Does anyone else struggle with this?
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22-10-2013, 04:52 PM
RE: Does anyone else struggle with this?
Does anyone along with their partner ever seek out counselling? Many people I know have this idea a counsellor tells them what to do. Wrong but they will ask questions to make you think and come up with your own answers. They will also direct the line of questioning so it flows rather than be all over the map. It is so worth it. Unfortunately, too many men see it as being weak, that they can handle their own affairs and sadly it doesn't work.
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23-10-2013, 10:25 AM
RE: Does anyone else struggle with this?
EA:

Be mindful that if a decision is made, and truly is final, don't drag it out too long. And remember, don't make any decisions out of pity, guilt, etc. Make decisions out of strength and courage. A lot of people only regret the bad decisions they made when they see the result - but as soon as the result is gone, go back to making bad decisions. At that point the grief isn't really real - its a form of emotional manipulation. Be very weary of feeling pity for him. If he doesn't own his role in the result, he really doesn't see reality.

If the decision isn't final - yeah I would seek counseling. That is another thing I've used in the past to help me make my final decision.

Don't sell yourself short Judge, you're an incredible slouch.

Martin Luther was the "father" of two movements - The Reformation and Nazism.
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25-10-2013, 09:03 AM (This post was last modified: 25-10-2013 09:09 AM by Escape Artist.)
RE: Does anyone else struggle with this?
Well, I had some stuff in mind that I was going to add to this thread, but I feel like writing something else, so...

We went to the movies last night and I enjoyed myself. We thought it was going to be Night of the Living Dead, the old b&w version - and it was - but it was a riffing thing where a few guys talked over the movie and pointed out funny stuff, made fun of the characters, etc. So it wasn't what I had expected, but it was fun. See, sometimes I'll do this thing where I'll just kind of zone out and pretend that I'm on my own, that it's just me who's gone out for a fun night and then I can relax, until I see him smiling over at me, probably thinking I'm having fun with him when I'm really having fun in spite of him. That's what happened last night.

This morning, as we were driving in to work (we've got just the one vehicle right now), he reached over and held my hand and I just kind of cringed inside. I remember seeing this couple walking into the movie last night and they were flirting and holding hands, genuinely enjoying being affectionate with one another and for me it's either that I cringe with him or else I somehow stuff that and enjoy the affection at face value (in other words, while I enjoy the sensations themselves, I don't necessarily appreciate that it's coming from him - I'd rather it be someone else that I really want to touch me and that I want to touch in return).

And he's crowding me so much. I'm gone from the room for five seconds and he's asking the kids, "Where's momma?" and I can't stand it. I just want to be alone so bad sometimes. It's easier when I'm away from him because then I don't have to pretend or whatever.

I do feel sorry for him. Sorry that he didn't see how bad things were and fix them accordingly sooner. Sorry that I somehow made him think things were getting better and were back on track when I've never been convinced of that myself. I think I just kind of stuffed things for a while, which was easy given that we were moving and getting the kids settled into a new school.

Something I haven't mentioned here is that, somewhere along the road, I was falling in love (or maybe I fell all the way, who knows?) with one of his good friends. I think at that point, I was either already out of love with my husband or very close to it. When I was in love with my husband I might have thought other men were cute or sweet or whatever, but it never went past that. With this guy, I really fell for him. I'd get so excited every time we'd all make plans to hang out together, would fuss over my hair and stuff even more than usual, and well... you know the drill, I guess. I don't even know why I'm talking about that right now except maybe to illustrate how bad things got for me. It was a good thing, in a way, falling for this guy because at one point I'd thought I couldn't love anyone else the way I loved my husband. Now I know differently and I could move forward with the confidence that there really probably is someone else out there for me.

I've never told my husband that I fell in love with his friend, though I don't know how he wouldn't have known. But I have told him that I don't love him the way I used to. Hell, maybe I don't love him at all anymore. I don't hate him, at least, but is that really love? I dunno. It feels more neutral than anything. I've told him that, given the way things went with my mom, I don't know that I'll ever love him the same way again and that if that is the case, I'm done. I don't want to be married to someone that I just feel neutral toward. I just don't. He's said that it'll just take time, but I asked him for a divorce in January of this year and my love for him died long before that. I still feel young now, still feel confident I could make a brand new start, but the longer I wait, the less I'll feel that way and the more trapped I'll feel.

When I talk about needing time alone, he says that I don't need to be alone so much, because when he's alone, that's when bad thoughts come creeping in. It's almost like he wants me to distract myself from it. And he's pulling out all the stops in trying to get me to stay. He surprised me the other day by saying he'd put a deposit on a meet-and-greet package for a Chris Cornell concert. I mean, this is something I'd love to do, but I wish he hadn't done that because I don't feel right accepting gifts from someone that I think about leaving half the time.

I wonder if you're right and my mind is already made up, and that I'm just worried about other things. Practical things. I worry about where the kids will go once we split - he's a better disciplinarian than I am, so I worry the kids would run amok if I got primary custody of them, but I'm better at helping with homework and being understanding (he has a bit of a temper at times). I worry about where I'll live - I make decent money but nothing fancy, so I worry that once I tell him I'm well and truly done that he'll leave me in the lurch with a rent payment and car payment I can't afford. I worry that even if he sticks it out with me until June (when our lease is up) that he'll spend all the time up until then trying to win me over. I know if I can hold onto the things I want, the hopes I have for the future, then that can get me through until June, could keep me strong so I wouldn't give him false hope due to sympathy for him. And I'm sure that really taking stock of my budget and looking into different apartments, vehicles, will go a long way in helping me feel more confident about the money situation. I've no idea where the money to fund a divorce will come from - we're already in the process of bankruptcy (hasn't been filed yet, we're just making payments until we reach the full amount in order to file, and I know that we'll have to file differently if we divorce, so I've got that to look into), but I'm hoping that I can make payments toward it. And honestly, the economy around here isn't so bad that I couldn't get a second job if I needed it for awhile.

I mean, I can see why he wants to hold onto me, despite my (to my reckoning) not being all that much fun to be around at present. I've always thought I was a good wife to him, and everyone else around him let him know it, too. It's impossible to count the number of times that his friends or family told him how lucky he was to have me, how he ought to straighten up (money-wise and otherwise) because if he wasn't careful, he'd mess around and lose me. It's like he didn't believe them, didn't think I'd ever stand up for myself or walk out on him. That frustrates me because, while we'd committed to each other in marriage, I never felt like I was guaranteed his love. I worked hard to make him happy, to stay looking nice and fixed up, because I knew that there were a lot of other women out there and it didn't matter if he and I were married or not, I needed to remind him of why he should stay, needed to give him good reasons to stay. Sometimes I think I ought to leave just to prove to him - and to myself - that I can stand up for myself, that I do deserve better, that he had every opportunity to do right by me, and he didn't and so now the consequences are to lose me forever. That feels fair to me, feels right. But that doesn't mean it isn't difficult to see that he seems to be genuinely sorry for his actions (and largely, his inactions), because it is. I want to be the kind of person who can truly forgive and forget, but at the same time, I'm only human and sometimes it just seems too far gone to save.

Takelababy, we did do some counseling - he did a few sessions on his own and then I went to one wherein the counselor basically told me that men are stupid and that that was the reason why my husband didn't treat me as I thought I deserved to be. Needless to say, that pissed me the fuck off. I didn't go back and neither did he, for money reasons, but I am not against counseling. I just don't know that someone could "counsel" my feelings back. When the trust has been broken so badly, how can someone convince you to open your heart to that person again?

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25-10-2013, 09:34 AM
RE: Does anyone else struggle with this?
Your tale reminds me of a song, "Heart Like a Wheel".

"Some say a heart is just like a wheel,
when you bend it, you can't mend it."





Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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28-10-2013, 09:55 PM
RE: Does anyone else struggle with this?
Yep, I knew there was something that had happened. Something was pulling you toward leaving.

I would avoid indulging in feelings of revenge e.g. to leave to "show" him anything, or pity - guilt about his efforts now. If you try to rebuild the marriage, then do so out of strength and courage. If to leave, then leave out of strength and courage. But - you are processing everything correctly, there is nothing to be said. These are the decision points you need to face, and you are facing them head-on.

Good work, keep at it.

Don't sell yourself short Judge, you're an incredible slouch.

Martin Luther was the "father" of two movements - The Reformation and Nazism.
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30-10-2013, 09:19 AM
RE: Does anyone else struggle with this?
Skippy,

You know how, in that other thread I made, you said that for men everything goes through the rationality filter? Well, for me, everything goes through the "feelings" filter. So while, rationally I can sit here and recognize that he's doing all the things I would've wanted him to do for so long and that that should be enough, should be all the reason I'd need to stay, it goes through the feelings filter.

The feelings filter sees all those things he's doing and is analyzing each and every one for a "ping" of emotion. It gets pinged as either evoking a positive or a negative emotion. Many of the things he's doing are either pinging as neutral, as having no detectable effect on me - like I could care less whether he does it now or not - or they ping as negative. They register as resentment ("Well that's great, but he didn't do it before" and "Why didn't he do it before?") or as anger ("Well it's a fine time to be changing now when I've had it in my head for so long that my only true path to happiness is without you"). So it's not going so well.

You had kind of an "aha" moment there where you said you knew there was something pulling me away from him. The only reason I didn't mention that guy that I pretty much fell for was that when it was all happening, I got very worried that I'd go out and do something stupid if ever he approached me for sex, and plus I felt guilty. I called up a friend and cried to her over the phone and told her how bad I felt about it and yet how drawn I felt to this guy. She told me to try and stay away from him as much as possible and not let it go anywhere, that it wouldn't turn out good. So, in addition to not going along with my husband when he would hang out with this guy, I tried to (whenever I did see him or even just think about him) come up with things I DIDN'T like about him. Things that irritated me. I found that concentrating on those things helped me break away. It wasn't immediate and there are of course some residual feelings there but it's not nearly what it was. Not at all. So I guess I just didn't think of it as being pertinent, other than the things I told you - that it helped me to see I could love someone else. Besides, if things ended with me and my husband, would I go straight to this guy's arms? No. He has some habits that I don't necessarily want to be involved with or have my kids around. And, after looking at his personality traits more objectively, I can see that maybe we wouldn't suit each other all that well, anyway.

But anyway, I appreciate your saying that I'm on the right track. So often I feel like I'm not.

I do see what you're saying about moving forward in courage and strength either way. At least, I think I do. What I believe you're saying is that (like you said before) I need to go ahead and move forward with my life, go after those things I want (including the things that would require his participation) and see if he decides to come along with me. If he doesn't, then the decision is made, as you said. I guess what I worry about is that even if he does everything I'd like to do (which would require him to go way outside what I believe is his comfort zone sexually) that it may not make a difference. The feelings filter may still ping back negative or neutral. I'd feel bad at that point, if that happened, because as a man he's probably sending everything through the rationality filter, and he will see that he's done everything I asked and that it isn't enough. It won't make sense to him. I'd feel bad for wasting his time like that. He has a tendency to, if I'm not being cold or indifferent toward him, think that things are on the mend, and that bothers me. I wouldn't want him to think, say a year or so from now, that things are on the up and up and that we're going forward into a future together and then me pull the rug out from under him. Surely he'd feel like he'd been played? I don't want to do that, not even to him.

Alright well, just some more thoughts I'm putting out there. Later.

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31-10-2013, 11:25 PM
RE: Does anyone else struggle with this?
Stop being responsible for his feelings and happiness. Start being responsible for your feelings and happiness. Stop thinking about he will deal with ..... whatever. Seek your happiness, and if he comes along, and you fall in love with him again, great. If not, tough shit. Either way, you get what you want anyway.

You spend a lot of time focused on him - what he is and isn't doing. It's good to note progress he is making toward meeting your requests, but it seems like more than that. It seems like you have had a life of focusing yourself on him, but now that you aren't enthralled with him, you are thinking about building your life around someone else. This may be a gender difference thing - (between you and I) - but what about building a life around you and using the law of attraction to bring along whoever wants to live that life with you?

Whatever happens, you don't want to go into another relationship, build your life around that guy, and then go through the same thing right? Build your life around you - then you will always be attractive to the opposite sex. They will crave your attention, but not always get it. That's how I do it. Maybe its different for men? Being selfish was the best thing I ever learned. Positively selfish. I give good head because I want and expect good head, etc. I had a girlfriend who only wanted to receive and not give, I bolted. She's negatively selfish. That's what I mean.

Don't sell yourself short Judge, you're an incredible slouch.

Martin Luther was the "father" of two movements - The Reformation and Nazism.
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