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A Message from Michele
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wayfarer #2920840 07/03/21 09:22 AM
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Hi dearest Wayfarer,

Thank you so much for these posts. I can't tell you how much it means to me to hear you talk about the more difficult parts of your piecing and healing. That you still have anger and sadness rear their ugly heads, the doubts come sometimes, the worry about whether the MR was just the safe and comfortable path, not what he really wanted.

If we can make a space here on this board where it is okay to express the doubts and concerns without having a poster or two pile on and exacerbate those concerns, I think that would be so fabulous. Also, I share what you and JJ both mentioned about feeling like it wasn't totally okay to be posting about this stuff when others on the Newcomers board were in such crisis. So I'm really hoping we can all feel comfortable talking about the difficulties of piecing.

Anyway... I just wanted to share that I feel all those same things that you do. I'm getting better at dealing with it but I still think there are things we will need to heal together, not just heal on my own. And I guess I'd push you on that a little. you are so independent and have been helping me see and take my own responsibility for healing myself throughout this whole mess. But when it comes to your relationship with your H, there are things you're going to need to heal and work on together. I would put the baby issue in that category, and the Plan B discussion. In our MC session today, she really pushed us both to focus again on the relationship and supporting the connections between us, rather than things that either one of us is looking for individually. (We had said we wanted to spend the next few sessions on building before digging into the hard stuff.) I think I shared with you that last week she asked me to reframe the A into something that happened to our M, not to me... and it made me realize that in the beginning, I was seeing the A and his behavior as a threat to my children's well-being, but that the thing that would hurt them hadn't actually happened yet. I spent all my energy focused on saving the M with a primary focus on them. Then, as the fear for their well-being receded, I started to focus on what he had done to ME, the betrayal and the trust and all that, and I've still been sitting in that even as things have become better and better between us. Those feelings are still there, less painful than before, but I don't think they'll totally go away until I have more trust. But, being able to take the focus off of me and place it onto the M was actually kind of revolutionary for me as it has given me permission in a way to put those feelings on the side-- but I think you said you'd always kind of looked at it that way.

My question to you is... do you think you've spent enough time focusing on how YOU were hurt in all of this? What you lost and what you're grieving? Maybe the opposite of what I needed to do-- you might need to actually pick those feelings back up and spend some time processing them? Can he play a role in helping to give you back that emotional safety you need around believing that you're Plan A and always, actually, were? I think you can ask him to help you in this as your H and your partner in life. you don't need to just shoulder this one too and figure out how to heal yourself on your own. There are probably things he can do or say when you have those feelings crop up, if you can be vulnerable with him and let him know, that can help you feel safe again.

For the baby question... I do think you need to talk about this with him at some point. You can't let this fester and I know know know how something just gets stuck in your mind, something that the A took from you, and this is a big enough thing that I don't think you just figure it out on your own. I was thinking you maybe don't have to deal with it right away, though. Have you read Unchien's thread lately? How he's been meditating through all of this and learned to just observe and acknowledge his feelings without the need to act upon them? I wonder if you can sit with the baby thing for a bit in that way without pressuring yourself to get over it yesterday. Because it svcks. Even if 99 percent of you intellectually knows you don't want another baby, that last percent that did can't let go of the fact that if your H had dealt with the issues going on in your lives a bit differently, that baby might be snoozing in the other room right now. (Or colicky screaming, if that helps. wink ) It's a big and valid loss even if you weren't sure about it.

And finally on the MC... what if your H picked the person? What would it hurt him to go to one session and try it out? What if you guys spent a lot of the first session going over his fears and concerns so that the therapist can be extra sure he doesn't feel attacked? Maybe he'd be more comfortable with a male therapist-- would feel more on his side? IDK. It does seem like you guys would benefit from having some time with a trained third party.

You always put everyone else first, you know, WF. You shoulder the entire burden. Just like you're letting your H pick up his end on the house DIY stuff, let him pick it up on the emotional side too. Don't just call it your hangup and deal with it on your own, or not bring up MC because he's being weird about it. At least, I offer you that as a possible path for consideration.

xoxo M


Me (45) H (41)
M:13 T:17, D8 & D11
4/19 BD #1 ILYB
8/19 BD #2 Long-distance EA
12/19 BD #3 Actually 2 year PA
2-5/20 R attempt #1
6/20 limbo again, back in contact with AP
9/20-present R attempt #2
wayfarer #2920843 07/03/21 04:37 PM
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Hi - are you just the more comfortable path? I struggled with this for quite some time . My only advice I can give you is almost 2 years later is Im very comfortable with is hes an idiot if he even thought another path was better . And my husband would agree now . But getting there was not easy . I grew more than him . This will come with time . The stronger I got the weaker he looked to me . Eventually it can balance somewhat .

Also wanted to say hi to may !!! Xoxo

wayfarer #2920844 07/03/21 05:16 PM
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Caligirl!!! Hi hi hi!!! It is so good to hear from you. How are you?? Will you please post your story in this Piecing section even if you don't check back in very often? I feel like you are the queen of DBing and it would be really helpful for people to have the benefit of your story. Plus, I'd love to hear about how you are doing now. Thank you for popping in xoxo M


Me (45) H (41)
M:13 T:17, D8 & D11
4/19 BD #1 ILYB
8/19 BD #2 Long-distance EA
12/19 BD #3 Actually 2 year PA
2-5/20 R attempt #1
6/20 limbo again, back in contact with AP
9/20-present R attempt #2
Caligirl #2920924 07/06/21 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Caligirl
Hi - are you just the more comfortable path? I struggled with this for quite some time . My only advice I can give you is almost 2 years later is Im very comfortable with is hes an idiot if he even thought another path was better . And my husband would agree now . But getting there was not easy . I grew more than him . This will come with time . The stronger I got the weaker he looked to me . Eventually it can balance somewhat .


God, this made me laugh. On most days, I'm very much in camp "I'm a catch you're a moron"....lol. It's the bad days that that insecurity creeps in. Sometimes totally out of no where. There are days where we feel disconnected and I start to wonder. There are days when he looks at me like I'm magic and I wonder any way. But I can't control anything here. His feelings, the long term outcome, if I've made a mistake wanting to keep the MR in tact. It's all totally out of my hands and I just focus on that I have to put the work in and what will be, will be.

The growth thing is the thing that probably makes me question my own loyalty the most, I guess that's a good way to put it. The waiting to catch up. I've been light years ahead from the get go because I dealt with my trauma head on. I've been in a position since my 20s to want to actively change my trauma responses and conditioned behaviors because it effected my relationships with other people romantic, platonic and familial. At this point in our lives I can see him actually trying to catch up. Prior to BD and the A I'd say he would refuse to move forward out of spite, like some how he was sticking it to me by digging his heels in and acting selfishly, childishly or irresponsibly. Every once in a while "this is how I am" rears it's ugly head. And I have to remind him that being a self focused d!ck isn't an inherent personality trait. That care and consideration for his feelings ends the second his "feelings" make people around him uncomfortable, anxious or miserable. He isn't always responsive to that as he's a catch more flies with honey guy, but there are points in time where I have zero patience to cater to his ego and I couldn't care less if I sound like his mother.

The weird thing is even when I was deeply depressed, even when he was having an active affair while living in our home I never saw him as strong. I forced myself to function and be productive while I struggled to shower and get out of bed. I went on with my life when he decided he wanted to have a life without me. He'll even admit he would've never had the wherewithal to have done what I did. Honestly, I still struggle to see him as strong. The harder he tries to be emotionally evolved the more I see him in that light. But he hides behind machismo, dry wit and physical strength. I think we're finally in that place where he willingly wants to grow, and we are finding our way to that balance we're just not there yet.

may22 #2920927 07/06/21 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by may22
My question to you is... do you think you've spent enough time focusing on how YOU were hurt in all of this? What you lost and what you're grieving? Maybe the opposite of what I needed to do-- you might need to actually pick those feelings back up and spend some time processing them? Can he play a role in helping to give you back that emotional safety you need around believing that you're Plan A and always, actually, were? I think you can ask him to help you in this as your H and your partner in life. you don't need to just shoulder this one too and figure out how to heal yourself on your own. There are probably things he can do or say when you have those feelings crop up, if you can be vulnerable with him and let him know, that can help you feel safe again.
I did spend a lot of time talking with my IC and my best friend about my pain in all of this. I've share with H too, that this wasn't easily overcome. And had my heart told me otherwise I probably would've walked away and never looked back, because no one deserves to be treated the way I was. Especially not for who I was in the MR. As you stated I always put me on the back burner to assure everyone's physical and emotional needs were met. Even to a detriment of myself. The waxing and waning insecurities seem to be a a common thread with piecing. It's not that he doesn't have any responsibility in assuring me, it's more so he isn't doing anything in particular to cause it. He's just living his life, he's still very remorseful and reassuring and because of that I don't feel it's his responsibility to fix it. It's just kind of getting out of my head and moving on. Sometimes he catches it and feels it even if I don't say anything, and he'll poke, but I don't want to or can't spill because we're doing something. My IC suggested that when I'm in a moment like that to just request a hug. That physical touch kind of just relaxes me and puts to bed the anger, fear, what have you. It's a way to help me get through it with out dumping on him.

Originally Posted by may22
For the baby question... I do think you need to talk about this with him at some point. You can't let this fester and I know know know how something just gets stuck in your mind, something that the A took from you, and this is a big enough thing that I don't think you just figure it out on your own. I was thinking you maybe don't have to deal with it right away, though. Have you read Unchien's thread lately? How he's been meditating through all of this and learned to just observe and acknowledge his feelings without the need to act upon them? I wonder if you can sit with the baby thing for a bit in that way without pressuring yourself to get over it yesterday. Because it svcks. Even if 99 percent of you intellectually knows you don't want another baby, that last percent that did can't let go of the fact that if your H had dealt with the issues going on in your lives a bit differently, that baby might be snoozing in the other room right now. (Or colicky screaming, if that helps. wink ) It's a big and valid loss even if you weren't sure about it.
So we did talk about the baby thing. In the middle of the A, obviously, and then again when we finally started talking about everything during recon. He apologized and understood where I was coming from. Assured me that in the forefront of his mind it wasn't a cause, but that he couldn't entirely rule out that maybe it was something in the recesses that he wasn't focusing on intentionally but the the thought was there. I think maybe the meditation and the sitting with these feelings for a while instead of pressuring myself to hurry up and move on is a really good suggestion. Giving myself permission to have a hang up over something illogical is a totally ok and not a completely unreasonable thing to do.

Originally Posted by may22
And finally on the MC... what if your H picked the person? What would it hurt him to go to one session and try it out? What if you guys spent a lot of the first session going over his fears and concerns so that the therapist can be extra sure he doesn't feel attacked? Maybe he'd be more comfortable with a male therapist-- would feel more on his side? IDK. It does seem like you guys would benefit from having some time with a trained third party.
I think this is the route were going to take when we we get there. Letting him pick, addressing his concerns, not focusing on the A out of the gate. Right now things are just kind of getting back to normal here. Also with the new house we are inundated and busy all the time. We are still unpacking. I just finally got the last of our stuff out of the old place and spent 3 days kicking myself for not hiring someone to do the move clean. We're both just running and running I don't know that either one of us has had much time to sit and think about ourselves much less in depth of moving forward in our MR. We had a big blow out this weekend which I'll update on later that's made it incredibly clear that we need to do something and I can't let him put this off forever. But every single extra dollar and minute are going into the house right now. When this calms I think it'll be a good time. We've been at this pretty much a year now. Not focusing on the A will be easy. I think a lot of his hang-up lies in that.

Originally Posted by may22
You always put everyone else first, you know, WF. You shoulder the entire burden. Just like you're letting your H pick up his end on the house DIY stuff, let him pick it up on the emotional side too. Don't just call it your hangup and deal with it on your own, or not bring up MC because he's being weird about it. At least, I offer you that as a possible path for consideration.
I always appreciate the reminder it's not my job to make everyone's life easier.

wayfarer #2920940 07/06/21 05:03 PM
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WF,

Emotions, emotions. When we started piecing my wife explained to me about my ego, pride, and how I couldn't be wrong and took over rooms and not always in a good way. I always had to get my point across, even if I was wrong. I didn't let her in, blah blah blah. Well, I had a hard time, letting her in after the A. Over the years, I have become more emotionally available. She talks and tells me literally everything. I use to get so annoyed and frustrated listening to all her girl gossip, gripes and complaints. And I would zone out of the conversations, when I wasn't annoyed. But I had to work on being an active listener. But before, I became a better listener, I had to tell my wife how I felt about talking about all that stuff, now, when she see's me zoning out are getting anxious, she doesn't get mad, she has found ways to bring me back in.

Also my W is very head strong, and likes to take charge, so we but heads a lot. I'm very head strong as well. We have had to learn how to compromise. She grew up watching her mom, cut the grass, be a referee, and a pastor/evangelist. And her dad did all the cooking. But, her dad is a retired SGM in the Army after 29 years of service and he was a cook. Her dad is very social and love doing things for people. So my W has this weird dynamic, about her, she likes making people happy, doing things for people and being social, but she fights me when I tell her to do something, she don't like men telling her how to feel and what to do. So she pushes back, when she thinks, I'm being to masculine. But, now she has actively work to catch herself when she's about to get upset about me just telling her to do something. We both fight the urges to push back, and that has been a huge growth in our relationship. The first few years of recon, we really struggled with this. Over the last year or so, we have done a lot better with relenting and lifting our foot out the sand of what we think our PERSPECTIVE is. And, after we smile and laugh and go on like normal.

Originally Posted by wayfarer

God, this made me laugh. On most days, I'm very much in camp "I'm a catch you're a moron"....lol. It's the bad days that that insecurity creeps in. Sometimes totally out of no where. There are days where we feel disconnected and I start to wonder. There are days when he looks at me like I'm magic and I wonder any way. But I can't control anything here. His feelings, the long term outcome, if I've made a mistake wanting to keep the MR in tact. It's all totally out of my hands and I just focus on that I have to put the work in and what will be, will be.


I spent a lot of days, letting my W actions and her moods affect mines. I will get all moody when she was moody, and I would act all down, when she was down. I would catastrophize what her mood was. I was saying to myself, what's going on. It must be something. Than, I would go out my way to try and cheer her up. Then after a while, I just stop and left her in her moods, which she saw as punishing her. And, I was punishing her for her moods. But, over the last year, I have just been there in a none judgmental or emotional way. It took almost three years to get to the point of, she is human and has a right to be moody, upset, sad, and not be my fault. And understanding that she's her own person and has to work out some of her feelings and emotions on her own.

So now, if she's moody, I say, "is there anything I can do". If she says no, I sit next to her and just be there. Sometime she says, she just needs some time to deal with her emotions. So, I've made myself a safe place, and I'm still working to make myself safer, and my wife is also still working to make herself safer for me. But the most important part of being a safe place is communicating, when an action or comment, is making the other feel uncomfortable. It allows the other person to learn and grow in the relationship and for you. It took me a while to understand this, and maybe it will take your husband sometime as well.


M:37 W:37
T:11 M:10
S17, S13, S10, S4
BD:06/28/17
OM confirmed 07/20/17
Recon the M 10/29/17
Working hard:2gether

Onward and forward

This process is not a sprint it's a marathon! Patience, Patience, Patience.
joejoe1 #2920949 07/06/21 06:15 PM
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Originally Posted by joejoe
When we started piecing my wife explained to me about my ego, pride, and how I couldn't be wrong and took over rooms and not always in a good way. I always had to get my point across, even if I was wrong. I didn't let her in, blah blah blah. Well, I had a hard time, letting her in after the A. Over the years, I have become more emotionally available. She talks and tells me literally everything. I use to get so annoyed and frustrated listening to all her girl gossip, gripes and complaints. And I would zone out of the conversations, when I wasn't annoyed. But I had to work on being an active listener. But before, I became a better listener, I had to tell my wife how I felt about talking about all that stuff, now, when she see's me zoning out are getting anxious, she doesn't get mad, she has found ways to bring me back in.
You honestly sound a lot like my H, no offense intended. He would get very frustrated with the gossip, gripes, work stuff all of it. But had zero problem just completely unloading on me when he had things to complain about and expected me to actively listen. He also has a bad habit of still being angry and annoyed even after he unloads. Since recon this dynamic has gotten much better. He understands now that he can't be annoyed at me for talking to him the way any W talks to her husband about her day, work, friends etc., especially if he does the exact same thing. He's also gotten much better at understanding my daily dump is just that. I word vomit my day and then I'm done. If it was a bad day and I'm crabby I said it, I need a hug and I'll move on. Because of that he's become more conscientious of not unloading and continuing to brood.

Originally Posted by joejoe
Also my W is very head strong, and likes to take charge, so we but heads a lot. I'm very head strong as well. We have had to learn how to compromise. She grew up watching her mom, cut the grass, be a referee, and a pastor/evangelist. And her dad did all the cooking. But, her dad is a retired SGM in the Army after 29 years of service and he was a cook. Her dad is very social and love doing things for people. So my W has this weird dynamic, about her, she likes making people happy, doing things for people and being social, but she fights me when I tell her to do something, she don't like men telling her how to feel and what to do. So she pushes back, when she thinks, I'm being to masculine. But, now she has actively work to catch herself when she's about to get upset about me just telling her to do something. We both fight the urges to push back, and that has been a huge growth in our relationship. The first few years of recon, we really struggled with this. Over the last year or so, we have done a lot better with relenting and lifting our foot out the sand of what we think our PERSPECTIVE is. And, after we smile and laugh and go on like normal.
Honestly your wife sounds a lot like me...lol. But no military daddy here. Just a complicated upbringing with a single working mom until she married and then I also had a really, really awful step-father. I do find myself trying to actively avoid fighting when H says or does things that get my "you aren't my daddy" hackles up. I'm a relatively quiet person, with a very long fuse. But my fuse isn't one that should be lit, like ever. So I've been working on trying to not snap and instead to ask myself why something is getting under my skin and to make it a conversation and not a blow up. H is trying harder to ask me what he can do to help. What I need him to do, because he rarely tells me to do things because I do everything. And not in a sitcom mom kind of I do everything. I literally do everything but yard work. And even that isn't finite.

Originally Posted by joejoe
I spent a lot of days, letting my W actions and her moods affect mines. I will get all moody when she was moody, and I would act all down, when she was down. I would catastrophize what her mood was. I was saying to myself, what's going on. It must be something. Than, I would go out my way to try and cheer her up. Then after a while, I just stop and left her in her moods, which she saw as punishing her. And, I was punishing her for her moods. But, over the last year, I have just been there in a none judgmental or emotional way. It took almost three years to get to the point of, she is human and has a right to be moody, upset, sad, and not be my fault. And understanding that she's her own person and has to work out some of her feelings and emotions on her own.
My H could've written this. He took all of my moods personally. He would actually tell people I would take my bad mood out on him when that truly wasn't happening. Like at all. If I'm in a crappy place emotionally I tend to kind of collapse into myself or have an incredible short fuse, but I avoid people at all costs when I'm like that because I don't want to snap or cry. This apparently was me taking my bad mood out on him. And /or getting irritated at the H show of him actively trying to cheer me up in the way he thought I would cheer up, never actually asking what would cheer me up. We've only very recently gotten to the point where he understands the whole I'm human I'm allowed to be moody, upset and sad and it's neither his responsibility for it or for making it better. What we do need to work on is him making his negative feelings and bad days everybody else's problem.

Originally Posted by joejoe
So now, if she's moody, I say, "is there anything I can do". If she says no, I sit next to her and just be there. Sometime she says, she just needs some time to deal with her emotions. So, I've made myself a safe place, and I'm still working to make myself safer, and my wife is also still working to make herself safer for me. But the most important part of being a safe place is communicating, when an action or comment, is making the other feel uncomfortable. It allows the other person to learn and grow in the relationship and for you. It took me a while to understand this, and maybe it will take your husband sometime as well.
He's getting there. But it's a process.

wayfarer #2920962 07/06/21 08:42 PM
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I just have to pop in quickly to say that this:

Originally Posted by joejoe
When we started piecing my wife explained to me about my ego, pride, and how I couldn't be wrong and took over rooms and not always in a good way. I always had to get my point across, even if I was wrong.

Originally Posted by wayfarer
You honestly sound a lot like my H, no offense intended. He would get very frustrated with the gossip, gripes, work stuff all of it. But had zero problem just completely unloading on me when he had things to complain about and expected me to actively listen.

This is exactly my H. The part about not being able to be wrong, taking over rooms, wanting me to listen to his day dump but getting super frustrated about mine... to a T. Both are are better now, especially the being supportive listening to my day parts, without trying to fix it for me.

Originally Posted by joejoe
I spent a lot of days, letting my W actions and her moods affect mines. I will get all moody when she was moody, and I would act all down, when she was down. I would catastrophize what her mood was. I was saying to myself, what's going on. It must be something. Than, I would go out my way to try and cheer her up. Then after a while, I just stop and left her in her moods, which she saw as punishing her. And, I was punishing her for her moods.

Originally Posted by wayfarer
My H could've written this. He took all of my moods personally. He would actually tell people I would take my bad mood out on him when that truly wasn't happening. Like at all. If I'm in a crappy place emotionally I tend to kind of collapse into myself or have an incredible short fuse, but I avoid people at all costs when I'm like that because I don't want to snap or cry. This apparently was me taking my bad mood out on him.

My H also could have written this. He has said word for word what WF says above about me taking my bad moods out on him by just being quiet. If I'm quiet for an evening because I'm down about the A he'll get upset and says I'm being "horrible" to him and "ruining the night." In MC this past week he said my being quiet makes him catastrophize what's going on in my head. It is getting better, slowly. Instead of totally sinking into himself and getting upset, he'll generally try some non-verbal reassurance like a hug or squeezing my leg or arm. But if that doesn't solve it, he can still spiral down. I also recognize that I'm still looking for something more from him in these moments than I'm getting, and need to either be able to better communicate that to him or be more patient with myself and focus more on the present, rather than dwelling in the past. He wants to be able to focus on what we have now and building our relationship.

Anyway, I'll write more later, just wanted to say how familiar all of this was to me too!


Me (45) H (41)
M:13 T:17, D8 & D11
4/19 BD #1 ILYB
8/19 BD #2 Long-distance EA
12/19 BD #3 Actually 2 year PA
2-5/20 R attempt #1
6/20 limbo again, back in contact with AP
9/20-present R attempt #2
wayfarer #2920975 07/07/21 02:40 PM
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So what I had wanted to post about is that this past weekend H and I got in a big blow up. I had mentioned before that DIY stuff got under H's skin and would usually result in him being in a bad mood and taking it out on us. However he's since gotten better at that. Cleaning or any real care task outside of cooking put him in the exact same disposition. If we deep clean as a family let's say in Spring or right before the holidays he's psychotic. Like literally crazy. He starts screaming at the girls because they aren't moving fast enough for his taste or they aren't working hard enough for his taste. He will literally grab handfuls of papers and just shove them in a garbage bag without even so much as glancing at what he's tossing. He will just throw anything away if it feels like clutter to him in that moment. I've seen him donate like an entire season's wardrobe because he was in this whole like household duties hulk mode. And then on the other side of this he wants to know where things are or why he can't find them. Like he rage cleans but he's raging because he's cleaning. I put up with this for a little while when we first moved in together but after losing like hours of time and helping hands because he'd have both girls sobbing I stopped asking him to help. Just completely. I would actually arrange serious cleaning around when he wasn't home so he wouldn't feel compelled to get involved. Even if he's in the house and I've asked him to do absolutely nothing because he gets like this. But I've made accommodations. I've worked through it and it's honestly easier for everyone in the house if I just do it with the girls help. And sometimes it's easier to just do it alone entirely.

Now I had planned on hiring someone to clean our old place but as it took us longer and longer to get out of the old place due to the crazy hot weather and no a/c. We ended up getting to the line and after a bunch of calls there weren't a lot of people available especially with the holiday. And those who were were asking like way more than I was willing to pay since I sort of had the time. I made a plan to get it done in 2 weekends. I was basically on track for that but H decided he wanted to help so we could speed the process up. I was particularly hesitant to allow him to help given his lovely track record. And as expected he did exactly what I thought he was going to do.

D18 got to the old place first finishing out her closet and her storage tubs in the basement. She was there more than 2 hours before H had gotten there. I got there only maybe 30-40 min after H did as I was coming from work. He was already in a mood the second I got in. Now typically when H "helps" I once upon a time would tell him he was doing a bad job and to please do a better one. I wouldn't say it like that but that was the gist. Probably something along the lines of "Hey babe you missed dusting the top of the book cases and the ceiling fan. I left the pillow case for the ceiling fan on the counter for you. Can you just get to those before we wrap up? Thanks." And then I'd go scrub some grout with a toothbrush or deep clean the oven. Just something like that would cause him to pout like a child and be angry and not helpful. So then I would just leave it alone if it was a clean to just clean. I'd leave it and chalk it up to one step close to not trying to control everything. If we had guests coming I'd go back over what he did when he was out getting drinks or paper products or what ever I could send him out for. H rushes, H hates care tasks and household chores so he tries to get through them as quickly as possible without doing quality work. And I say this not as a micromanaging mom, but as a normal human person with eyes. The way he does household tasks is the way a middle school boy does them so they can be done and he can go play with his friends. It drives me absolutely up a wall. If he could clean like a child and remain jovial I probably wouldn't care. If he could clean like an adult and be a brooding monster I probably wouldn't care. But he does such an awful job and is such a bear to every one around him in the process it's miserable. It puts me in the position of doing 3x or 4x the work, my work, fixing his work, finishing the girls work, and emotionally supporting them once he's reamed them for no good reason.

The blowup happened because as I said earlier he behaved exactly as I expected him to. He was speed cleaning. Doing a half-a$$ job, got mad at my kid because she wasn't doing as much work as him in his opinion. Getting mad at me because I wasn't moving fast enough, and I wasn't yelling at D18 to do more work faster. I tried to ignore him. I made no comment about the job he was doing, but his fuming was starting to fill every room in the place. I just absolutely had enough and told him "Let's just be done." D18 was done with what I needed her to finish. He had taken the last of the boxes out. He had done a terrible job dusting and sweeping but he started the process and it would save me time in the end to just finish it up and mop the floors. It probably wouldn't take me more than a couple hours to do on my own the next day. I said that I was tired and hungry and I'd just finish up the next day. He kept pushing that no we should just finish it. Just one more hour and we'd be done. I'm thinking, yeah right I'll be here at 7am actually finishing. So I kept insisting that we just go home. I'm tired., I'm hungry, I'm hot. He finally snaps on me and starts yelling at me about why I'm dragging this out. This should've been done weeks ago. If it were him doing it, it would've been done weeks ago. What's wrong with me? What am I acting like this? I wanted to scream at him and said calmly "Today is the first day you've helped me over here since the big move. I work full time just like you. I would've been more than happy to let you do this yourself but we both know that wasn't going to happen. So here we are. I'm not dragging it out. I just want it done right. She already gave us the deposit back. I don't want to end up in small claims. I'm coming back tomorrow ...alone. Can we go now?" He finally willingly left with no further argument.

We had to take some furniture by his aunt who does refinishing. It was a mix of pieces that were left by the tenant before us that the landlady didn't want to deal with and a couple of our things that don't fit in the new house. On our way there I apologize for snapping and being b*tchy, but I threw a "but" in there. But I wouldn't have gotten like that if he could just be a normal person when we do household chores like everyone else on the planet. He sukks all the oxygen out of a room and it's too much. I can't focus. I can't be productive. And I can't ignore it forever. He then goes into a litany of reasons why he was like that, mostly because of me and D18 and D17 who wasn't even there. Which I said he sounds crazy because D17 wasn't involved. He started saying he gets like that because none of us have a sense of urgency. Why don't we just want to get things done like him? Why don't we do it the way he does it? We'd have been out of the old place, blah, blah blah. I don't get to be mad that he isn't helping "the right way" if I want his help. I can't be picking about needing help. Blah, blah, blah.

I told him 1) we aren't his co-workers he needs to stop acting like we are; no one is getting paid to do any of this and neither are pretty much any of the other families on the planet who do this and only a small minority have to deal with some one like him making it harder than it needs to be for everyone else, and at any time he can choose to not put us in that minority 2) still not his co-workers he gains absolutely nothing by micromanaging our time or tasks so why is he making his own life harder and everyone else's by doing so 3) if he appreciates how well the girls do things when it's just me maybe it's time to stop thinking his is the right way to do things 4) I do get to be mad that he doesn't help and be mad at the way he helps, I said I wasn't telling you how to sweep, I was telling you if you're going to sweep with smoke coming out of your ears I'd rather you not help at all.

He responded with well you can't tell me how to feel. I said yes actually I can when it's completely unreasonable. You can have your feelings and they can be valid but that doesn't make them reasonable or appropriate. He desperately wanted me to validate his feelings and I did multiple times. I said I understand exactly what you're saying. I can see how that would be frustrating. I know you don't want to do the work, but you can't say no one likes work, no one wants to do this and you just want to get it over with when you put in 60-70 hours some weeks because you want to. I know you're not getting paid for this and you're getting paid for that, but you need to understand contributing to the household is doing your part. Just like the girls. And as much as I'd like them to do things differently it's a waste of my time worrying about it. They understand it's the price you pay for a nice clean house to live in, so they do it, just as unhappily as you, but they don't make all of us pay for it. Can you see how this is frustrating for me? Can you see how making all of us as miserable as you are cleaning because we aren't doing it fast enough for you is you trying to control us not me trying to control you?

We had to go in this circle about 3 times before he got it. Like really got it. He did get there eventually. But this is one of the big pushes where I'm thinking OMG we need to get into marriage counseling. I can't constantly be doing this kind of emotional labor showing him he's acting more like an adolescent than the adolescents in the house. When we have these moments I know he's asking himself if he made the right choice because I'm not being particularly kind or serving to him. I know in these moments I'm also wondering if I made the right choice because I don't know that I can constantly lead the horse to water and then force the water down his throat because he just keeps staring at the water wondering where the water is. I do feel like he's all in. Even when we're fighting. I don't have that terrified feeling any more. I think it's helping me find my voice with him.

Prior to BD I'd just let this stuff happen, and happen, and happen until he did something that would tip the scales and I would absolutely go b@tsh!t crazy. Screaming kind of crazy. I would just swallow the crappy behavior until I couldn't any more and then respond with a super explosive reaction to something that seemed innocuous so I would look unhinged, and like I was controlling and manipulative. I decided I don't want to do that any more. That I will pick my battles because every little annoyance isn't worth a fight so I ether have to let it roll off my back or address it immediately. However, doing this is soooo uncomfortable for me. The strange thing is I have no problem confronting strangers for their bad behavior towards others. But with him I get a pit in my stomach thinking about it. Which is probably something I need to work out in IC.

Piecing is hard even when you take the A completely out of the equation. At the end of the day you're still 2 totally different people with totally different world views and FOOs. Marriage is hard work and I'll never understand people who think love is supposed to be easy.

wayfarer #2921025 07/08/21 02:19 PM
Joined: Aug 2017
Posts: 1,132
J
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J
Joined: Aug 2017
Posts: 1,132
Wow wow wow,

First, I will say, you can't tell a person how to feel. But, you can tell a person how their actions are affecting those around them. Focus on actions not feelings.

It's crazy the parallels. Our counselors told my W, that she will most likely have to tell me things more than once, and that I will do things that won't be up to her standards.

My wife has also told me on multiple occasions, "we aren't your soldiers".

My wife and I had this situation yesterday. She likes this barn yard look, so we have been buying things to put up around the house, I try to do as much as I can myself. I'm not the handy dandy man, but with YouTube, I have got quite a bit done around the house. During COVID, I was able to finish a bunch of Honey Do list items. But since everything has went back to normal. I work two jobs and my W have stuff planned out for every weekend until 2026 (just kidding) it feels like it thou. I don't care, because, I like just going along and not having to think about planning that stuff much. I'm not a great planner anyway. Back to the topic (Writing what I think in the moment). So I decided to call a handy man. He came by yesterday and completed somethings on the list. He was an older gentleman and he really wanted me to watch him and learn, so I could learn how to do some of the things on my own. And he was slow, fell down the ladder twice, caught him once. Just a wild experience.

But when my wife came home and looked at all the projects, the first thing she did was start to critique. I was like huh! First, she said, "I'm not going to say much, because I wasn't here and I would of done things differently". One of the things he put up was a shelf with the industrial pipes, but looking at it now, one of the sides is crocket. She went upstairs and saw just one set of blinds was put up, and one tv mount was put up. She said, "why didn't he just finished?" I told her, he was slow as hell, and he was hell bent on me learning, I didn't mind learning. She was on this front of how she would of had done things differently. She then complained about the TV mount and how the old guy, (who I tried to contact) did it better.

I told her look, I came home early from work to watch this guy get this done, and now that I have seen him and shouldn't be that hard. She went on about not wanting to see this go undone, because we have a problem finishing things. I told her I would get it done. I got the other two blinds put up last night. Now, those two other TV mounts, who knows. LOL! Just kidding, looking for a TV mounting person now.

Before, those type of interactions would of sent me into a worldwind. And I would of lashed out, I did go into a mini fit, but she just calmly told me, I wasn't coitizing you. I just don't want all this to go undone. We tend to bounce back a lot quicker from these moments. I really think our Marriage Counselor, that just disappeared on us two years back, gave us great information on how to interact with each other. We have used those tools so far and they have worked.

I think it will benefit you and your H greatly to get into MC. It was a place that my W and I could air out our feelings. Please screen for a MC that's pro M. My first IC, wasn't pro Marriage, and she kept asking me why I wanted to stay Married and why don't I just leave her. Our First MC, spent all three of our sessions (We moved on after her last griping session), talking about her pain, and what caused her trauma. But, our last MC, that disappeared gave us the best info, was pro M and was big on living in the present, and if we forgave each other, growing from the past.


M:37 W:37
T:11 M:10
S17, S13, S10, S4
BD:06/28/17
OM confirmed 07/20/17
Recon the M 10/29/17
Working hard:2gether

Onward and forward

This process is not a sprint it's a marathon! Patience, Patience, Patience.
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