answer is that it provides pressure to her. That for you to be ok she needs to work on the marriage.


M:51 W:46
T:22 M:16
S:15 D:11

Don't chase people. Be yourself, do your own thing and work hard. The right people - the ones who really belong in your life - will come to you and stay.- Will Smith
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I agree with Steve - did she ask?

You could also have said "The kids had a hard day".

No one is saying you should pretend you are fine. But you keep it short. You keep it private. You work through your stuff on your own.

If she initiates. "I have stuff on my mind. Thanks for asking".

Also honestly isn't in the form of words. It's in the form of actions. And the first person you need to worry about being honest with.. is yourself. Not your w.


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.
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Hi Hoch,

I want to take a step back and applaud what you're up to--a journey of self-discovery and self-improvement.

A random telemarketer calls and says, "How are you today?" 3hrs ago your dog Rover died of cancer, and you got a letter from the IRS stating you owe $10,000 in back taxes + $5,000 in penalties.

"Great!" would be a lie. "Had better", "It's a Monday." "What's up?" are all honest. How much TRANSPARENCY do you OWE a random telemarketer? "My dog died, and the IRS says I owe them $5,000 in penalties by Apr 1st?" Probably not. I suspect many would even be uncomfortable with such an information dump. I think transparency increases in proportion to your relationship. I would share little with an ex, more with an acquaintance, even more with a boss, and the most with a committed partner or family.


May'19 - separation. | Dec'19, Oct'20, Jan'21 - painful breakups. | Jan'21 - freedom!
"We the ones who play hard, we live hard, we love hard, we light up the dark." -- Kesha

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I want to caution you about something I've seen from many H's who have NGS. Not all, but many nice-guy H's want to verbally share the new information he has gleaned from the IC, DB Board, various web sites & books. The problem, however, is his W is not receptive at this time. I hear the eagerness in your posts, and there's nothing wrong with feeling encouraged. I just want you to figure out how to change yourself into a better man, without making it a discussion with her. I've seen H's who share with their W how they are working on themselves, to become a better man, etc. You know what it looks like to the W? Men can't let go of the idea they could say something that's really going to impress their W enough to turn things around, or to stop the D. Don't tell her about your revelations or that you are pursuing full transparency. It's not necessary to tell her. Do you get what I'm saying?

Is it your counselor's suggestion you pursue full emotional transparency, in order to save the MR?

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One thing that I want to ask the group here: emotional transparency and honesty are new to me.


Do you have a habit of lying? Has this been an issue in the MR?

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So about that honesty - if Im pursuing full transparency, and my wife asks me if somethings wrong, wouldnt an open and honest person say Im having a really hard time because our marriage and relationship are so distant right now ?

Not blaming, not opening up a discussion, it would simply be honesty in the moment, and then I would walk away and expect no answer. Wouldnt that be honest? How honest is honest? It sure seems like honesty and no R talks are in conflict. Im curious to see what people say.


If you responded with those words, I think it would lead to a relationship discussion. IMHO, you are wanting an emotional connection with your W, and that's why you are talking about emotional transparency & honesty. This would be great if the two of you were in family therapy together. I'm not saying you should lie to her, but you need to be careful in how you state things. Your W could take this as you blaming her, or she could see you whiney & weak. Although it is an honest statement, are you sure it's the right words at the right time?

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Such as the other day, when my wife came home and I was tempted to say everything had been fine with the kids, but I was instead open and honest and said I was going to lie but this has been a nightmare. The honesty felt good and was received well.


Nothing wrong there. No blame is pointing toward her or the relationship. If you had said something about how long she was gone, or indicated this was her fault......then she would have reacted quite differently. I'm not sure why you would ordinarily lie about the kids being no problem. She probably felt relieved to hear she wasn't the only one who has trouble handling them.

I think you just need to work on how to stay balanced with all the new information you are finding. Coming here to discuss it is a good thing. smile


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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Once again, thank you all for the kind words and advice. Im just going to keep saying it.

Before I answer specifics, I wanted to clarify my situation for those who dont want to read back to page 1.

My wife isnt asking for a divorce. Shes suggested it twice (in April and June), both times as a projected outcome of the relationship because shes committed to never having sex again in her life, and she knows I need it in mine - so we will have to get a divorce because Im not changing my mind. Both times were in direct response to me saying I wasnt ok with abusive language about unrelated topics. Both times she has said Im not asking for one, its just what I want right now.

Since then, weve moved, but there is no talk of separation, divorce, or splitting. She makes plans like we will still be together in 6 mos, a year, two years (stray comments, house stuff). She is very affectionate with the kids, but keeps me at arms length. There have been no relationship discussions, but also no move to become closer or to address the elephant in the room. She brings me food and chats and tells me her problems. But also never says goodnight or good morning, and is intentionally cold most of the time. Roommates.

Im sure most LBH are confused. IM confused. Also, Im not. LBH. Im still here, shes still here, theres no separation. But we are also not talking about the thing that is sitting right here. Does she want to stay or go? Does she want a permanently cold marriage?

That more than anything is whats pushing me, making me want to say, not I love you why are acting like this, but what even is this thing thats going on? Are you staying or going? This is very weird and not mentioning it is making it weirder.

Maybe this is textbook pursuing. If so, hit me with the hose or the spray bottle. I can only speak from whats on my mind, it just seems so incredibly grey and blurry. Thats where I get confused, a lot of people say the marriage is dead at BD. But... WAS I BDd? Or was it a flyby? Was that a false alarm?

It has also been said that after BD one should withdraw as much emotional support as possible to keep the WAW from becoming complacent. But in our situation, I feel like withdrawing support would be devastating, it would be intentionally tanking the ship.

These are just stray thoughts. Im still pursuing my GAL activities. Will update more soon.

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My wife isnt asking for a divorce. Shes suggested it twice (in April and June), both times as a projected outcome of the relationship because shes committed to never having sex again in her life, and she knows I need it in mine - so we will have to get a divorce because Im not changing my mind.


She wants a divorce, but wants the responsibility of it to be yours. Same old script.

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Can you tell me more about that script?

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