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What we each did wrong that hurt our marriage #1613932
10/06/08 10:42 PM
10/06/08 10:42 PM
Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 2,742
California by way of Massachus...
mastateflower Offline OP
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mastateflower  Offline OP
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Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 2,742
California by way of Massachus...
I've been asked to share some thoughts so here I go.

How many of you are at a point in your recovery that you can accept that you added to the breakdown in your marriage?

When I look back on my own marriage I have finally realized that I'm partly to blame. Maybe I always realized it but was not able to admit it. I'm not talking about that piece of cr-p list your x gives you that lists all the things you did wrong. We all know those lists were made up as an excuse. I'm talking about the real negative contribution you made.

I always thought I had a wonderful marriage. Always bragged because we never had a fight. I realize now that that was a symptom of trouble in my marriage. We never had a fight because we never talked about the things we didn't like. We brushed everything under the carpet or carried it around in our hearts.

There was so much stuff that I can now admit that I think there were other affairs during my marriage. I always felt that the relationship my spouse had with 2 different women at work were questionable and now I'm recovered enough to admit that I ignored them.

Eventually all that stuff eats away at the marriage and the strong base is gone. X started looking for something else and of course a new mistress was more than willing to give it. She sensed immediatly what I wasn't giving him and jumped in. It's not her fault he was out there available, she just saw an opportunity to improve her own life and did! It's X's fault and mine.

Now I'm not saying it's my fault the x ended up in an affair, he knew what he was doing was wrong and did it anyway. What I'm saying is I helped create a situation where he didn't think he could talk to me. I stopped being his best friend and he wanted one.

So my contribution to my own divorce is just that I stopped being my husband's best friend and it cost me my marriage.

Short of a spouse have a diagnosed illness I can't think of a case where we didn't all have some contribution.

So, here's the question, what was YOUR contribution?

Gigi


"It's not what happens to you, it's what you make of it." Zig Ziglar
Re: What we each did wrong that hurt our marriage [Re: mastateflower] #1613947
10/06/08 11:04 PM
10/06/08 11:04 PM
Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 9,400
BarbieDoll Offline
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BarbieDoll  Offline
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Oh Gigi,

You are so right! I, too, am not without fault in the marriage. I think my trouble was partially that I would not admit that or ever admit being wrong. I was always right and darn proud of it!

Just like you, there were other times when I thought my H might have cheated but I sure talked myself out of that way of thinking and of course he denied it. Thinking back - it is possible he cheated all through our M but was clever enough to keep it hidden. I could not let that happen, better not to know.

I also travelled too much. Too much time away from him. Maybe that works fine in some situations but my ex was needy and I think he needed me to be home more. I think I was running away. From a less than perfect homelife. Unlike you - my ex and I DID fight. Often. And fairly nasty. We never really learned effective ways to communicate.

Part of it comes from marrying your first BF, I think. And marrying young. It doesn't really prepare you for the future very well.

And we were saddled with a HUGE burden at a young age. Losing the child we knew to a horrible illness and instead, bringing home a disabled child from hospital, not the son we knew, but a much different version of him. Hard for anyone to comprehend. But he was ours and we loved him but life as we knew it changed forever. For there were years in hospitals and years in court rooms (malpractice suit). It takes its toll on your R, because you don't always agree on how to handle things

But I always put my children first. I would NEVER have cheated on him. I take responsibility for my part in our divorce. And yes - I told him so. And I apologized. But it was too late anyway. And now I wouldn't change a thing.

Barb

Re: What we each did wrong that hurt our marriage [Re: BarbieDoll] #1614026
10/07/08 12:50 AM
10/07/08 12:50 AM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 2,050
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Iwondertooo Offline
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Iwondertooo  Offline
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Hey, I hang around and wanted to say hello. There is not a person on the planet who has been perfect in their marriage. This is in some ways the question in a job interview what is your greatest weakness. Mine was not being able to read his mind no matter how I tried. That is the saddest part. I counted on him to help me be a better person and partner in his mind and he did not do that. Wonder.

Re: What we each did wrong that hurt our marriage [Re: BarbieDoll] #1614027
10/07/08 12:51 AM
10/07/08 12:51 AM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 2,991
out in the boonies of kansas
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Babygirl Offline
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Babygirl  Offline
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out in the boonies of kansas
this bomb that has messed up my life, did come from my illness. I was at the point where I could only do what I could only do. Tried to do alot more, but it always didnt work.

yes we all contribute to our marriages good and bad, but, in my case, my bad was my health, I did my best to be the best mom and wife I could, even with the chemo. maybe my illness and his fear pushed him. that would make it my fault too, not just the evil ow.

great post!


M 36
XH 34
3 children
If a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. Mark 3:25
"your mood swings are giving me whiplash" twilight
ALIVE FREE AND HAPPY 2010

Re: What we each did wrong that hurt our marriage [Re: BarbieDoll] #1614032
10/07/08 01:00 AM
10/07/08 01:00 AM
Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 2,742
California by way of Massachus...
mastateflower Offline OP
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mastateflower  Offline OP
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Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 2,742
California by way of Massachus...
Barbie & Babygirl,

Oh yes illness or the type certainly make a difference. My niece has a small child with CP and oh my the stress on her marriage is incrediable! I don't know how they are going to make it.

I remember the old saying that went something like this "It will either bring you closer together or blow you apart".

I wonder if the "blow you apart" is because there were other problems already present or if the spouse was just too weak of a person to stand up and pitch in?

Gigi


"It's not what happens to you, it's what you make of it." Zig Ziglar
Re: What we each did wrong that hurt our marriage [Re: ] #1614122
10/07/08 02:35 AM
10/07/08 02:35 AM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 2,991
out in the boonies of kansas
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Babygirl Offline
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Babygirl  Offline
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out in the boonies of kansas
you know I think of that often Gigi, I think he has over 10 years of knowing my health, and when it really happened, he couldnt fix me and freaked. he couldnt fix me, so he found a feeder that he could try


M 36
XH 34
3 children
If a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. Mark 3:25
"your mood swings are giving me whiplash" twilight
ALIVE FREE AND HAPPY 2010

Re: What we each did wrong that hurt our marriage [Re: mastateflower] #1614141
10/07/08 02:51 AM
10/07/08 02:51 AM
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 5,835
Planet Earth
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3K451 Offline
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3K451  Offline
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Gigi, this is such a good post.

You and I went through some pretty similar situations. And yup, I brushed a lot under the rug for a while. I ignored somethings until they made me angry and depressed. Truthfully, I lashed out. I gave him total hell around the time we decided to separate. For sometime before that, I just really didn't care I think. I just got tired of it and used my work and kids as an escape so I didn't have to face his severe depression. I also felt incapable of dealing with it.

I thought about this a lot through this journey. And I never once felt as if my M was bad from the get-go or that I married the "wrong person." I know all relationships have their ups and downs. But when I looked back, I saw so much weariness on his part. We both worked crazy hours, we both career-oriented. We had the money pit of a house where sometimes several areas were under construction or major repair...we would come home to only do another 4-5 hours on the house putting up drywall, painting, fixing hardware, yada yada yada. We had 4 kids close in age who were active and into everything (not bad stuff...but things like marching band, sports, summer symphonies, advanced education in HS where they needed transport to the local colleges to get extra credit...etc. etc. etc.) There was so little time for "us." Heck, when we first were married, dinner was always a big deal. There was always a gourmet cooked, hot meal and a bottle of wine and we lingered over it. As time went on, it turned out to be a pizza in a box eaten as we passed through on to doing something else. We didn't value our time or presence together.

"Us" time usually consisted of a quick weekend away now and again. A few rolls in the sack, a couple of drinks, and go back home. That was it. Neither of us really took the time to say "stop the insanity" and slow down. I think reality hit both of us really really hard at that time. We lost a number of family members/close friends to death at that time. I traveled a lot for work to escape the madness (my boss would ask "who wants to do something?" and I'm there raising my hand "pick me pick me!").

I let everything else be more important to me like my job, the kids' constant needs, and balancing budgets. He didn't relate to that. I have my "tunnel vision." If I was on a mission, I just had to do that mission...be it a project at work, a volunteer job for the kids' schools for marching band, sports, whatever...I couldn't stop to listen to him. I think he got frustrated.

Somewhere in all of that madness, I neglected me, I neglected him, and I neglected our marriage.

It was such a lesson to me to slow down, to listen, to realize that people and relationships do take time. I'm really a geek in some ways. I look at things logically so by nature I don't have a lot of the "ultra feminine" in me--shoes, clothes, makeup don't really mean a lot to me. But I realized that I relied on that "logical" side of me for far too long, I neglected the intuitive side I had as well. It was hard for me too because I do have such a "logical" career. I'm working on it though. I realized that while I didn't have to be a supermodel in my marriage, you are so right...things worked so well while we were best friends. And I was so much more relaxed when I let that "intuitive side" come out and be much more like I was when I was younger.

Re: What we each did wrong that hurt our marriage [Re: mastateflower] #1614211
10/07/08 06:34 AM
10/07/08 06:34 AM
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 501
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Chazz Offline
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Chazz  Offline
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Yo Gigi....

Great post.

I found I could never find any meaningful recovery until I was able to recognize my part in any proplem. No matter how big or small.

I was taught that even if I was on 2% wrong and the other party was 98% wrong, that unless I recognize and address/correct my 2%, I was not really experiencing growth or maturity emotionally or relationally.

If I was stuck blaming the other party... which can be easy to do if they are wrong in the majority or if their actions are particularly hurtful... if I was stuck blaming the other party only, it left me in self-deception and self-pity which is essentially still emotionally sick and immature.

What did I do wrong in my M? Lots! Specifically:
1. I allowed my anger to rule me and left way to many issues unresovled before going to bed at night that could have been reconciled with my W. These issues would go on for days.
2. I put my M second to my work a lot of the time.
3. I lived in the reflections of the past and dreams of the future rather than in the present. I did not recognize I was doing this.
4. I minimized the degree to which my moodiness left my W of the time feeling alone and like she was walking on eggshells.
5. I had an unhealthy pride about my wife and flaunted her in front of the guy she eventually ran off with. I was showing off and it came back and bit us.

This is just the short list. There are many, many things I did wrong.

I am now remarried and pay particular attention to these things in my current M and other Rs too. Life is sooooo much better.

Thanks for the post.

Ciao.


Chaz


Me:40's / XW:30's / 3 Kids / EA with OM 1998-2001 / PA:? / S:2001 / D:2005 / XW M's OM:2006 / Chaz M's new W:2007
"Its not that I was really bad as a kid, its just that most of the pranks I played happened to be felonies".
Re: What we each did wrong that hurt our marriage [Re: 3K451] #1614472
10/07/08 03:41 PM
10/07/08 03:41 PM
Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 2,742
California by way of Massachus...
mastateflower Offline OP
Member
mastateflower  Offline OP
Member
Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 2,742
California by way of Massachus...
Key,

You and I are very much alike and our marriages had similar problems. My X was the successful one in a career that required a great deal of overtime. I was board at home and covered that up by getting over involved with my kids activities. Cheerleading, girl scouts, basketball, football, boy scouts, band, booster clubs.

I never talked to him and explained why I was doing all this and he never talked to me to tell me that he missed me. He wanted me home when he finally got there and I was usually off running some kind of meeting.

Then the poor guy would finally have a weekend off and I would have him booked to do some kind of fund raiser or lead some kind of hike. We never had time together to just be friends.

Of course that's not all, you know the entire story but when I look back this is really a key in the beginning of the decline in our marriage.

Gigi


"It's not what happens to you, it's what you make of it." Zig Ziglar
Re: What we each did wrong that hurt our marriage [Re: mastateflower] #1614800
10/07/08 08:56 PM
10/07/08 08:56 PM
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 5,835
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3K451 Offline
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3K451  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2002
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Planet Earth
Gigi, it does boil down to that. Friendship nurtures. For me, I think I was trying to convey my confusing expectations during marriage. I didn't realize until quite sometime after my D how important friendship and trust were. So I let go...there was none of that left on either side of the fence.

Here's a quote (I'll probably get slapped here for this for "plagiarism"--hope not but not quite sure of the rules here). The quote is from a woman whose writing I've read quite a bit...Dr. Brenda Shoshana:

Quote:
If being in love is our natural state the real question is, what is it that keeps this most precious inheritance away? How can we reclaim it and return to the intrinsic trust and joy we had as children?

Many fear they will be hurt. But contrary to popular opinion, real love never hurts or wounds. It is only our confused expectations that can undermine our lives. There is a Buddhist saying "Give up poisonous food wherever it is offered to you." But most of us do not know what is poison and what is nourishing in our relationships.

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