Hi WF,

God. So many similarities. My H is not as extreme but many similarities.

Originally Posted by wayfarer
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.

So.... this is basically what we spent most of our MC session yesterday, and I don't think we got all that far. Your H, like mine, is blaming his actions and inability to control his temper or behaviors on you and the girls. And that is total BS. Our situation was that my H got mad at D11 for getting into the (new) Tesla covered in clay and slammed the car door so hard it broke and was stuck closed. He was furious with himself and her. He texted me to tell me about it and my 180 was... I let it go. I said nothing except that svcks. Because it did and he was clearly beating himself up about it. That evening we had a family discussion about it and H apologized to D11. He said he overreacted and shouldn't have slammed the door that hard. All good. Then he said... but it wouldn't have happened if you hadn't gotten into the car so dirty. I stopped him and said NO. This is not her fault. She bears zero responsibility for this. This is on YOU. Yes, she shouldn't have gotten into the car so dirty but that is a separate issue that we'll deal with that with her.

Anyway, the reason this really bothered me is that it feels in the same category as the A. He takes responsibility for his actions BUT also maintains that it wouldn't have happened if we didn't have problems in our M beforehand. Agreed... but also I feel that is some level of blameshifting ("It wouldn't have happened if we were blissfully happy") and he still needs to 100% own that his actions were wrong and not excusable, no matter what the state of our M beforehand. And, that the state of our M before the A was not just my fault b/c of the SSM but we both contributed to the dynamics that led to the SSM as well as the breakdown in connection between us. No matter how angry or sad or whatever he was, he still made the choice to have an affair and he still made the choice to slam the door. That is on him, no one else.

And even outside of the A, in our day to day lives-- this kind of BS is simply not okay. You can't blow up or be an @ss and then pretend it is because it is just in response to other people around you. Take some responsibility for yourself! And the other thing my H doesn't understand is when he gets angry, it does exactly the same thing that you say about your H-- it pulls all the O2 out of the room and the focus becomes 100% on H's anger and behavior, not on whatever had happened before that (kid being messy or whatever). He thinks this is just how he is, he tends to yell/blow up quickly and then apologizes and is done. Whereas I feel like he needs to learn to control himself more and the damage done to the people around him with the explosion, short as it may be, is not glossed over with an apology later.

Sorry for blathering on, but I feel like there are a lot of parallels here. All down to the fact that as you say, yes, M is hard even without the A in your history. I do feel like because of what we've been through in my M at least, we can address this kind of thing better than we could have before. I would have either blown back up at him or ignored it completely rather than call him out on it. I'm not okay with tolerating this $hit anymore because if we went through what we went through I want a GD amazing M on the other side and it does not include tolerating temper tantrums from my H.

Some of this is on me and our interactions, and I know I can contribute or deescalate depending on how I respond. Sounds like you do too and you've mostly focused on deescalating and avoiding situations where your H can be a duck. But I also truly think this is work that your H (and mine) need to do for themselves and the relationship. It isn't enough for our Hs to end their As and come back to the M. They need to look hard at their behaviors and patterns that contributed to the difficulties in your M to begin with, and make those hard changes themselves in support of the M.

Originally Posted by wayfarer
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.

This is great. You got this, WF. I guess my main advice to you is you keep speaking up, to stop doing all the emotional labor for the entire family, get into MC so that there is a third trained party helping him to see that he may need to make some changes too for the good of the relationship, that Ms are hard work and he needs to own his behaviors, stop blaming others, and also understand the impact that his behaviors have on other people. You've been so good at focusing on yourself, your 180s, your own struggle with depression and growth and forgiveness. But for an R to work, he ALSO has to do all the hard work not just to repair the rift between you caused by the A, but to be a better partner and H in the future. (I think so at least.)

xx M

Me (46) H (42)
M:14 T:18, D9 & D11
4/19 - 12/19: series of escalating BDs
9/20 - present: R and piecing