Marriage Advocates

Am I still a doormat?

Posted By: holdingontoit

Am I still a doormat? - 09/22/16 01:51 PM

Mrs. Hold has an amazing opportunity. As most of you know, she had cancer last year. Surgery. Chemo. Radiation. The whole ugly intrusive course of medicine. But it seems to have worked. She has a scan in a few weeks that will hopefully show no signs of cancer.

A good female friend of hers just got divorced. Part of her settlement was a bunch of frequent flyer miles that expire at the end of December. She invited Mrs. Hold to go on an expensive vacation paid for with the expiring miles.

Mrs. Hold loves to travel. I can't afford to take her on lots of fancy trips and when we weren't getting along so well I did not enjoy going alone with her so for a number of years we only went away with the kids. She is really excited about going.

She discussed it with me and at first I was opposed. You know, all the MB things about time together and protection against cheating and all that. The friend is not a "party girl" but she is recently divorced and might be looking for some positive affirmations. She is available and Mrs. Hold isn't. And guys are going to circle around two attractive unattached females.

Then again, the trip is in December and that is my busy season at work and Mrs. H and I don't see much of each other that month anyway. So a couple of weeks of her having fun and me bearing down at work is not such a bad idea.

We had a long talk about situations and protecting yourself. Similar to the talk we had with D19. I told D19 "never leave a party alone with a boy unless you intend to have sex with him, because once he gets you alone late at night he might not take no for an answer - especially if you both have been drinking." So I told Mrs. H no getting walked back to her hotel room. Take an Uber and no sharing with him. If he is staying in the same hotel, do not get in the same elevator alone. Make up an excuse why you need a bellhop to come to your room and go to the font desk and get one. She looked at me like I am crazy to think she would cheat or that she has any interest in another man. I told her it is not her level of interest that worries me, it is his.

Finally, I told her: if anything happens, I do NOT want to know. That is a secret you take to your grave. Do not feel entitled to unburden your conscience at my expense. You did the crime, you do the time by having it eat away at you ever waking moment of every day for the rest of your life. I told her that seems like a fair punishment to me.

I am so torn about whether I am being a fabulous husband by letting her go or being a wimpy doormat.
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 09/22/16 02:01 PM

You had a serious conversation with her. I don't find that wimpy at all.

Kudos to you for being brave enough to set some good guidelines.

I recall that movie, Taken. The one about the father whose daughter went with a friend to Paris? She and her mom lied about that trip and it cost her friend her life. She in turn had an experience that would scar anyone's life with the one who rescued her was the very one she tried to fool.

I'd say any warning should be given.

Then again, I have a 21 year old in my home......you can imagine the talks I give him. LOL!!!!

I think you did just fine. smile

jmo,
Orchid
Posted By: Miranda

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 09/22/16 02:05 PM

Hold

I don't know what to tell you. I'd just let mine go with a "free pass" and move on with my life. It would be easier for me that way, knowing that I'd advocated "whatever" and it was one and done.

But we all know I'm batshyte crazy. <shrug>
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 09/22/16 04:24 PM

Miranda: I am already turning her down for sex when she offers. If I give her a "hall pass", I would be sending the message that I don't care who she sleeps with. That I am in some ways "done" with her. I want to stay married to her. I don't want her to think otherwise. I don't want her to think that any part of me is hoping she will have an affair so I have an excuse to divorce her. We all know that people in unhappy marriages make up all kinds of crazy stories in their heads. Lord knows I have. I don't want her making up a story to herself that "no means yes".
Posted By: Miranda

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 09/22/16 04:35 PM

Good point Hold.

My long history of not caring about monogamy has an odd impact on my views
Posted By: NewEveryDay

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 09/22/16 05:28 PM

Hold I think you view your W through a sexualized lens. I've been a single lady traveling to things for years and I don't even flirt much much less this ONS situation you're talking about. Your W is a rape survivor who provided survivor support for years, she's not sending signals out when she's away from you. Nor would she want to be unfaithful to you, you always say how much she admires you and is happy she's with you.
Posted By: Oblivious2678

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 09/22/16 05:28 PM

I don't think you are a doormat. You had the serious conversation and expressed your feelings. One of your feelings is exactly how I feel when it comes to my wife and her trips: The level of interest by the other men.

You're standing true to your beliefs. Do you think that you are second guessing being a doormat because you really want to give into having sex with her?
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 09/22/16 06:26 PM

NED: I would be less concerned if she were travelling alone. I am concerned that her newly divorced friend may not be as anxious to send "leave me alone" signals as Mrs. H is. Mrs H will feel pressure not to be a total wet blanket and shoo away the attention that her friend is attracting. Now the predatory men are circling. My wife may fully intend to remain aloof, but if they go to a bar or to a nightclub and her friend is chatting with a man or dancing with a man, that leaves my wife in an awkward position. As we all know, sometimes "things happen" when the eventual WS did not intend for them to happen. If you don't have your eyes open and your radar on to detect when the ground starts tilting downward, you might find yourself much farther down the slippery slope that you realized.

Obliv: I would love to have sex with her, but only under certain conditions. I have not hidden those feelings.

I have told her I am willing to have sex if the goal is a mutual interactive experience. I am not interested in using her as a masturbatory aid. Occasional "duty sex" is OK and a gesture of love. Exclusively starfish sex is unappetizing. It doesn't have to be blazing fireworks initially. But it has to be a process of exploration with the goal of it eventually having her derive some pleasure other than purely a reflection of my enjoyment. Because if she never gets anything out of it, then at this point, neither do I.
Posted By: Oblivious2678

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 09/22/16 06:57 PM

Hold, I totally feel your anxiety about this, believe me I do, but it's one of those situations where you have to trust her judgement. She's a grown woman.

Your explanation about sex, the feeling, the meaning, the enjoyment...totally on the same page as you here too.

You are definitely not a doormat. I see you as a man who knows what he wants, is now wearing it on his sleeve, and communicates it in a civil, caring manner.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 09/22/16 07:19 PM

Obliv: That is why I did not throw a tantrum and demand that she not go. Nevertheless, given her history on the financial side, there is a limit on how far I trust her. She has willpower. She has used it to lose weight and keep it off. Whether she will choose to exercise that willpower in the face of temptation is another question. In the financial arena she often does not.

The point of my talking to her was to turn on her radar so that, when she has decided not to be a stick in the mud and be "fun" and go with divorced friend to a bar or nightclub, she realizes she is already a few steps down the slope so that "can I walk you to your room?" is properly seen as "one step too far" and not "the first step and no big deal". I want a voice in her head to be saying when she walks into the bar "I promised Hold I would go this far and no farther".

And I will be honest. Part of the reason I want that is because, if she does slip and something happens, I want her to feel good and guilty and not be able to console herself that she couldn't have seen it coming or that she owes it to me to tell me the truth. As I have said often, I am no angel. I want her to know darn well as she slides down the slope "this is going to be really bad when I get home because he told me not to tell him and keeping it a secret is going to tear me up inside."
Posted By: Oblivious2678

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 09/22/16 07:25 PM

Holy shinola it's scary how much we think alike. whistle
Posted By: TC_Manhattan

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 09/22/16 07:29 PM

Hold, I would never want to play you in chess.. eek

You are too astute, and really know how to see 5 moves in advance.

Wow.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 09/22/16 08:22 PM

TC: Thanks. The plotting actually extends farther. I didn't even share with you the end game after she comes back. It is a scene from LG's most terrifying horror movie. But I fear it might reflect badly on me for even considering it so I might decide that discretion is the better part of valor and keep it to myself. Plus I don't want LG to have nightmares.
Posted By: catperson

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 09/23/16 02:10 AM

Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
Miranda: I am already turning her down for sex when she offers. If I give her a "hall pass", I would be sending the message that I don't care who she sleeps with. That I am in some ways "done" with her. I want to stay married to her. I don't want her to think otherwise. I don't want her to think that any part of me is hoping she will have an affair so I have an excuse to divorce her. We all know that people in unhappy marriages make up all kinds of crazy stories in their heads. Lord knows I have. I don't want her making up a story to herself that "no means yes".
Why can't you just tell her this?

fwiw, I'd think your wife is the LAST person on earth to succumb to the wiles (sp?) of some strange man and end up in his bed on that trip.

If anything, this trip and her recovery might just be the jumpstart your marriage needs.
Posted By: NewEveryDay

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 09/23/16 04:14 AM

Quote:
Finally, I told her: if anything happens, I do NOT want to know. That is a secret you take to your grave. Do not feel entitled to unburden your conscience at my expense. You did the crime, you do the time by having it eat away at you ever waking moment of every day for the rest of your life. I told her that seems like a fair punishment to me.


Hold, also, if my then-H said this when we were together, it would have made me feel insecure, was he trying to tell me he'd been [Bleep!] around the whole time when he was going out of town on business?
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 09/23/16 05:09 AM

Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
TC: Thanks. The plotting actually extends farther. I didn't even share with you the end game after she comes back. It is a scene from LG's most terrifying horror movie. But I fear it might reflect badly on me for even considering it so I might decide that discretion is the better part of valor and keep it to myself. Plus I don't want LG to have nightmares.


Going to hold off forming an opinion on this matter at this time.

While I agree with much of what you are feeling, we may be processing this differently.

Hold, I respect and would like to continue to do so but your post above bring up some concerns.

Hope your W has a safe and fun trip then able to return home to share her memories with you. Good memories that is. smile

jmo,
Orchid
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 09/23/16 01:27 PM

Cat: I did tell her all this. I am not worried about her, I am worried about them and want her alarm system activated. And I do think the trip is good for her, which is why I agreed to spend the money to make it possible. Despite our mountain of credit card debt and the fact that she will miss 3 weeks of work and need extra spending money when she gets back. it is not free for us even if her friend covers all the hotel costs. This is still going to cost us several thousand dollars.

NED: Good point. She has expressed similar feelings. I will pay attention and reassure her that there has been no misbehavior on my part. Because there hasn't been.

Orchid: Don't worry, the end game will almost certainly not be needed. And it is not a threat of physical punishment, financial mistreatment, or anything so dire. If she confesses to having cheated (and be clear, I don't think she will cheat, and I don't think she would tell me if she did), then I would tell her I do not intend to divorce her. I would tell her I intend to stay with her to serve as a daily reminder of how much she hurt me. Or we can call the kids and tell them Dad is divorcing Mom because she cheated on him while away on vacation. Her choice. Like I said, LG's worst nightmare. My point to TC was not to focus on what my end game is. Was just telling him that I don't plan my moves out 5 steps ahead. I plot it out farther than that.

Guys, I honestly don't worry that she is seeking to meet someone else or that she would have sex with anyone else. I honestly believe she finds the thought of having sex with another man disgusting. As I told her, the idea of these conversation is not to accuse her. It is to warn and protect her. She may not have any intentions to do wrong. But the guys who are going to be circling her may well have intentions of trying to trick or entice her into straying. And she has been "out of circulation" for a long time and is not used to being at bars or nightclubs without me and without being in a large group of women. The dynamic with only 1 or 2 women at a bar is different than with your H or with a large group, and I want her to be aware and on guard. Just like we warned our D before college of several situations she may well find herself in and how to respond. Forewarned is forearmed. Instead of thinking "how nice this guy is being, what a gentleman", I want her to think "OMG he is doing exactly what Hold said he would do to try and worm his way into my confidence". I do not care if she is "unfair" to or "mistreats" some guy with honorable intentions. I want to make sure she escapes the clutches of anyone who has dishonorable intentions. Extraordinary protections is my mantra.
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 09/23/16 06:58 PM

Hold,

Thanks for your clarification. Seems you have some boundaries in place and have outline what it might be like to enforce them. I get that.

Still you also stated the financial burden looms as part of your decision and like many of us it plays a vital role on how to proceed while sticking to our boundaries. It is a delicate rope to walk.

Take care,
Orchid
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/11/16 01:56 PM

I am very blessed.. My wife loves me very much. Yesterday Mrs. Hold bought me bread and rolls. I know that her buying me the kinds of food that she cannot eat (carbs are her downfall weight-wise) and having it in the house to tempt her is her way of showing how much she cares about me. She is trying to show her love in the most meaningful way she can. Intellectually, I know this.

But last night I came home from work early and after dinner got into bed to watch tv with her. I reached out to caress her arm. She shrank away and recoiled in discomfort. I know she loves me. But when you reach out to your spouse and they recoil from your touch, it hurts. It hurts ALOT. I know it shouldn't. I know she doesn't do it to hurt me. She can't help it. It is a reflexive movement. But it still hurts.

We don't have sex. My choice. So she isn't recoiling in fear that touch will lead to sex. She simply does not enjoy my touch. Sometimes she tolerates it. But she never seeks it out.

I am staying. My choice. I know what staying entails. I am getting things from staying that I greatly desire, so to me it is worth it. I intend to remain with her forever. I just wish sometimes that it didn't hurt so much.

Tonight the Day of Atonement begins. I feel very guilty for feeling this way. This post is intended as part of my expiation for not more fully embracing my situation. I have much to feel thankful about. If I choose to focus on what is missing, that too is my choice.
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/11/16 04:15 PM

Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
I am very blessed.. My wife loves me very much. Yesterday Mrs. Hold bought me bread and rolls. I know that her buying me the kinds of food that she cannot eat (carbs are her downfall weight-wise) and having it in the house to tempt her is her way of showing how much she cares about me. She is trying to show her love in the most meaningful way she can. Intellectually, I know this.

But last night I came home from work early and after dinner got into bed to watch tv with her. I reached out to caress her arm. She shrank away and recoiled in discomfort. I know she loves me. But when you reach out to your spouse and they recoil from your touch, it hurts. It hurts ALOT. I know it shouldn't. I know she doesn't do it to hurt me. She can't help it. It is a reflexive movement. But it still hurts.

We don't have sex. My choice. So she isn't recoiling in fear that touch will lead to sex. She simply does not enjoy my touch. Sometimes she tolerates it. But she never seeks it out.

I am staying. My choice. I know what staying entails. I am getting things from staying that I greatly desire, so to me it is worth it. I intend to remain with her forever. I just wish sometimes that it didn't hurt so much.

Tonight the Day of Atonement begins. I feel very guilty for feeling this way. This post is intended as part of my expiation for not more fully embracing my situation. I have much to feel thankful about. If I choose to focus on what is missing, that too is my choice.


Sorry Hold. I know that is painful. You are a great man for remaining loyal to her and focusing on the good when you can.
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/11/16 07:20 PM

Hold,

I read your posts and feel your suffering. The uncomfortable position our choices in marriage have put us in. Some of it was our contribution but if we have made our personal improvements to the best of our abilities, enough so that we are comfortable with who we are and still we are made to settle for less or don't feel wanted, then life doesn't have that 'happily ever after' affect.

In fact most R or M's don't have the 'happily ever after' affect, that's fantasy for the most part. Y? Because we are not perfect.

Still the current condition of your M is more than not being perfect. There are some strong feelings translating into actions or non-actions of which both you and your W have accepted. Not wanted maybe but accepted.

I can relate. Sad to say, my H (former WS) has made choices that have hurt and saddened our M as well. He knows it and chooses to continue as such. He periodically does do nice things but that is not what he is known for. Y? Because he is known for not caring vs caring. In his case he displays characteristics of narcissism even if on a mild basis.

Ever watch the movie Blended with Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore? I saw only the 2nd half last night but the scene where her XH comes to babysit the kids and Adam Sandler shows up and the XH pretends he and Drew's character are reconciling, then skipping out on their son's baseball game is a prime example of how a narcissistic person can show up in our lives.

Your R with your W maybe for different reasons. That plus the article I posted in the Thunderdome forum about identifying a narcissist was quite revealing to me. It sort of put a clearer definition to what I have been experiencing and witnessing for years. frown

I'm glad you are able to post your feelings. It has been helpful to me.

Thanks,
Orchid
Posted By: AntigoneRisen

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/19/16 06:35 PM

Has Mrs. HOI ever done anything to cause you not to trust her with her friends?

See, having healthy lives means being able to do some things independently. I'm really not seeing the issue with her going, honestly, so I'm wondering from where your distrust stems? Did she do something that destroyed trust in this arena...or is it more of your insecurity?
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/19/16 06:56 PM

No use beating a dead horse. She is going. I warned her to be on the lookout for vultures circling. As you say, she is a grown woman and knows how to deflect male attention if she wants to deflect it. Now that her radar is turned on she won't be caught unawares.

Anyway, I don't think she has ever been as happy to be married to me as she is now. She never displayed this level of pleasure with our relationship when dating or during honeymoon. when she talks about going away, she keeps saying that she wishes I could go with her.

As I said before, I am not worried about her wanting someone else. I am worried about her newly divorced friend wanting some male attention and Mrs. Hold being too nice to be a wet blanket toward the person who is paying for her cruise. And as we all know, once you involve alcohol and being alone with a man, it ceases to be solely a question of the woman's autonomy.

Has she recently gone out with a group of female friends and gotten drunk and silly? Yes. But with a group. Less chance of being pulled away from a group. Here it is just Mrs. Hold and the divorcee. If the divorcee decides to take a man back to her cabin, now Mrs. Hold is alone and drunk on a cruise ship. At that point, it is not her I distrust.

I am not drawing any fixed boundaries here. There are no limits on what we have agreed she can do. She is a big girl and she can decide for herself. I have just told her that if she chooses foolishly, don't confess to me. And if she confesses to me, I am not giving her the easy way out. I will stay with her and hold it over her head for the rest of her life.

Yes, I know, not a very pro-relationship way of communicating. Yes, allows some of my underlying hostility to leak out. "Leak" is being generous to me. I don't care. Which part of "I have no intention of doing any further work to resolve my conflicted feelings toward her" have I not been crystal clear about? She knows I have underlying hostility. She knows where the door is.

I know how much she loves to travel. I know we wouldn't be able to afford this for a couple of decades, if ever. I am glad she has this opportunity to indulge her lust for travel and adventure. But I know once the dopamine kicks in, people's boundaries tend to loosen. So I warned her to be on the lookout for that.

Otherwise I hope she has a great time. She will come home happy and excited. She will thank me for not objecting to her going. She will be even more thrilled to be married to a wonderful guy like me. Hey, I have to give her some reason to stay despite my underlying hostility. I am a fool, but I am an exceedingly aware and calculating fool.
Posted By: TC_Manhattan

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/19/16 07:19 PM

Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
I am a fool, but I am an exceedingly aware and calculating fool.


Yes, you are! thumbsup angelhorns
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/19/16 07:23 PM

On a more purely uplifting note, Mrs. H had a lung scan that showed no new nodules and no growth of the nodules she had last time. So it looks like the cancer did not spread to her lungs. And they said you can see a clear line where the radiation affected her tissue, so it apparently "worked" to blast the most rapidly dividing cells in her armpit. Good news.
Posted By: Miranda

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/19/16 07:24 PM

That is WONDERFUL news. Thanks for sharing it with us Hold.
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/19/16 07:36 PM

Yes that is great news
Posted By: Oblivious2678

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/19/16 08:13 PM

Very happy to read this! thumbsup
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/19/16 09:37 PM

Originally Posted By: Oblivious2678
Very happy to read this! thumbsup


Ditto!!!! thumbsup
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/19/16 09:48 PM

Thanks everyone. I very much appreciate the support.
Posted By: TC_Manhattan

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/20/16 12:09 AM

Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
On a more purely uplifting note, Mrs. H had a lung scan that showed no new nodules and no growth of the nodules she had last time. So it looks like the cancer did not spread to her lungs. And they said you can see a clear line where the radiation affected her tissue, so it apparently "worked" to blast the most rapidly dividing cells in her armpit. Good news.


Great news!

Is this her 1st anniversary since diagnosis? That is a huge milestone.

The timing of her cruise may just be a perfect reward to mark it.

Go, Hold!! clapping
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/20/16 05:37 AM

Really grand news, Hold!
Posted By: NewEveryDay

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/20/16 12:34 PM

Quote:
As I said before, I am not worried about her wanting someone else. I am worried about her newly divorced friend wanting some male attention and Mrs. Hold being too nice to be a wet blanket toward the person who is paying for her cruise. And as we all know, once you involve alcohol and being alone with a man, it ceases to be solely a question of the woman's autonomy.

Has she recently gone out with a group of female friends and gotten drunk and silly? Yes. But with a group. Less chance of being pulled away from a group. Here it is just Mrs. Hold and the divorcee. If the divorcee decides to take a man back to her cabin, now Mrs. Hold is alone and drunk on a cruise ship. At that point, it is not her I distrust.


This statement is depressing as heck. One of Mrs. H's life missions has been providing rape survivor post-crisis care, so unless she is an alcoholic I wouldn't see her indulging to the point that someone could take advantage of her. Maybe there is something I'm missing, but I would think that would be the opposite of attractive to her.

And I didn't go on girl trips when I was married, but if I did, if my then-H gave me a speech like you did, suggesting that I would drink to excess because I am comfortable giving away my decision-making, knowing my story, I would be deeply upset and offended. To be honest, it's very hard personally to read what you said and tamp down the lump in my chest at what you're implying. I get that my response is about me, not about you, but we're friends so I thought I'd share.

Did I share with you my cruise story? When B and I were married, I always wanted to go on a cruise, had a coworker who got all the rest of the coworkers deep discounts, and had wonderful experiences. But B said we couldn't afford it. The summer after our divorce went through, he booked a $1200 trip for him and the kids on the Oasis of the Seas. Not discounted. So clearly "we" had the money all along. And then asked me if I wanted to go. I talked to you all here, and decided yes I'm there! But he didn't add me. So I called Royal Caribbean, said I was Mrs. B, would you please add me to the reservation, and they did, for $149. He was mad at that moment, but we all had an amazing time and on the trip he was happy I was there.

I've taken a cruise every year since, and it has been by far the least expensive way to travel. On Carnival, now that you have no kids and can travel any time of the year, you two can book an 11 day cruise from NYC to the Eastern Caribbean for $949 a person. So the question is, is it that you two cannot afford to travel, or do you enjoy saying no to that more?

Edited to add: That is awesome to hear about the lung scan!
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/20/16 01:59 PM

NED: Thanks for sharing your concerns. So many threads to pull apart.

Just last weekend Mrs. H went away with friends from college. All age 50+. One got so drunk that when they got her in a cab to back to the hotel she threw up. I don't think Mrs. H got THAT drunk but she did mention having several shots. She is not a large woman (thanks to WW and her willpower) so it doesn't take much to get her quite tipsy. I am not worried about her getting so drunk that she isn't sufficiently conscious to say "no". I am worried about her getting sufficiently drunk that accepting an offer from a guy to walk her back to her cabin "just to make sure she doesn't get lost" sounds gallant rather than predatory.

I am also worried about the peer pressure from her newly divorced friend. They have been friends since before we met, we attended her wedding to her ex and she attended our wedding, so I know of her, but I do not know her well since we never lived close to each other. I have no idea if she, newly divorced empty-nester and thousands of miles from home, is going to want to sip tea and discuss celebrity gossip or hit the bars and pick up men to prove she "still has it". If she wants to "have a little fun", Mrs. H may feel obliged (remember, her friend paid for the cruise) to go along and sit with her, dance with her, etc. After all these years reading marriage forums, can you tell me I have zero reason to be concerned that such an environment might lead to Mrs. H doing something she didn't walk into the room intending to do?

As for travel, over the past few years we have gone on trips with our kids to several countries and continents. We were going on a tropical vacation with them this winter but are scared of Zika so now we are going to California instead. We visit our kids (both of whom attend college 1000 miles away from us) several times a year. So we have a large travel budget. But if she had her way and we were rich, she would go away to another continent every month.

But I do not want to hide or pretend. I could take her along on more work trips than I do. I am not pushing to make it happen as much as I would if I was happier in our marriage. And yes, I do get a thrill from saying "no" to her. I wish I didn't. But I do. After decades of hearing "no" from her, sometimes I get more of a thrill from saying "no" than I would from doing what she asked to do. So I say "no". Because I can. Funny how I have developed a taste for poison.

We do have financial constraints. Literally tens of thousands of dollars of credit card debt that we roll over every month and have for over a decade. I could very reasonably have said "no" to the cruise on financial grounds (round trip air ticket to get to and from ports was not cheap, shore excursion and alcohol purchases will be on me, and a month without working means she will need extra cash from me when she gets home). But I didn't. Which is why I asked the initial question on this thread.
Posted By: AntigoneRisen

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/20/16 06:02 PM

Awesome news!
Posted By: SFB

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/21/16 07:45 PM

Hold:

I am very happy to hear the news of your W's recent exam. That is always good news.

SFB
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/24/16 01:15 PM

Over the weekend we attended a family event. Mrs. Hold's aunt and uncle were there. Afterward, the aunt texted Mrs. H to compliment me on being a great husband. So while I do drink poison and sometimes say "no" from spite, I do tend to treat Mrs. H well most of the time. On the outside at least. I always thought I would have been an excellent actor if I had chosen that as a career. I guess I was correct.
Posted By: TC_Manhattan

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/24/16 08:08 PM

Hold, you are a hoot.

You remind me so of Silas in The DaVinci Code. eek

There's some mileage you gain out of self-flagellation..

Just revel in the compliment, and your accomplishments.

You are way better than that for which you give yourself credit. razz
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/25/16 01:16 PM

TC: I don't know about that.

Mrs. H mooned me today. It is nice to see her feeling comfortable in her own skin and comfortable enough with me. Back in the bad old days she was always covered neck to ankles and wrists and there was no playfulness. Lately she smiles more when she is with me. I am happy for her.

I wish I could be happy for me. But that is not allowed.
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/25/16 02:52 PM

Hmm.....mooning you is definitely progress!

Lol
Posted By: TC_Manhattan

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/25/16 02:54 PM

Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
I wish I could be happy for me. But that is not allowed.


Perhaps some day you may choose to rewrite the plot.. read
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/25/16 07:48 PM

Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
I wish I could be happy for me. But that is not allowed.


In time, be patient. The sun still shines in your neighborhood, right? At least smile, it makes people wonder what you are up to. smile
Posted By: Miranda

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/25/16 08:03 PM

I have trouble with this too, Hold.

But I actually laughed a little bit this weekend. So it CAN happen. Even for "people like us." Once in a while.

I don't think I'll be making a habit of it or anything. But you never know....
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/25/16 09:05 PM

I am blessed at my age to still have my parents. I will be seeing them later this week. That is wonderful.

I get hugs from Mrs. H far more often than in the past. I don't enjoy them as much as I used to, but that is on me. I am foolish, but not too stupid to realize this is an improvement and something to be cherished. I dreamed of it for many many years. Stupid to spurn it now that it has arrived.

My kids text me every day. Not always good news, but isn't it wonderful that they turn to me and Mrs. H when they are unhappy?

I spread some grass seed on my lawn where the weeds are taking over and some of the seeds sprouted! Fresh new green shoots of grass! I love the look and the smell. The cycle of life goes on.

Much to be thankful for.
Posted By: Miranda

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/25/16 09:19 PM

I'm lousy at the "gratitude" thing. counting blessings, etc, I've always been bad at it.

I try, I really do. But it's just not a gift I have. I come up with things like "my husband isn't dead" :\

If I work super hard at it I can think of the boys, and stuff like that. But there isn't a lot there. I know I have a lot to be grateful for. I know I do. I'm just bad at what my therapist calls "gratitude practice." He says I shouldn't worry about it too much though, because I really live a very positive life, in spite of it. He marvels at that a bit. He attributes it to my really strong resilience. So I'm supposed to just "try" to exercise gratitude, as I can. Because I might get better with practice, and to not beat myself up if I'm not good at it, because it's okay not to be good at everything. smile

I'm grateful for the knowledge that it's okay to be sub par at some stuff. Giving it a solid effort is good too.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/25/16 11:33 PM

Originally Posted By: Miranda
I'm grateful for the knowledge that it's okay to be sub par at some stuff. Giving it a solid effort is good too.


Love that concept. Stop beating myself up for not being good at being grateful.
Posted By: Squeaky Tree

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/26/16 01:20 PM

Great news and I don't think you are a doormat and I think you handled it thoughtfully. What if she does and she does tell you though?
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/26/16 02:17 PM

ST: Thanks. Don't worry, she won't. She is at her core a good hearted person. She knows it will hurt me. She knows I won't leave over it. And she knows that living with me with both of us knowing would be torture for her.

I am not relying on her willpower. I am relying on her self-interest.

Like TC said, I play this chess game many moves out.
Posted By: SFB

No, you are not. - 10/31/16 02:32 PM

Hold:

One day at a time, my friend.

One day at a time.

SFB
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: No, you are not. - 10/31/16 08:43 PM

SFB: Every day we discuss her plans for the trip. What they are doing. What they are packing. Hard to avoid references to the trip.

Each time she reassures me that she wishes I could accompany her, and that she will not be doing anything with other men. I tell her I know she won't. Because she loves me. And because men are yucky. And because I won't leave her over it, and the guilt would eat away at her. Which would force her to divorce me to free herself. At which point the kids would find out. Causing our daughter to disown her.

Sometimes I give her the condensed version: "every time you look at another man, think of how you will feel when you have to tell the kids that you are leaving me because you cheated and you can't stand the guilt."

I know, it would earn me more Love Bank points if I said "I know you would never cheat because you love me and you care about my feelings and you would never hurt me that much." Sorry, but I don't think I could say that with a straight face.
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: No, you are not. - 10/31/16 08:54 PM

Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
SFB: Every day we discuss her plans for the trip. What they are doing. What they are packing. Hard to avoid references to the trip.

Each time she reassures me that she wishes I could accompany her, and that she will not be doing anything with other men. I tell her I know she won't. Because she loves me. And because men are yucky. And because I won't leave her over it, and the guilt would eat away at her. Which would force her to divorce me to free herself. At which point the kids would find out. Causing our daughter to disown her.

Sometimes I give her the condensed version: "every time you look at another man, think of how you will feel when you have to tell the kids that you are leaving me because you cheated and you can't stand the guilt."

I know, it would earn me more Love Bank points if I said "I know you would never cheat because you love me and you care about my feelings and you would never hurt me that much." Sorry, but I don't think I could say that with a straight face.


You just crack me up.
Posted By: TC_Manhattan

Re: No, you are not. - 10/31/16 09:17 PM

In perhaps an odd sort of way, Hold, you are my hero.

You, Sir, are a pragmatic realist with a heart.. wink
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: No, you are not. - 10/31/16 09:45 PM

Hey, she is so excited she is going she brims with joy. How could I deny her that joy?

She is so excited she is going away, while she is home she is willing to go places with me she would never go before. Several nerdy activities that she was "too cool" to go to before, she went with me this past weekend. Because she is trying to show that she loves me and appreciates me. More kissing and holding hands than at any time in our marriage.

This is what I hoped and dreamed of back when we were always at odds. I know this. I just wish I could enjoy it more. I enjoy it, but with a taint. A part of me holds back. I know, only punishing myself for past harms. Stupid, looking gift horse in the mouth.

I know I am foolish, but not in all ways. I ask for nerdy activities, not sex. If I asked for sex, she might hold back on consenting and her hesitation would ruin it for both of us. If I ask her to do nerdy things like see RHPS, she is glad to be able to say yes even if she doesn't expect to enjoy it. It seems she feels she "owes" me, and as long as I ask for her to pay me back in ways besides sex, she feels good about herself when she says yes. Win - win. Last night we were sitting in an old time movie theater full of nerds and she looked at me and smiled and said "you are with your peeps". She realizes she is not "my peeps". But unlike the first 24 years of our marriage, she is now willing to sit next to me and hold my hand when I congregate with my peeps. The nerds dream: not having to go to the Con alone.

So in many ways this is my dream come true.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: No, you are not. - 11/01/16 12:27 AM

Today I got several credit card bills in the mail. Huge balances. Including a big charge that Mrs. H had told me "I splurged". Silly me, when she told me that I foolishly thought she meant out of her earnings. No, she meant she splurged and she charged it to my credit card! As in one night when I went to sleep early because I got up at 5 am to catch the 5:59 train, she grabbed the card out of my wallet and charged it.

I called Mrs. H to say we once again need to work hard on our budgeting. She said OK and hung up.

She called back to say that she did not mean to hang up on me, and we will face this together. Excellent news.

So I told her that I got a huge bonus last year, and we have not paid down our balances much, and we can't expect such large bonuses going forward, so we need to figure out where we can cut back on our lifestyle. I said "for instance, I know you have a big heart and love the kids, but we cannot offer to pay for S21's post-graduation travel or 'buy' a summer internship for D19. So if they ask, please do not offer to pay for it or to ask me if it is ok. Because it isn't." She told me to stop talking to her in that tone (what tone, I was totally calm and matter of fact) and that she could see where this conversation was going and she did not like it.

Decades later, we still cannot talk about money without it immediately being WWIII. Needless to say, she feels "beat up" and I feel alone and without a partner on this issue. In fact, not only do I not see her as being on my team, I don't even see her in the stands rooting for my team. I see her as playing for the opposing team.

I hate hate hate this. I hate that I am back here posting about myself. I hate that we are still fighting about money. I hate to think that I have to go back and lock up my wallet at night. Argh! I just want to scream!
Posted By: TC_Manhattan

Re: No, you are not. - 11/01/16 12:57 AM

Yes, it's back to WWIII, but this time you are far more ready for the conflict.
Your awareness and all you've learned find you in good stead.
Just keep on remembering your boundaries, for this is precisely the reason you are so pragmatic and realistic.

Remember, your lizard stands you in good stead.
Remember your boundaries. Sadly, precisely because of your long history together, you can never allow yourself back into the fog of romantic delusion.

Not with your wife. Not with anyone else you may eventually find yourself with.

The whole point, as you well know, is to save yourself.
As long as you do that, you can continue to glean what small happinesses you may find along the way.

Zebras never change their stripes till they die and the hide rots away.

Hold, you are so insightful.

You are the best!!
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: No, you are not. - 11/01/16 12:58 AM

Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
Today I got several credit card bills in the mail. Huge balances. Including a big charge that Mrs. H had told me "I splurged". Silly me, when she told me that I foolishly thought she meant out of her earnings. No, she meant she splurged and she charged it to my credit card! As in one night when I went to sleep early because I got up at 5 am to catch the 5:59 train, she grabbed the card out of my wallet and charged it.

I called Mrs. H to say we once again need to work hard on our budgeting. She said OK and hung up.

She called back to say that she did not mean to hang up on me, and we will face this together. Excellent news.

So I told her that I got a huge bonus last year, and we have not paid down our balances much, and we can't expect such large bonuses going forward, so we need to figure out where we can cut back on our lifestyle. I said "for instance, I know you have a big heart and love the kids, but we cannot offer to pay for S21's post-graduation travel or 'buy' a summer internship for D19. So if they ask, please do not offer to pay for it or to ask me if it is ok. Because it isn't." She told me to stop talking to her in that tone (what tone, I was totally calm and matter of fact) and that she could see where this conversation was going and she did not like it.

Decades later, we still cannot talk about money without it immediately being WWIII. Needless to say, she feels "beat up" and I feel alone and without a partner on this issue. In fact, not only do I not see her as being on my team, I don't even see her in the stands rooting for my team. I see her as playing for the opposing team.

I hate hate hate this. I hate that I am back here posting about myself. I hate that we are still fighting about money. I hate to think that I have to go back and lock up my wallet at night. Argh! I just want to scream!


Hold that is just unbelievable. I can't believe she actually steals your credit card to buy things she can't afford. Really I am gobsmacked.

I don't know what I would do.
Posted By: Blair

Re: No, you are not. - 11/01/16 01:25 AM

Wow. If money is not there, it should not be spent. And especially not without permission! Put your wallet in a lockbox that only you know the combo to. Do it every day, like your wallet is the addictive substance to your W.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: No, you are not. - 11/01/16 01:31 AM

No, I am the biggest idiot.

We had a "deal". She wanted very badly to go away as a foursome "one more time" during Christmas break before S21 graduates college and (God willing) gets a full time job and may cease to have either the free time or the inclination to travel with his parents and sister. I said I could not afford to take the 4 of us away given all our bills. She proposed that I use miles to get plane tickets, and she would pay for the hotel, food and activities. I said OK. I booked plane tickets with miles and she put a deposit down on an all-inclusive resort.

We picked a tropical place that would be warm in January. But then came Zika and we worried about taking two 20-somethings who had not yet had kids into mosquito-land, so we switched to a US destination. Luckily, the airline gave us our miles back, and Mrs. Hold said her deposit was refundable. So, silly me, I thought the same "deal" held for the US trip. I booked the tickets with miles, and Mrs. H regaled me with stories of the hotel she booked and the tickets she got for activities. Today I got my credit card statement, and lo and behold, the hotel and the tickets were charged to my card!

So apparently I was the only one who thought our "deal" for tropical travel extended to our domestic travel. Silly me. I should have known to ask her "those things sound expensive, how can you afford them?" I should have gone to bed with my wallet in my underwear - no way she goes near it there!

Instead I feel like the world's biggest chump. And we were getting along so well. I should have realized we only get along well when she is busy spending.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: No, you are not. - 11/01/16 01:08 PM

24 hours from the best weekend of our marriage back into Cold War.

I told her I hate it when we don't get along, but we need to discuss finances. I told her we need to cut back, and most especially when the kids call and ask if they can "do x that costs y" she needs to say "sorry, but we have had some big bills lately, and we are in austerity mode, so I wish we could make that happen for you, it sounds wonderful, but we will have to pass on that unless you can pay for it yourself". She told me to stop talking, she gets it, and not to drone on in an authoritarian manner". So I stopped talking.

Then she asked me what she had spent money on lately that I would have cancelled. As in individual items. I said it wasn't any one item, it was the mechanism where she talks to the kids, they get excited about something, and then she comes to me and asks if it is OK. I hate always having to be the bad guy who says no.

She asked me what my role was in this. I said "to earn enough to keep the ship afloat. I got a huge bonus last year. The company is not doing well and I will surely get a smaller one this year. But even with last year's huge bonus, we have not paid down one dollar of our debt. That scares me."

I hate this. It is like PTSD for me. What scares me the most is how I feel about a few items. One, I am happy that Mrs. H and me will not be alone together pretty much any day for the next 2 months. Two, I am happy that we don't have any sex because I would be even more upset if we were. Being happy that you won't see your wife and that you aren't having sex with her is a messed up way to live.

Especially 2 days after the most affectionate weekend we ever had. Talk about going from the mountaintop down to the valley. I am so excitable and reactive. She hates that. She needs me to be calm and stoic. Man we are so perfectly calibrated to drive each other nuts. God must be having quite a chuckle looking down at us.
Posted By: TC_Manhattan

Re: No, you are not. - 11/01/16 02:13 PM

Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
Then she asked me what she had spent money on lately that I would have cancelled. As in individual items. I said it wasn't any one item, it was the mechanism where she talks to the kids, they get excited about something, and then she comes to me and asks if it is OK. I hate always having to be the bad guy who says no.


Okay, here is how I see this dynamic. Mrs. Hold is what Al Turtle calls a passive master. That means she wants the power and control without the responsibility and that's where you fit in. So she uses manipulation to accomplish this. You know this as you've written about this extensively in the past.

I don't believe you can change her, so you have to change yourself, i.e. your approach. You hate being the bad guy in part because she sets you up with the kids to have expectations (that's where they ask her and she doesn't say "no," so they're conned into building their expectations further.) She doesn't tell them "it's not up to me, it's up to your Dad," precisely because this way she maintains control of the dynamic and sets you up to be the baddy, and sets them up to be disappointed. How's that for "two for the price of one?"

I see two things you can do right off. First is to lock up your finances so there is no way she can gain access to money that you have to be responsible to pay back.
This can be harsh, but it is what it is because of her choices. And I would be upfront about telling her what and why you are doing so. Yes, that makes you the bad guy, but it seems like deep inside she has you pegged as such all along anyways, as her way to avoid taking responsibility for her OR you OR the kids.

Secondly, you could/should go straight to your kids and explain matter-of-factly, exactly what happens and how and why. Tell them up front what your financial pickle is and how you need to address that, including that you need them to address any wishes or needs TO YOU, not Mrs. Hold. I'd tell them exactly what you said here, that you hate to have them led to expect something based on what their mother alludes to. Then you end up the bad guy and feel doubly worse because you would truly like to give them what they want, but are being continually set up by their mom.

Hold, I know you want your kids to feel like their parents are wholesome and perfect, at least as far as they are concerned. But, but, but, I don't think they are too young anymore to have an insight into your marital and financial dynamics with your wife. Sets your kids up to have unrealistic expectations of any future relationships they will have with a spouse. Don't fool yourself. I bet your kids have known for a while that your marital dynamics aren't great, so...

level with them. You can do this without making Mrs. sound like a b..ch. Allow them to know the real you and what you struggle with each day of your (married) life. Be vulnerable, and let your kids join you in learning about the realities of life on Mars.

They might learn something. They might avoid headaches in their futures.
They might just give you some fresh ideas of how to cope.
It might just bring the three of you a lot closer.

There is nothing you can do to change your wife.
You can, however, teach (and learn) a lot with your kids.

Don't give up. Rather, think of shifting the paradigm.

Peace. zen
Posted By: Miranda

Re: No, you are not. - 11/01/16 02:14 PM

Hold

I'm SO sorry she went and did that. I cannot believe she did. It well and truly sucks.

Now that I've gotten that out of the way, I'm gonna say something. Dude, you need detachment! Seriously... I've never seen anyone need it more! Except maybe me, back in da day.

You are absolutely correct, you are WAY too excitable and reactive towards her... It's not healthy for you or your marriage.

I have a strong tendency to be the same way. But ya know what? I've started to "quit it" and it's truly magical.

I'm not rock solid at it yet. When I'm overtired, or in a lot of pain, or when Daryl works really hard at getting to me, or when he's physically hurting me, I lose my detachment. But overall I'm 2/3 to 3/4 of the way there. It's really great.

I highly recommend "let go now: embracing detachment" by Karen Casey. Detachment doesn't mean disconnection. In fact it makes it EASIER to connect in a real, genuine loving way. You get to connect without the grinding friction of control and trying to mess with one another's paths. There's incredible freedom to just BE with one another, when you can do it with detachment.

Of course it works best if you can modulate your own anxiety and discomfort. And that means doing your own work, getting good with yourself, owning your shinola, meditation, etc.

But take it a step at a time, do what feels ok to you. It's a process.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: No, you are not. - 11/01/16 02:16 PM

Thanks. Yes, I was planning to have a chat with them when they are home for Thanksgiving. Good idea. Appreciate the help in phrasing this message.
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: No, you are not. - 11/01/16 03:24 PM

Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
Thanks. Yes, I was planning to have a chat with them when they are home for Thanksgiving. Good idea. Appreciate the help in phrasing this message.


And I second that you need to be up front with your kids. That way you can stop being the bad guy with them

I am just sick that Mrs. H seems so money hungry. I just don't understand her. She just survived cancer and she seems to have no appreciation for the good things in life. Like trust from your husband.

Grr.
Posted By: Oblivious2678

Re: No, you are not. - 11/01/16 03:34 PM

I am right along with all of you, but another thought popped into my head...

After things went so right this past weekend with such a tremendous connection, is there also the possibility that it freaked Mrs. H out slightly because of it being out of her comfort zone of what she is used to or what she feels she deserves?

Not sure if I make any sense or I'm talking out my earhole.
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: No, you are not. - 11/01/16 03:43 PM

Originally Posted By: Oblivious2678
I am right along with all of you, but another thought popped into my head...

After things went so right this past weekend with such a tremendous connection, is there also the possibility that it freaked Mrs. H out slightly because of it being out of her comfort zone of what she is used to or what she feels she deserves?

Not sure if I make any sense or I'm talking out my earhole.


I think not. I think things went well because she had just gotten her fix of spending money wildly....
Posted By: TC_Manhattan

Re: No, you are not. - 11/01/16 04:35 PM

I agree with SW.

It's possible that Mrs. H is relaxing back into her baseline personality now that her health scare is somewhat less imminent. She's had some time to heal and distance herself from her health issues of the past year or so.

Plus, with all the warm fuzzies they've shared recently, perhaps she sensed that Hold's guard was down. If so, well, she was right.
Posted By: Chrysalis

Re: No, you are not. - 11/01/16 06:01 PM

I think you could have a full disclosure of family finances with them without casting blame on anyone, or breaking the united front. I do believe that a united front is better for all, if it can be achieved.

2 conversations.

1. Mrs. H, the kids are adults now. It is my intention to open up with them about family finances. They are going to know my income and my prospects, the details of debt, a picture of the budget, in writing, and we are going to be honest with them about the lack of feasibility of expensive travel.

2. Kids, you are adults now. You should know our family finances. We believe that openness with you about this will help you be responsible adults in your own lives. Here it is.

3. This would ideally be followed with disclosure of your end of life preferences and essential information, and a copies of your will and trust papers.

We have done some of this. We put DD29 on the emergency savings account so she would have access to cash in case we became lengthy coroner's cases. (sad experience to blame for that one.) We have discussed our end of life plans and the entire family was in agreement on naming DD29 as executrix and successor trustee. They didn't necessarily like having the discussion but it made them feel a bit more secure. The same with purchase of the funeral plot. The decisions are made, the bill will be paid off within 6 months, nothing to worry about for them. what we haven't done is the full financial disclosure but I am working on that.
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: No, you are not. - 11/01/16 06:09 PM

Originally Posted By: Chrysalis
I think you could have a full disclosure of family finances with them without casting blame on anyone, or breaking the united front. I do believe that a united front is better for all, if it can be achieved.

2 conversations.

1. Mrs. H, the kids are adults now. It is my intention to open up with them about family finances. They are going to know my income and my prospects, the details of debt, a picture of the budget, in writing, and we are going to be honest with them about the lack of feasibility of expensive travel.

2. Kids, you are adults now. You should know our family finances. We believe that openness with you about this will help you be responsible adults in your own lives. Here it is.

3. This would ideally be followed with disclosure of your end of life preferences and essential information, and a copies of your will and trust papers.

We have done some of this. We put DD29 on the emergency savings account so she would have access to cash in case we became lengthy coroner's cases. (sad experience to blame for that one.) We have discussed our end of life plans and the entire family was in agreement on naming DD29 as executrix and successor trustee. They didn't necessarily like having the discussion but it made them feel a bit more secure. The same with purchase of the funeral plot. The decisions are made, the bill will be paid off within 6 months, nothing to worry about for them. what we haven't done is the full financial disclosure but I am working on that.


Yes I agree this approach is excellent. I do believe in honesty about this stuff. A lot of people don't like their kids knowing what they make....maybe because kids talk? I don't know. I know I don't tell ds16 exactly what we make either. More and more I find I need to as he and I have discussions about what it takes to make a living.

Mrs. H. Makes me mad, but I agree don't throw her under the bus with the kids. They probably already know anyway.
Posted By: Chrysalis

Re: No, you are not. - 11/01/16 06:26 PM

I just think it's better to frame it as "now we are trusting you with adult information. We can work on problem solving that impacts you together, all as adults."
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: No, you are not. - 11/01/16 06:51 PM

I live with one of those kind and then some.

Hold, we had to actually cut up and cancel ('cuz one can still use the active # and buy stuff online) all the credit cards (remember he signed my name of 3 or up to 6 of them). I cancelled those forged ones during his A but later we got rid of all the credit cards and haven't had one since 2004.

Y? Because my H thinks mi case tu case. Substitute the case with mola and wahla.....debit for life.

Got out of that but me paying those cards took forever and then some. He really did a number on our credit score and then wonders why buying anything of value like a house is so difficult.

I think part of the problem is their need for greed. A selfish desire that isn't dealt with can show up in other parts of one's life.

I hate that my H's attitude on this matter hasn't fully been resolved. It still plagues us with his inability to make good business choices.

Imo the longer effects of what we may initially see during an A is deep. Getting to root is easier for some than others but for many there appears to be a much deeper source or issue that makes it a huge challenge for them to basically fix themselves for the betterment of themselves and those who care for them. Even for those who don't know them but whose lives they may affect.

Hold, I hope your W can work with you regarding this financial activity. It isn't easy to do without when we think we must have things. In reality we don't need to have things. We need to have each other more. The quality of life we give each other by caring vs buying is more important.

jmo,
Orchid
Posted By: SFB

Re: No, you are not. - 11/01/16 06:54 PM

Hold:

1. Tell your kids what you can afford, and to call you first. If you are going to be the bad guy, might as well be out front with it.

2. Do a Cash advance on Mrs. Hold's card and apply it to your card. If you don't mind the spending when it is on her earnings, than keep those things on her dime.

SFB
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: No, you are not. - 11/01/16 07:17 PM

Thanks guys. I agree it is time to be more open with the kids.

Last time I went on a long work trip, I sent them a list of accounts, insurance policies, etc. "in case anything happened". Freaked them out but I felt good that they would not be clueless if God forbid anything did happen.

No need to go into past history. Just where we are and what we need to do to get to a better place. Which will involve some austerity. Silver lining: gives them more incentive to get a good education, hunt down a good job and earn their own money so they can afford the things that I can't!
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: No, you are not. - 11/03/16 02:25 PM

The great apartness had begun. We will see each other only 1 week in the next 7, and that is Thanksgiving when we will be visiting our parents with the kids. Then she goes on her cruise. Then the kids are home for winter break. Then the "last" family vacation. Then kids go back to college. So no "just the 2 of us" time until middle of January. Two and a half months mostly apart or with kids and parents as buffer. Probably good so I don't explode at her. But more bills will pile up.

I keep thinking of the lines by Dr. Scott during the RHPS floor show. "I have got to be strong, and try to hang on." Except that 3 lines later his fishnets come out and he loses his will. Maybe not the best model to emulate.
Posted By: Miranda

Re: No, you are not. - 11/03/16 03:12 PM

lol, that made me really laugh Hold

If you've eaten Eddie, trying to be strong is just about pointless I think.

It sounds like you two are really running hard about now. Not ideal in any way, but definitely gives you space away from her when you are not her biggest fan.
Posted By: TC_Manhattan

Re: No, you are not. - 11/03/16 04:20 PM

Wow, I'd love to see a picture of how you look in fishnets.. eek shocked
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: No, you are not. - 11/03/16 04:52 PM

Yes, I have dressed as Frank-N-Furter in the past. Corset. Fishnets. Makeup. The works.

I am sure you are shocked to hear that Mrs. H does not appreciate that side of me. She thought she was getting a buttoned-down Ivy Leaguer. That is how I project during the day. She did not realize that once the sun sets I become a creature of the night. Lots of things we did not realize about each other.

I will have a great weekend with S. That is what I asked for, and I shall receive it in full measure. Blessed be.
Posted By: TC_Manhattan

Re: No, you are not. - 11/03/16 05:06 PM

Have a splendid time this weekend!

Celebrate the Cubs' trouncing of our Indians. It was an awesome ending to a great season for us, and I guess the Cubs needed it just a wee bit more than we did. There is always next year.

On another note, your upcoming singleness may do well for your soul and your perspective on things. Enjoy that also..
Posted By: Miranda

Re: No, you are not. - 11/03/16 05:37 PM

Creatures of the night, UNITE!!

People expected me to be Janet... imagine how surprised they were when I turned out to be Columbia...
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: No, you are not. - 11/07/16 04:39 PM

Had a fabulous time. As far as I can tell, so did S. Very blessed. This is bachelor week. I did my "cover for Mrs. H" errands this morning so I got my "good hubbie points". Rest of week is focus on work.
Posted By: Miranda

Re: No, you are not. - 11/07/16 04:49 PM

I'm so glad you had good time with S, Hold. Those times are so very important...

So very dear..
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: No, you are not. - 11/16/16 05:38 PM

Mrs. H has been very sweet on phone and via email as we have been apart these past 2 weeks. I think she misses me. She has also been very apologetic about the spending.

So hard to trust her with my heart. I gave it to her. She sliced and diced it. I took it back. Now she wants me to trust her with my heart again. So torn.
Posted By: AntigoneRisen

Re: No, you are not. - 11/16/16 06:45 PM

Are you doing anything to focus on you, HOI? What are you doing to take care of you? I don't even care if it involves fishnets, I would like to see you do something just for you.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 11/18/16 03:05 PM

You should know by now there is no me. I promised my Mom I would not commit suicide. Just because I am not dead does not mean I am alive.

Saw Mrs. H for the first time in 18 days last night. Felt nothing. Got a hug. Felt nothing. I have a cold and she told me to stay away so I wouldn't get any germs on her. Felt nothing.

If anyone ever asks you whether zombies really exist, tell them yes they do. My choice. I like being numb.
Posted By: Oblivious2678

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 11/18/16 03:35 PM

I feel like I am on the same wavelength as you. I don't feel anything either, except for my DS. I have allowed only a select few people "in". Very overprotective of myself. No one can hurt me if I don't allow them in.
Posted By: NewEveryDay

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 11/19/16 12:49 PM

Hold, Obl, I saw this yesterday, I'm so sorry you feel like that, so sad to hear. I know "this to shall pass," but that's probably little consolation when you're going through it and have been going through it for so long.

Do you think hold it may be genetic? Your daughter got help and has been doing so much better for so long now, does that give you some hope?

Would I be hopelessly naive to suggest that 15 hours a week UA getting away from it all with your best friend could make a big difference? I'm not saying at all that you feel this way because you're not trying hard enough. Just that seasons change and maybe you would get different results? You know like how they say whether you stay or go most people are happier at the 5 year mark.

Is there some small easy to do thing, like AR suggested, that would bring you some joy this weekend?
Posted By: NewEveryDay

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 11/19/16 12:59 PM

I wish we were all in town, we could go meet Ace and her H and sing our troubles away together whistle yahoo dance
Posted By: *~aeri~*

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 11/19/16 03:19 PM

I've never thought of this in all the years I've known you, Hold...but cripes--the two of you must live in the lap of bloody luxury!
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 11/21/16 05:34 PM

Aeri: Nice to see you. Luxury? Yes and no. I live on a modest house (3 bed / 2.5 bath) on a large lot in a nice suburb with good schools. The kitchen and bathrooms are 40 years old - never been renovated so a little frayed / dowdy but house is comfortable. I drive a 12+ year old car with 120,000 miles on it. We do travel alot but most of it is to go see our kids who both go to college far away. So yes we spend a bunch of money on plane tickets and taxis and restaurant meals but is it really "luxurious" to stay at Motel 6 and take an Uber so you can go to dive bars with your son in his college town? Like I say, yes and no. Plenty of people wish they had the money to fly to see their kid 2 times a year and fly their kid 1000 miles home for Thanksgiving. But we are not living in anyone's idea of a mansion and we don't stay at fancy hotels or go to fancy restaurants. Still, if we go to the dive bar with the nice Sunday brunch it costs $50 with tax and tip for the 2 of us and I fully realize most people can't afford to drop $50 every Sunday morning. Truth is, neither can we but we foolishly don't let that stop us.

I spent the weekend with my parents and aunt and uncle. Without Mrs. Hold. She did not want to skip work yet again and had lots to do to prepare for her big trip in 2 weeks. I was OK with her not going. Is a blessing that I still have my parents and aunt and uncle so I was pleased to be able to focus on them and not have to "entertain" Mrs. H in a "hostile" environment.

We are getting along nicely "in the moment" when we are together. That is as much as I can ask for giving the limits on how much I am willing to invest in improving myself or the relationship. God willing the status quo will continue because that is what I want. I know many of you can't believe I continue to choose to stay here but I do. Many of you have known me for over 14 years. Most of you would have guessed at the beginning that this situation was not sustainable for 14 years. I believe we can sustain it indefinitely. All my life decisions are based on that judgment. I hope I am not ever proven to be mistaken.
Posted By: AntigoneRisen

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 11/24/16 03:38 AM

I put 120k miles on a car in 5 years or less. Guaranteed.
Posted By: Chrysalis

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 11/24/16 06:26 AM

Gosh, AR, me, too! Turned over my 2012 to my DD29 with 80K miles on it in February, less than 4 years old. Got a 2016 in March and it will have 13K or more by the end of the weekend.
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 11/24/16 02:15 PM

My car is about 146K, 10 years. I feel her creaking. frown

We live quite modestly. I don't do even monthly trips to remind me of my youth. No coloring or pedicure treatments. Maybe a haircut or 2 a couple of times a year. I'm no beauty queen so I strive for that 'inner beauty'. LOL!!!

Is life a struggle? Yes, often and for many different reasons.

Wish it wasn't so hard, then I learn about others struggling. It often breaks my heart. That happens enough and one's heart breaking is taxing on the soul. So, I've learned to turn those sad experiences into improving ones where and when I can. I'm no Pollyanna but I do try in little ways. Prayer is important and doesn't cost a penny, yet it is a powerful tool for the mind and soul. Learning and sharing is helpful as well. We all have seen the benefit from posting here on MA.

That said, instead of feeling like a doormat, I choose to lead by example where and when I can. Sometimes it is frustrating and exhausting. Other days it has rewarding moments.

Today, I got a call out of the blue from a former co-worker. She called to just let me know she was thinking of me and wished me well. No strings attached, just a nice call. We chit chatted about our families and stuff going on but all in all, it was just a nice call.

We should have more of those and of course we can give more of those. smile

jmo,
Orchid
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 11/24/16 10:51 PM

Happy Thanksgiving to all. A day of many blessings here.
Posted By: AntigoneRisen

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 11/26/16 02:18 AM

I hope you had a great holiday!
Posted By: catperson

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 11/26/16 06:29 PM

Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
I believe we can sustain it indefinitely. All my life decisions are based on that judgment. I hope I am not ever proven to be mistaken.
Well, hope all you want. I will continue to hope that you end up without her, and happy. smile
Posted By: SFB

No, you are Not. - 11/26/16 07:23 PM

Originally Posted By: holdingontoit

We are getting along nicely "in the moment" when we are together. That is as much as I can ask for giving the limits on how much I am willing to invest in improving myself or the relationship. God willing the status quo will continue because that is what I want. I know many of you can't believe I continue to choose to stay here but I do. Many of you have known me for over 14 years. Most of you would have guessed at the beginning that this situation was not sustainable for 14 years. I believe we can sustain it indefinitely. All my life decisions are based on that judgment. I hope I am not ever proven to be mistaken.


Hold, you have made your choice. And it is your choice. If you made a different choice, what would be different? There is much about you that will still be the same, whether you are with this Mrs. Hold, or whomever might be next. When you know where you are, then that is a good place to be. You know where you are now. Mrs. Hold has made some changes. Life ain't never perfect. Its going the right way, and that is all that matters.

SFB
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: No, you are Not. - 11/28/16 01:58 PM

Just dropped Mrs. H off to go to the airport on her 3 week vacation. Hoping she has a great time. Hoping nothing untoward happens (don't really expect anything to happen), or if it happens I never find out.

She has been telling me for weeks it is ridiculous for me to worry. I keep telling her I am not worried about her, I am worried about the guys / wolves / vultures. Example: on Saturday we are flying home from Thanksgiving. At the bar at the airport having dinner before our flight. Some guy comes up to her and starts chatting her up with me sitting right next to her. I tell her to can it. She says it "is nothing, he is married". I said "his wife ain't here and him being married doesn't seem to be stopping him from chatting you up".

So weird being nonsexual. Last night was our last night together before 3 weeks apart and I had zero interest in kissing her or cuddling with her, let alone having sex. This morning she gave me a few kisses on the lips but they were chaste "tv kisses" not at all passionate. Maybe she felt they were passionate. She told me she wishes she were going away with me instead of her dear friend (female). That is as much as I could ask for under the circumstances.

Now is time to buckle down and work hard during year end crunch. Get my numbers where they need to be halfway through the year. Good not to be distracted with wife wanting to be entertained.
Posted By: star*fish

Re: No, you are Not. - 11/28/16 02:23 PM

A couple of questions:

Are you worried about the "wolves" or are you worried about the fact that your wife doesn't see them that way? (worried about her) And doesn't recognize the need to discourage them? You can't stop guys from approaching your wife, but I know for me, I can turn on and off the "availability button"--and it seems like you don't see her doing that.

It's interesting that you added the "nonsexual" discussion following the first part. Does the fact that you and your wife are nonsexual exacerbate your anxiety about other men approaching her? Do you think it makes her more vulnerable? And you more insecure?

Do you think your wife likes your expression of jealousy? Or does she feel as though you don't trust her--which it sounds like you don't?



Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: No, you are Not. - 11/28/16 02:52 PM

Originally Posted By: star*fish
Are you worried about the "wolves" or are you worried about the fact that your wife doesn't see them that way? (worried about her) And doesn't recognize the need to discourage them?


Both. We discussed this at the airport. She said she knows how to reject the wolves. I said I expect there to be a long line of wolf carcasses in her wake after the trip.

Originally Posted By: star*fish
You can't stop guys from approaching your wife, but I know for me, I can turn on and off the "availability button"--and it seems like you don't see her doing that.


Correct.

Originally Posted By: star*fish
It's interesting that you added the "nonsexual" discussion following the first part. Does the fact that you and your wife are nonsexual exacerbate your anxiety about other men approaching her? Do you think it makes her more vulnerable? And you more insecure?


Yes, yes and yes.

Originally Posted By: star*fish
Do you think your wife likes your expression of jealousy? Or does she feel as though you don't trust her--which it sounds like you don't?


She says she does not like it. Not clear whether that is true.

Part of our "deal" is that we do not dig very deep into one another to test whether something that sounds "off" is true. So I no longer know the full picture of what is going on inside her. She has a history of lying to me and lying to herself, so I never know what she really thinks and feels.

We discussed that yesterday at lunch. I told her that I have no hopes or dreams for the future. Just put one foot in front of the other and make enough money to pay my bills. I can't think of anything else. Like I go through life with blinders on.

She said that is very dark. She also said it makes sense and lines up with my behavior. She asked me if I had any plans to change. I said no, I am afraid that the work needed to get from here to a better place might break me. And we can't afford for me to have a breakdown. She agreed with that.

I said this is part of what makes her and me compatible. We both have places inside ourselves where we don't go. Problems we refuse to deal with. Each of us tolerates the other in part because we know what it is like to have something damaged inside yourself that you have no intention of fixing. So we tolerate the other not fixing themself. She agreed that is true.
Posted By: josie

Re: No, you are Not. - 11/29/16 02:31 AM

Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
She said she knows how to reject the wolves. I said I expect there to be a long line of wolf carcasses in her wake after the trip.


By all accounts, your wife does not want or enjoy sex, so you have nothing to worry about. The only way she could be forced into sex with a stranger would be if she were attacked by a criminal willing to use violence. But presumably, as a grown woman of a certain age, and not a stupid one, she is aware of the dangers in the world and knows how to keep herself safe. No need to worry about her.

Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
I told her that I have no hopes or dreams for the future. Just put one foot in front of the other and make enough money to pay my bills. I can't think of anything else. Like I go through life with blinders on.

She said that is very dark. She also said it makes sense and lines up with my behavior. She asked me if I had any plans to change. I said no, I am afraid that the work needed to get from here to a better place might break me. And we can't afford for me to have a breakdown. She agreed with that.


So she is living with a deeply depressed spouse. That must be very trying. Is she depressed herself?
Posted By: star*fish

Re: No, you are Not. - 11/29/16 01:46 PM

hold,

Quote:
Both. We discussed this at the airport. She said she knows how to reject the wolves. I said I expect there to be a long line of wolf carcasses in her wake after the trip.


Your response was funny--but if she's knows how to reject the wolves and yet an incident like the other day occurs where she's chatted up by some guy right in front of you--that's contradictory. Could she be purposely trying to make you jealous? If she has the means to reject these guys but won't exercise it, then she's either naive or manipulative.

I would tend to agree with you that the nonsexual nature of your relationship may make her more vulnerable. I know she says doesn't like sex--but I think your real fear is that she just doesn't like sex with you.

In the instances where you've seen men give her attention--do you feel as though she flirts with them? Encourages them in any way? Does she ever flirt with you?

Quote:
She says she does not like it. Not clear whether that is true.


Yes---neither am I.

Quote:
Part of our "deal" is that we do not dig very deep into one another to test whether something that sounds "off" is true. So I no longer know the full picture of what is going on inside her. She has a history of lying to me and lying to herself, so I never know what she really thinks and feels.


Sounds like a bad deal that guarantees you'll remain conflicted and insecure.

Quote:
We discussed that yesterday at lunch. I told her that I have no hopes or dreams for the future. Just put one foot in front of the other and make enough money to pay my bills. I can't think of anything else. Like I go through life with blinders on.


I think that when a person is going through a tough time, that putting one foot in front of the other is not a bad strategy. But it isn't a long term strategy. Do you like or want to have no hopes or dreams?

Quote:
She said that is very dark. She also said it makes sense and lines up with my behavior. She asked me if I had any plans to change. I said no, I am afraid that the work needed to get from here to a better place might break me. And we can't afford for me to have a breakdown. She agreed with that.


I don't think working towards change is any harder than facing a life that is devoid of hopes and dreams. Why choose either one? I don't see your current path as less likely to break you. I belive It's really important for everyone to find some kind of balance that gives them the best chance to feel productive and happy without falling into despair. Why not set some small goals---little changes--things that are achievable and build on those?

Quote:
I said this is part of what makes her and me compatible. We both have places inside ourselves where we don't go. Problems we refuse to deal with. Each of us tolerates the other in part because we know what it is like to have something damaged inside yourself that you have no intention of fixing. So we tolerate the other not fixing themself. She agreed that is true.


This may be the life that you've decided is the most comfortable--and I get that because change and self examination can be really scary, but then why not at least embrace the comfort and look at "acceptance" as a desirable goal?
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: No, you are Not. - 11/29/16 06:19 PM

Originally Posted By: star*fish
I know she says doesn't like sex--but I think your real fear is that she just doesn't like sex with you.


Exactly.

Originally Posted By: star*fish
In the instances where you've seen men give her attention--do you feel as though she flirts with them? Encourages them in any way? Does she ever flirt with you?


She is brighter and more "on" with other people than with me. No, I don't think she flirts much but we socialize so infrequently with other people that she may do it, just not when I am around. No, she doesn't flirt with me. Hard to remember if she ever did.

These days if she did flirt I would react very negatively and shut that down pronto. It is not that I don't trust her to follow through, it is that I am highly confident she won't follow through, so the flirting is not only not enjoyable but actually is painful for me. I am not going to be Charlie Brown to her Lucy, swinging at the football to have her pull it away. No, she does not get to act flirty and think well of herself for telling me she finds me attractive and then come home and have a headache.

Originally Posted By: star*fish
Sounds like a bad deal that guarantees you'll remain conflicted and insecure.


Yes, that is an unfortunate side effect of this set of choices. A different set does not guarantee a better outcome and worse outcomes are possible. I choose to remain here, conflicted and insecure. Yes, I know, conflicted and insecure is not attractive. I do not believe there is an attractive version of me (sexually, to Mrs. H), so that does not seem like a major downside.

Originally Posted By: star*fish
I think that when a person is going through a tough time, that putting one foot in front of the other is not a bad strategy. But it isn't a long term strategy. Do you like or want to have no hopes or dreams?


No I do not enjoy it. But I enjoy allowing myself hopes and dreams even less. Those only cause intense pain, since they are impossible to achieve without doing work and taking risks I refuse to consider. At least this is just a dull ache.

Originally Posted By: star*fish
I don't think working towards change is any harder than facing a life that is devoid of hopes and dreams. Why choose either one? I don't see your current path as less likely to break you. I belive It's really important for everyone to find some kind of balance that gives them the best chance to feel productive and happy without falling into despair. Why not set some small goals---little changes--things that are achievable and build on those?


Needless to say, you and I experience life differently. The absence of hopes and dreams is not as debilitating to me as it would be to most people. Chasing them only ever lead me to pain and despair. This life is colorless. That life was torture.

You see this path as likely to break me. I have been on this path since 2005. Do you remember what I was like between 2002 and 2005? Do I seem closer to broken now than I seemed then? I am flourishing at work now much more than I was then. Things with Mrs H are stable and pleasant even if not joyous. Back then they were awful. The kids are doing well. How is this path breaking me?

I worked toward change from 1997 to 2005. It was awful. So awful that I secretly searched for a new job 1000 miles away without telling my wife. I planned to leave her and the kids and build a new life away from them. That is what working toward change lead me to. No thanks. I will stay here in numb-land.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: No, you are Not. - 11/30/16 02:31 PM

Mrs. H is safely in NZ. She sounded good for someone who spent the last 36 hours in airports and on airplanes. Hotel is nice. Cruise starts in 2 days. Glad she arrived safe and glad she gets to do this.
Posted By: AntigoneRisen

Re: No, you are Not. - 12/05/16 02:35 AM

HOI,

Honestly, I've been confused for this entire thread. What has confused me is this part:

Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
We had a long talk about situations and protecting yourself. Similar to the talk we had with D19. I told D19 "never leave a party alone with a boy unless you intend to have sex with him, because once he gets you alone late at night he might not take no for an answer - especially if you both have been drinking." So I told Mrs. H no getting walked back to her hotel room. Take an Uber and no sharing with him. If he is staying in the same hotel, do not get in the same elevator alone. Make up an excuse why you need a bellhop to come to your room and go to the font desk and get one. She looked at me like I am crazy to think she would cheat or that she has any interest in another man. I told her it is not her level of interest that worries me, it is his.

Finally, I told her: if anything happens, I do NOT want to know. That is a secret you take to your grave. Do not feel entitled to unburden your conscience at my expense.


The first paragraph above sounds like descriptions of how to avoid sexual assault - not consensual sex. The second paragraph is - hopefully - about consensual sex, as I don't know how a sex assault victim has a conscience to unburden.

Is this what you were intending? The way they are mixed...well, it leaves it open to interpretation.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: No, you are Not. - 12/05/16 07:40 PM

A little of both.

One aspect is to avoid her getting raped. Yes, I am sure she knows what not to do. But sometimes the shoemaker's children have no shoes. That is, she might know all the rules that a 20-something young woman should do when she goes to bars to minimize the chances of getting raped. But she might not realize that a 50-something woman who is recovering from cancer needs to do all the same things.

Another aspect is to avoid situations where you might make a bad choice because of the situation you find yourself in that you would not have made if you had been stone cold sober and out in public. So don't put yourself in a situation where your judgment may be impaired.

As a guy who has generally found it difficult to obtain consent, I acutely aware that there are situations where I have a chance of obtaining consent and many situations where I do not have a snowball's chance in heck of obtaining consent. I want Mrs. H to relegate every guy she meets on the cruise to the latter set of situations.
Posted By: AntigoneRisen

Re: No, you are Not. - 12/06/16 05:02 PM

So, did you mean that if she is sexually assaulted to never tell you? If not, were you clear with her about the distinction?
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: No, you are Not. - 12/06/16 05:29 PM

No. I meant if she consented, not to tell me.

Look, I keep telling you guys I am evil, and I am. Honestly, I am very conflicted about what I would want her to do if she were raped. I know, she is my wife and I love her and I should be there for her and support her and help her deal with the trauma. I did that for her with the cancer and I have been repaid with a much more affectionate and considerate wife who showers me with far more admiration than ever before.

Still and all, while I had no trouble being there for her with the cancer, rape would be a different story. It would be very triggering for me. I know, nothing happened to me, and she is the one who got raped. But rape and our sex life are inextricably linked in my mind and if she came to me in her pain and shame and sought my comfort I am not sure how I would react.

No, I wouldn't see her as "tainted goods". But here is the evil part: not more than I already do. I would simply think that since I don't plan to ever have sex with her again, her being raped is not as big a deal as it would be if we were sexually active together.

I know, rape is about power and control and not about sex.

Yes, of course, she will have emotional and psychological pain to work through. I am sympathetic. But that is her business, right? I mean, before our marriage she never told me about the rapes that happened when she was younger. During MC she said it was none of my business and not relevant to our sex life and she refused to discuss it with me. But now I am supposed to treat this rape as a huge deal? How come? Is rape a big deal or not? Or is there an expiration date? Do I have to be supportive for a year or two and then I can tell her to forget about it just like she forgot about the rapes that happened before we got married. After all, if those rapes are not relevant to our relationship, why is this one?

She claims the earlier rapes don't have any impact on our sex life. I strongly disagree. I think they do impact her relationship to her sexuality. I know, incredibly condescending of me to think I know what is going on inside her head and her heart better than she does. But if I DON'T, then she has been lying to me on a massive scale. If the rapes are not the reason she is so asexual (at least with me), then the only other reason that makes any sense is that sex with me stinks and she does not find me at all sexually attractive. Which may well be the case. But that is not what she says. So either way she is lying (maybe to herself more than to me) about the rapes or she is lying about finding me sexually attractive. Or maybe both.

Either way, sex and her being raped is not a subject where I can be as sympathetic and supportive as I would like to be. Or as she has a right to expect her husband to be. She made the ground rules that rape is no big deal and does not have a lasting impact. Fine. I am not interested in hearing that she was wrong and that now, suddenly, she realizes that rape IS a big deal.

My typical long winded way of saying that I don't think she is going to be raped on a cruise ship in the dining room or the theater or sitting next to the pool. She is only going to be raped if she gets drunk and takes a man back to her cabin. And then tries to say no. And he doesn't take no for an answer. And in that situation, I am not at all sure that I want to know. And if that makes her feel alone and rejected and unsupported, well, welcome to how our entire marriage has felt to me.

The difference is that she may not be willing to stay married to someone who makes her feel alone and rejected and unsupported. So I will likely decide to indulge the warm and caring doormat side of myself and stifle the evil impulse to abandon her as an act of revenge. I can't help being a Giver. But that doesn't mean I will be proud of myself for "doing the right thing". At this point I have no idea what the "right thing" is. And whatever I do, I am sure I will hate myself for it.
Posted By: AntigoneRisen

Re: No, you are Not. - 12/06/16 07:19 PM

I don't think you are evil, HOI. I do think that a vast difference often exists between what people intend to convey and what is actually understood. I think that gulf widens considerably when people are fearful - as you are, and I think Mrs. HOI is, as well - and are on guard for something scary and threatening. We humans often find the scary and threatening even when it isn't there. If you look hard enough, you will always find it.

As Neitzsche said, "When you gaze long into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."

I do think you've identified an area that's worth further exploration. Your ability to empathize and care about an assault on your wife is all about you. It doesn't have anything to do with her.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: No, you are Not. - 12/06/16 07:45 PM

I am not interested in exploring further. I did that for years. I navel gaze enough on this and other forums. I stopped having sex with her in large part because I have no intention of exploring further inside myself or making any changes in who I am. I have a stable system within the parameters of my limitations and I like it that way.

Let us hope that nothing happens in the cruise except she has a wonderful time with her friend and comes back with many wonderful pictures and memories. And everything in our marriage will be exactly as it was before she left. Tolerable and stable.

Most people here seem to think because I am not happy then it is unstable. In February it will be 15 years since I started posting on MB. Nothing has changed. And I am still with her. Doubt away! I have been unhappy with life as long as I have been conscious. I have been unhappy with my marriage since my wedding night. I stopped trying to make it better (except for entirely giving up on sex) 11 years ago. I can easily do unhappy until death. It is all I know.

Of course, Mrs H is not as fond of unhappiness as I am. So when we are together I pretend not to be as desperately unhappy as I actually am. It still leaks out. And I don't pretend she doesn't know. But she pretends she doesn't know. And I let her pretend. And so we have our "happily ever after" Casablanca ending. Do you think Rick was happy to send Ilsa off with Lazlo and banish himself to the French Foreign Legion? Neither do I. But he did it anyway. And so will I.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: No, you are Not. - 12/07/16 06:25 PM

Mrs. H called last night. She is having a great time but feeling guilty about all the money she is spending. I told her to relax and enjoy because even worse than spending lots of money on a cruise is spending lots of money on a cruise and not enjoying it.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: No, you are Not. - 12/09/16 04:56 PM

Mrs H called again last night. She said I was correct. The vultures are circling her and her friend. She said her friend is doing a good job of shooing the men away from Mrs H. Apparently the friend wants to do this again with Mrs. H, so is doing a good job of making the trip as acceptable to me as possible. Discouraging Mrs H from spending money. Pushing the men away from Mrs H. Anything to avoid me being upset and discouraging Mrs H from doing this again. So that is good news.

She texted me that she loves me so so much. And she texted the kids that she has her dream life because she is married to me. Amazing how it works. The less I care about how she feels toward me, the more love she feels for me. I guess I should stop caring at all how she feels about me. Imagine how much she would love me then!
Posted By: TC_Manhattan

Re: No, you are Not. - 12/09/16 06:00 PM

Are you able to tell when she's being honest with you?

Wondering if there is any chance she's only telling you what you want to hear..
Posted By: MyRevelation

Re: No, you are Not. - 12/09/16 06:53 PM

Originally Posted By: TC_Manhattan
Are you able to tell when she's being honest with you?

Wondering if there is any chance she's only telling you what you want to hear..


Excellent question?

... and I say that while triggering over this:

Quote:
Mrs H called again last night. She said I was correct. The vultures are circling her and her friend. She said her friend is doing a good job of shooing the men away from Mrs H. Apparently the friend wants to do this again with Mrs. H, so is doing a good job of making the trip as acceptable to me as possible. Discouraging Mrs H from spending money. Pushing the men away from Mrs H. Anything to avoid me being upset and discouraging Mrs H from doing this again. So that is good news.


I heard this exact same statement, in this exact same situation/context, and I found myself as a BH when she returned home.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: No, you are Not. - 12/09/16 07:26 PM

I am well aware she may be lying to try and cover her tracks. If so, good for her. She is doing exactly what I asked her to do: keep it secret. As long as she maintains radio silence, not sure I care what happened. I don't intend to ever have sex with her (or anyone else) again anyway. If she wants it on the side, well, that just proves everything was a lie, she always liked sex - just not with me - and my plan is working as intended.

If she confesses, I will do exactly as I said. Stay with her and remind her daily what a great husband I am for having let her go on the cruise.
Posted By: Chrysalis

Re: No, you are Not. - 12/09/16 08:10 PM

Seriously, guys? Mrs. Hold is away on a fun time and taking the time to call and text with some frequency. She is doing so because she misses Hold and wants to talk to him. She realizes she is having fun at his sacrifice and wants to express appreciation that she really feels.

There is no subtext and there is no conspiracy. And there almost certainly is no sex.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: No, you are Not. - 12/09/16 08:24 PM

I tend to agree with Chrys. I do think Mrs H is having a great time, wants to connect with me emotionally to share her joy (which is welcome), and is shooting down her suiters left and right. I like hearing from her, I maintain a very positive and supportive tone on the phone, and compliment her suitors on their good taste. I do not "read her the riot act" when she calls and mentions other men. I thank her for letting me know and joke about the trail of wolf and vulture carcass that she is leaving in her wake.
Posted By: MyRevelation

Re: No, you are Not. - 12/09/16 08:37 PM

Originally Posted By: Chrysalis
Seriously, guys? Mrs. Hold is away on a fun time and taking the time to call and text with some frequency. She is doing so because she misses Hold and wants to talk to him. She realizes she is having fun at his sacrifice and wants to express appreciation that she really feels.

There is no subtext and there is no conspiracy. And there almost certainly is no sex.


Based on my own direct first hand experiences ... HELL YES, Seriously!!!

... but thanks for reminding me why I quit posting here.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: No, you are Not. - 12/09/16 08:48 PM

MyRev: I do appreciate the reminder that appearances can be deceiving. The difference between us is that you hate being deceived, and I welcome it.
Posted By: AntigoneRisen

Re: No, you are Not. - 12/09/16 10:12 PM

With no evidence of anything untoward and no history thereof, it seems to me to be fearful speculation. The benefit of fearful speculation is that it says quite a bit about you. The downside is that it says nothing about the other person, and you live through horrible experiences over and over in your mind...ones that you wouldn't be living without the fear and anxiety.
Posted By: AntigoneRisen

Re: No, you are Not. - 12/09/16 10:14 PM

Quote:
I navel gaze enough on this and other forums.


I wouldn't call what you do - at least the majority of the time - as navel gazing, HOI. I'd call it a largely a defeatist attitude that spends a lot of time projecting your own insecurities and issues onto your wife. You trace quite a lot of your own issues to her, which gives up a lot of your power, and doesn't really go very deep.
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: No, you are Not. - 12/10/16 01:55 AM

Mrs. Hold is not a stupid woman. She doesn't need to call and report all of that to lull Mr. Hold into some sort of sense of security.
Posted By: AntigoneRisen

Re: No, you are Not. - 12/10/16 04:34 AM

Put another way, and to recall an earlier conversation, it's not Mrs. HOI's job - or responsibility - to manage your emotions, HOI. That's codependency and going into those unsexy parent/child roles. So is, btw, thinking of an agreement for one spouse to do something - anything - as "letting" them do it. Children need permission. Adults do not. Adults have conversations and come to agreements.

Just some food for thought.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: No, you are Not. - 12/12/16 02:30 PM

Rest assured my gazing goes all the way. Just because I have decided not to do anything about it doesn't mean I don't SEE. It is the combination of seeing and not doing that maintains my endless feedback loop of self-hatred. Which, given how long I have been doing this, is clearly exactly how I want it.
Posted By: TC_Manhattan

Re: No, you are Not. - 12/12/16 07:11 PM

To thine own self be true..
Posted By: Rich57

Re: No, you are Not. - 12/13/16 01:42 PM

Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
The less I care about how she feels toward me, the more love she feels for me.
I guess I should stop caring at all how she feels about me. Imagine how much she would love me then!

Have you ever read about pursuit and distance?
http://www.marriageadvocates.com/ubbthreads/ubbthreads.php/topics/375530/1

Pretty typical if you ask me.

Also Phil Delucca the author of this book posted here for a while
http://www.marriageadvocates.com/ubbthre...ance#Post372605
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: No, you are Not. - 12/13/16 01:57 PM

Thanks Rich. Yes, I know this is a common mechanism. Actually glad to see it working in my case. Helps me feel confident that I can keep Mrs. H with me for the long term. See, now that I have given up on sex, all my depressive, pessimistic negative tendencies reinforce my ability to refrain from reaching out to her. So I still am at the core my sweet snuggly romantic self, but I don't want to chase her because it is too frustrating. So I end up pleasant but aloof. The perfect recipe to keep someone interested.

I know some of you will say "but Hold, once she starts moving toward you, let her catch you." Nope. I know once she catches me she will not give me what I want. She will feel triumph and I will feel failure. This way, if I never let her catch me, I win. Of course, I never get my needs met, but as I have said over and over, I am not willing to invest the time and energy required to get my needs met. So that is off the table. Once "needs met" is off the table, winning at the game of seeing if I can stay a step ahead of her and prevent her from ever catching me is the goal I have decided to pursue.

Like I said, foolish and evil. Completely fear based. But I was always a sucker for the easy win at computer games as opposed to challenging myself and seeing if I could win the hard way.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: No, you are Not. - 12/15/16 09:21 PM

Mrs. H has mentioned the same guy from the trip several times. She said she and her friend are going to dinner with this guy at a restaurant onshore after the cruise ends. MyRev will tell me Mrs. H is having an affair with this guy. I don't think so. But if she is, I hope she doesn't tell me.

I told her to go to dinner and see if she can get the guy to hire our son at a higher salary than his current best job offer. So if she is having an affair, at least we can use it to the family's advantage! Like I said, evil. wink
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 12/16/16 03:11 PM

Long call with Mrs. H last night. Apparently she had a great time. Sounds like she feels very emotionally connected to me. She comes home tomorrow late. I will not see her until Monday night because I have to work in NYC on Monday and makes no sense for me to drive from NYC to CT at midnight and then get on a train back to NYC at 6 am.

So weird to not feel bad that I won't physically be with her when she gets home. In the past when she went away and then returned I desired a big hug upon seeing her. Never got it and always felt disappointed. Now although I would prefer to go to the airport and greet her I do not feel that ACHE about not seeing her and hugging her.

No more aches. Just emptiness. But my choice. I could fill the void whenever I wanted. I just need to be willing to pay the price. Which I am not willing to do.
Posted By: AntigoneRisen

Re: No, you are Not. - 12/16/16 06:24 PM

HOI,

Once a few questions are asked, your reasoning typically traces back to, "I do x because she has a history of doing y." So, in a trace model, that's the genesis of quite a lot of what you say.

What I haven't seen you do is talk about your pre-existing conditions coming into the marriage. You talk a lot about hers, but I've not seen discussion of yours.

So much of how we interpret the world around us - and the messages we take from what happens around us - comes from what we believe about the world and ourselves.

What do you believe about yourself? Where does that come from? How does that impact the way you interpret messages from others about you? How does that impact the way you interpret events?

~AR
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: No, you are Not. - 12/16/16 07:02 PM

I do not hide my past. I have posted about it several times.

I have been depressed my entire life. Since I was a small child. Did counselling as a teenager and in my 20s. Nothing helped. I am sure it is genetic. Tried many AD meds in mid-life. Nothing worked. I am guessing I would be a good candidate for ECT if I had all of my medical records (I don't - many are lost in time and geographic moves). But that has potentially serious side effects so while I am the breadwinner for 3 other people I do not feel it would be prudent for me to undergo such risky treatment. I have thought about TMS but it is expensive and not covered by insurance and without access to my historic medical records the local clinic will not treat me. As with my other issues, I am not interested in investing the time and money needed to seek a cure. I medicate with computer games and by posting here and elsewhere.

My depression and pessimism contributed to my lack of success with women prior to marriage. Which was consistent. Girlfriends were lacking. Sex was lacking. What little sex occurred was bad. I had almost zero success until I was accepted into a prestigious graduate school. Even there I had trouble getting dates or maintaining any female's interest.

The depression and pessimism prevented me from succeeding at my career to the extent my academic credentials would suggest might have been possible. My first job in an office during the summer after my junior year of college was a failure - no offer of employment after graduation. My first job as a lawyer after my first year of law school was also a failure. I was, to my knowledge, the only summer intern NOT offered a permanent job upon graduation.

I struggled to get job offers for my second summer despite decent grades at a top school. I thought all the interviews went well, but many of them did not result in offers so obviously I was missing the cues that things were going poorly. I am confident if tested I would show up somewhere on the spectrum as having limited ability to "read" and relate to other people.

I was a lonely loser prior to marriage. I sat alone in my apartment playing computer games most nights and weekends before I got married. In college I played pen and paper D&D games with my fraternity brothers. After graduation computers got to the point that I didn't need to interact with people to play, so I stopped interacting with people.

I have a myriad of personal and social flaws. They stand in the way of personal and professional success. They handicap my ability to have a successful marriage. And they would follow me into any subsequent relationships if I divorced my wife.

So I won't. Because I know the problems pre-date my marriage and that finding another partner would just recreate the dynamic. I am not going to do the work to change me. So this is quite literally the best I can hope for. Our children and shared life together give my wife motivation to tolerate me that any new partner would not have. Would be pretty foolish of me to divorce her and head out to seek a better relationship if I am not going to bring a better me to the table.

You keep saying that my thread focus on my wife and not me. I disagree. This has all been about me. The title of this thread is about me, not her. Someone who focused on his wife would have said "should she go" or "should I let her go". I wrote "am I a doormat" because my focus is on me.

Of course, focusing on me doesn't lead to much deep discussion because I am completely opposed to making any changes in myself. I will do no work to change. I will make no investment in improving myself. Once that is said, there is not much to discuss about me. So all we can discuss is how I relate (with all my flaws and baggage) to whatever my wife is doing at the moment.

And I realize it is wrong and hypocritical of me to ask my wife to change if I am unwilling to change. Which is why, after decades of being hypocritical, I stopped having sex with my wife. Or insisting that she work toward being able to tolerate more frequent sex. If I am not going to change, why should she? If I am willing to accept a lack of change in myself, how can I ask her to change? I can't, so I don't.

I am not blind to my flaws. I accept them as a given. They are always in the background. They determine all my responses and behaviors. Yes, it seems sometimes I ignore them or take them for granted. I do take them for granted. In the sense that there is nothing to say because they are constant and consistent. I neglect them. But they are there and I am painfully aware of them. Every waking moment. Hence the desire to flee into tv or computer games to detach from conscious thought. When I am numb I don't feel the pain as acutely.

I know, head in the sand and ignoring my flaws and doing nothing to address them will not make them go away. I don't expect them to ever go away. As I have said before, I make all my life decisions based on the presumption that they will never go away. If I thought it was possible for them to ever go away, I would make different choices. That is why I refuse to allow that thought to enter my mind.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: No, you are Not. - 12/19/16 04:22 AM

Mrs H landed safe. Good news. I will see her tomorrow night. I imagine the reunion will feel a little awkward. She may offer a big hug. Used to long for those. Now I will be the one uncomfortable if it lasts too long. So ironic.
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: No, you are Not. - 12/19/16 04:24 AM

Hold you know I love you. In the most platonic way possible of course. wink

But I swear I still believe you are going to snap someday. I really worry about it.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: No, you are Not. - 12/19/16 04:50 AM

Thanks but nope. I will never snap. Mrs H might. Hopefully it will never come to that. Mrs H spouting all sorts of gushy stuff about being glad she married me and only wanting me from along all men. Stuff I was desperate to hear early in our marriage and never did. Maybe the cancer gave her a new perspective. Maybe her friend's divorce caused her to realize how great it is that we have an intact family. Maybe she is telling me what she thinks I want to hear because she is guilty about the trip. I don't much care. My heart is walled off. I guess it is better to hear compliments and professions of love than the opposite. Especially since I intend to stay married to her for life. But I don't trust her. And I wil not give her the opportunity to prove her sincerity. So we will never know the truth. It doesn't matter. I am not making different decisions based on truth or falsehood so no interest in knowing which it is.
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: No, you are Not. - 12/19/16 04:54 AM

Oddly, that makes perfect sense to me Hold.
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: No, you are Not. - 12/19/16 09:20 AM

Hold,

Does diabetes run in your family history?

Just asking, if this is an uncomfortable question, no need to answer.

Orchid
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: No, you are Not. - 12/19/16 03:41 PM

Orchid: Nope, why do you ask?

Thinking about our dynamic. At the beginning of our marriage, it was as if Mrs. H was inside her house with the blinds drawn. I am outside in the yard singing and dancing for her entertainment. Professing my love for her. But she does not see it, because the blinds are drawn. So I get no credit for all my effort on her behalf. She didn't want to see it, because then she would feel guilty that she cannot reciprocate my efforts in the way I desired. Now that I have taken sex off the table, she has opened the blinds and the windows. She sees what I am doing and thinks "wow, that is a great guy out there." So she tells me how much she appreciates everything I am doing. And she means it.

But it doesn't matter. Because I am wearing headphones while I do my dancing in the yard. So I don't hear her words of appreciation.

It is like an O Henry story.
Posted By: Miranda

Re: No, you are Not. - 12/19/16 04:15 PM

Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
Orchid: Nope, why do you ask?

Thinking about our dynamic. At the beginning of our marriage, it was as if Mrs. H was inside her house with the blinds drawn. I am outside in the yard singing and dancing for her entertainment. Professing my love for her. But she does not see it, because the blinds are drawn. So I get no credit for all my effort on her behalf. She didn't want to see it, because then she would feel guilty that she cannot reciprocate my efforts in the way I desired. Now that I have taken sex off the table, she has opened the blinds and the windows. She sees what I am doing and thinks "wow, that is a great guy out there." So she tells me how much she appreciates everything I am doing. And she means it.

But it doesn't matter. Because I am wearing headphones while I do my dancing in the yard. So I don't hear her words of appreciation.

It is like an O Henry story.


Wow, Hold... I have a feeling there is a TON of this going on in my relationship as well. Except my husband SEES at least some, maybe most of the singing and dancing I do, and grows ever more embittered and angry about it, because he does not possess the skills to reciprocate it in any meaningful way. The only ways he knows how to show me love are ways that I am unsatisfied with, because they aren't really "loving" at all.

So I am treated to lots of frustration, rejection and hostility. I've dialed back on a lot of the singing and dancing, but if I dial it too far back, he gets angrier, because then HE feels unloved. So I'm always walking a tightrope, playing a role I can't play authentically, because the true feelings are so beaten down. Trying to sing like a caged bird. Dodging the worst of his bitterness and anger.

I hope that doesn't happen to you.

Yes, O Henry or Charles Dickens over here. So terribly dark.
Posted By: TC_Manhattan

Re: No, you are Not. - 12/19/16 05:21 PM

Originally Posted By: Miranda
Trying to sing like a caged bird. Dodging the worst of his bitterness and anger.


Or Maya Angelou's "I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings."
Posted By: Miranda

Re: No, you are Not. - 12/19/16 05:30 PM

No, not freedom, not in this case. Or at least not in the way you might think. I don't want to be "set free" if that was the case I'd set myself free.
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: No, you are Not. - 12/19/16 06:44 PM

There are some diseases that cut the sex drive and can change the emotional status in some persons.

My H likes to think I am a prude. Well, I don't support affairs but I am not a prude. I just don't feel attracted to a person who is known for preferring sex to showing care and compassion.

I do know that one of the side effects of diabetes can be a diminished sex drive. I weighed that carefully since that runs in my family (mother's side) big time.

Still it isn't a component that affects my judgement.

Care and compassion is a priority to me in any relationship. In a marriage it is even more critical.

What I don't get is why the trust has to be broken before care and compassion is brought back even in the slightest of ways to a marriage.

See what many don't get is there are those of us who have been suffering through what can be called sub-standard marriages. Where the giving and taking is not balanced and eventually there is a wearing out of the care and compassion that should be the glue that binds a marriage.

jmo,
Orchid
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: No, you are Not. - 12/19/16 07:38 PM

Originally Posted By: Orchid2
I just don't feel attracted to a person who is known for preferring sex to showing care and compassion.


Well, according to my wife for much of our marriage I was the jerk who only cared about sex and did not show care and compassion. While she was the caring spouse who spent $29 at Godiva to buy me 3 chocolate covered Oreos and couldn't understand why I wasn't thrilled by her loving gesture.

Apparently wanting to eat the Oreos off her naked tummy was not how I was supposed to show my appreciation.
Posted By: Miranda

Re: No, you are Not. - 12/19/16 08:47 PM

Hold,

When that is the ONLY kind of attention we get? It feels cold and utterly less than loving and caring. Seriously, it does.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: No, you are Not. - 12/19/16 09:00 PM

When that is NEVER the kind of attention we men get, it feels cold and utterly less than loving and caring. Seriously, it does.

Sorry, couldn't resist.

Hey, I gave her plenty of attention in other ways. I was the king of romance. My wife and her parents complained that I was disgustingly sweet and over the top romantic. The problem was not that sex was the only kind of attention I gave her. The problem was that sex was the only kind of attention I wanted from her. And sex was the only kind of attention she could not bring herself to give me.

But that is all in the past. Now I want nothing from her except to remain married to me. And that seems well within her capacity to give. So we are much closer to being on the same page. Of course, she wants the mushy romantic stuff from me that she used to disdain. Luckily even in my currently much depleted state, I still manufacture enough sugary sweetness to satisfy her craving for non-sexual attention.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: No, you are Not. - 12/20/16 02:06 PM

As expected, bigger smile and better hug when I got home than after many previous times apart. Nice chat about her trip before I fell asleep. Both of us got up in the middle of the night and attended to tasks separately. Nice comfortable companionate marriage.
Posted By: Miranda

Re: No, you are Not. - 12/20/16 04:19 PM

wtf are you two "attending to" in the middle of the night?

Is this a euphemism for something?
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: No, you are Not. - 12/20/16 05:33 PM

No euphemisms (although on other occasions yes for me there might be some solo play but not last night).

She cleans the kitchen, straightens up after the kids who watched tv in the living room, reads her emails. I go to the bathroom, empty dirty clothes out of my overnight bag, put away the dry cleaning.

We are such an exciting couple in the middle of the night.

But since I have built up your curiosity to a fever pitch, please know that I did kiss her softly on the neck this morning, and slowly kiss my way up to her ear. Then I licked her ear. She always says she dislikes that but she always laughs and giggles when I do and never uses the "stop right there" tone that she uses when my hands wander and she is not in the mood. So I think playful ear licking is still on the menu. Your thoughts?
Posted By: Miranda

Re: No, you are Not. - 12/20/16 05:51 PM

You get up and do these things in the middle of the night? This is peculiar..

I'd be purely speculating on the ear licking. I know I hate it when my husband does it, but liked it a little bit when other men did. Now before you get all outraged, know that I have a VERY good reason for this. My husband has a wetter mouth than a Saint Bernard. I've never seen anything like it. He leaves a drool track unlike anything you can imagine. It never occurs to him to swallow his spit before doing anything, or maybe he cannot get rid of it, I do not know. This makes anything he does with his mouth a singularly UNPLEASANT experience. Full stop. How do you tell someone this? I can't figure out how, never have been able to. And now after all these years... well, it's just impossible to do.

So, anyway, it sounds to me like your wife enjoys it, but finds that it tickles. So she doesn't want too much, because too much tickling is actually violative. But a little bit, if you stop before it gets to that point? Its pleasant and cute. So as long as you stay on the correct side of the line, I'd say it's still on the menu. Or that would be my very speculative position.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: No, you are Not. - 12/20/16 07:59 PM

Miranda: Thanks. That is what I thought. Yes, I think she finds it tickles. So as soon as I get one quick rather dry lick in, I always get up and walk away. A quick ear lick is always an "exit move". So she understands there is no extended coercion involved and I will always stop when she says stop. And I won't do it to the point where she pees herself. Which I think is her primary fear. Other than an occasional ear lick, I don't tickle her at all for precisely this reason.
Posted By: Miranda

Re: No, you are Not. - 12/20/16 08:21 PM

You're very wise, Hold. Keep up the good work.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: No, you are Not. - 12/20/16 09:05 PM

Not wise. Risk avoidant. To a fault. Far past being a fault.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 12/25/16 11:40 AM

Thank you to Board, Admins, Mods and Posters for everything you do to keep this wonderful place going.

Wishing peace on earth and goodwill toward men and women today and every day.
Posted By: Miranda

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 12/25/16 02:40 PM

Thanks to you Hold. For all you do here, and for just being you!

Much love to you and yours, from my deepest heart
Posted By: star*fish

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 01/03/17 11:47 AM

Hold,

Happy New Year to you and Ms. H. Please don't be mad at me when I say that in spite of the fact that you are so willing to bare your soul and be honest about your feelings--I still sometimes feel as though you're out of touch with most of your true feelings (except for fear). You won't believe me, but fudge it--I think you're a great guy, and I pray that someday you'll discover that for yourself. (Not holding my breath of course.)

Back to posts---I'm not so keen on the ear-licking thing either. Like Miranda, I sometimes find it just too wet. But I do enjoy a quick light bite of my ear lobe or neck. It doesn't tickle--but does stimulate.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 01/03/17 01:47 PM

Star:

Thanks. Best wishes to you and yours.

As usual, you are very perceptive.

These days I am completely cut off from my feelings. That is, I do not feel much joy or pleasure and although I do feel pain but I do my best to ignore it. I try to stay as numb as possible. TV and computer games help because you can pass hours mindlessly ignoring your feelings. When I was younger I felt feelings intensely. My aunt used to say that was a gift, and helped one experience life more deeply. I told her it was a curse and I wish I could turn them off. I have found a way. It is not healthy, but it is all I know.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 01/03/17 03:47 PM

I told her this morning that I feel empty and depressed. She said that is difficult to live with. I told her not to worry, I would pretend to be OK. She got angry and said there should be no pretending between us. I laughed and said it was far too late for that.
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 01/03/17 08:33 PM

Hold,

It makes me sad that you feel down. As we get older our POV does change. However, we should be working towards improving our lives and not ignoring our challenges.

No easy fix, right? I tend to feel like you do at times and it is not my norm to do so. So it is an internal fight for me.

I don't have a spouse as supportive as you have. I have a bit less. He can't see that and I'm too tired to try to keep helping him in that direction. So in a sense I have given up and working to move forward myself. I've reconciled and ok with it because I know I have to be.

Still I find that caring and humor are an intricate part of my personality so I am not so dumb as to think no one on this planet cares. I know many do and some with great humor to boot.

My mission is to partner with such ones on big and little quests. To teach my son to have care in his heart along with a bit of humor. It is a big challenge for me since my son has a strong pull from H's side of the family regarding guarding his feelings in a not so safe manner. He pulls from me as well and he is working on finding his balance. A bit of a slow learner but I'm hoping he isn't as slow as his dad who is 55 and hasn't figured out life yet.

I hope you do find your place of comfort and not feel depressed. I wish I could sprinkle or give you that magic potion but I think that potion is still illegal in large quantities. wink So I will encourage you to seek remedies out that are both legal and viable. Maybe aroma therapy, some good tapping or other alternative medicine remedies. Some of those emotional therapies bring out deep seated emotions that causes a break through so the healing can begin. Maybe hot yoga? I don't know much about it. My therapy is working and well.....that's what I've got to do.....

Take care,
Orchid
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 01/03/17 10:23 PM

Don't feel bad for me. I always feel down. It is permanent. I have learned to coexist with it.

Mrs H does not like when I admit I feel down. So I mostly pretend to be OK. Of course, that causes me to feel very alone. She does not like that, either.
Posted By: star*fish

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 01/04/17 12:03 PM

Hold,

I was exploring why someone might be prefer to remain depressed, and came across a few really interesting articles---thought I would share:

Are You Addicted to Unhappiness?

Depressed People May Choose To Be Sad
Posted By: NewEveryDay

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 01/04/17 12:28 PM

Hold, star, I think this stuff is fascinating and am hopeful to see where it leads. Chronic depression runs in my family and we address it in different ways. Hold I find it so admirable that you have kept your depression from ruining your enjoyment and support of your kids.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 01/04/17 03:15 PM

Thanks for thinking of me. Sincerely, not snarky. This place is as close to friends as I have in life.

As for the articles, that is me. Addicted to unhappiness. Did you see this quote in the second article? They even mentioned me by name!

This is important because it suggests that depressed individuals may sometimes be unsuccessful in decreasing their sadness in daily life because, in some sense, they hold on to it.
Posted By: Oblivious2678

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 01/04/17 04:14 PM

Originally Posted By: star*fish
Hold,

I was exploring why someone might be prefer to remain depressed, and came across a few really interesting articles---thought I would share:

Are You Addicted to Unhappiness?

Depressed People May Choose To Be Sad


Wow...I relate to this as well.
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 01/05/17 02:45 AM

Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
Thanks for thinking of me. Sincerely, not snarky. This place is as close to friends as I have in life.

As for the articles, that is me. Addicted to unhappiness. Did you see this quote in the second article? They even mentioned me by name!

This is important because it suggests that depressed individuals may sometimes be unsuccessful in decreasing their sadness in daily life because, in some sense, they hold on to it.


Ok, now what I'm about to post needs to be taken with love....ok?

I read your above post and was eating my lunch......almost lost it when I read:

'They even mentioned me by name!.........because, in some sense, they hold on to it.

laugh1

Ok, now you know HOLD that is not how we think about you....... Ok?

U r a good man and you've been there for many of us, helping us get through some difficult times.

That means we r here 4 u 2. Have to go clean up my keyboard now.....(jk). wink

Orchid
Posted By: LovingAnyway

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 01/19/17 11:45 PM

Oh, Hold...you're still here! How marvelous. You made my day.

I haven't caught up on all your posts yet in the years I've been gone. In the last few posts, I see you haven't lost your ability to tickle yourself with your observations.

Hence, everyone else.

grin

LA
Posted By: Chrysalis

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 01/20/17 06:52 AM

Did I just spot LA?
Posted By: Miranda

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 01/20/17 01:51 PM

Yup there was a fly by smile
Posted By: Ace

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 01/20/17 03:00 PM

Maybe she'll do another drive-by and park for a spell.

Hi LA selfcare impatient waves bow
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 01/20/17 03:38 PM

OMG, LA was here! Yay!

I am soooo mature!
Posted By: LovingAnyway

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 01/20/17 05:32 PM

Does that mean just plain old, Hold?

smile

Hi, Chrysalis, Ace and Miranda!
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 01/20/17 06:50 PM

So good to see you LA!
Posted By: LovingAnyway

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 01/20/17 06:56 PM

Good to see you, too, SW. It's really wonderful to find so many posters still here.
Posted By: catperson

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 01/21/17 01:31 AM

OMG, LA. I have missed you SO much. You are the single most influential person I've ever known, aside from my mom. I so hope you will continue to provide guidance, as much as I hope your own life is going well.
Posted By: LovingAnyway

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 01/24/17 10:25 PM

{{{{Cat!}}}}

So good to see you here. I feel like I've hijacked Hold's thread, though.

So, Hold--I wanted to ask you how you feel about your wife's financial infidelity?
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 01/25/17 03:33 PM

It is not infidelity if I know about it. She isn't charging things that we didn't discuss or that I did not approve. She simply wants more than I can afford and isn't interested in cutting back to facilitate paying down debt. And to be fair, I am not working hard to validate her desires and dreams. I make her feel invalidated out of my own insecurity that I cannot afford to fund the lifestyle she desires. I haven't found a way to share the wonder of her dreaming without feeling stressed and inadequate.

We are simply a bad match but both too fearful and too risk averse and too stubborn to admit that we both would have had more satisfying lives if we had never married or had divorced decades ago. I am done trying to fix it or make it better. I will try to have a pleasant companionate marriage. I am unwilling to aim higher. I have been on this path for almost 12 years. I am not changing now.

We got our kids through high school and into college. God willing S22 graduates this spring and he has a good job offer so he will be self-sufficient. In 2 or 3 years (she may get a 5 years masters degree) God willing D19 will also be employed and self-supporting. At that point I will have accomplished all of my life goals. There is nothing I find animating or exciting or motivating. I will just keep putting one foot in front of the other until I can't anymore.

No need to pity or encourage or discourage me. I am making these choices with intention and eyes wide open. Mrs. H makes her daily decision to stay with me the same way. I lied in the previous paragraph. I do have one life goal remaining. To get Mrs. H to stay married to me. That is a daily challenge and gives my life meaning. The internal tension between desperately wanting it and hating myself for wanting it creates exquisite torture inside myself. Exactly what a depressed masochistic person needs to make life worth living!
Posted By: LovingAnyway

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 01/25/17 05:37 PM

I have no pity for you, Hold. You're a truly marvelous human to know. I do attempt to encourage or discourage you. You got me there. So if you don't want me on your thread, just say the word. I still fear doing harm. I can be risk-averse as well.

Where my question came from--I read where she took your charge card while you slept. Where you had an agreement on the way to pay for something and she then changed it and charged without your knowledge...and then told you afterwards. I don't see any difference than having an affair and telling you about it afterwards, again and again. Because it's not merely financial--it hits honesty, respect and trust. But you might be inured to it by now?

I don't understand the non-pooled money, though. It has always seemed to me that one operating account for the marriage was the symbol of both being all in, in a marriage. Not your money, not her money, but the marital money.

We're moved and retired--but our old neighbors didn't do that. They had separate accounts throughout their marriage and it ended in divorce over money. Because it breaks trust and separates decisions that affect both partners. So I need your help figuring out how the separate account thing helps the marriage.

Also--what video games do you play? We've been playing Hearthstone.

LA
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 01/25/17 05:52 PM

Her taking my card without permission and my having to sleep with them on my person to prevent that happened years and years ago during the second bout of overspending. She doesn't lie and steal anymore. She just pushes and pushes for things and eventually I tire of saying no and we agree to spend money on something she wants (sometimes for herself, often for the kids). I didn't mention it as a recent occurrence. I mentioned it to someone as an anecdote showing that I know how disorienting it is when you can't trust your spouse. At all. Not even not to harm you while you are sleeping. I said it not to complain on my own behalf but as a way of trying to build a connection to someone hurting so badly that they might believe that no one else can understand their pain.

The non-pooled money also happened years and years ago, even earlier, after the first bout of overspending. We started our marriage with joint accounts. I told her she could run the money until the day that I put my card into the ATM and no cash came out. Never thought that day would arrive. It did. As you know, she spent all our joint savings (100% contributed by me as pre-marriage she had no savings besides 401k plan - huge red flag I ignored) and ran up credit card debts. Since then we have had separate checking accounts. Having separate accounts helps our marriage because otherwise she would spend all our joint money and run up more debts.

I agree in some sense it prevents our marriage from being a safe place that is emotionally fulfilling for me. And it hurts our marriage because we are opponents over money instead of being partners. But as you know I have given up on finding the marriage satisfying and I have no hope that we will ever be financial partners. Like I said, my only goal is to stay married. The health of the marriage is irrelevant. Well, so long as the illness is chronic and not acute. So I don't do anything to fix the high cholesterol or high blood pressure in our marriage. I just take pills to mask the symptoms and carry on.

As for games, when I have a console available I play first person shooters - mostly Battlefield. I am terrible but I like pretending I have agency. When I only have a PC available I play turn based strategy games. They don't make many these days but there are lots of oldies but goodies available to pass the time. Thanks for asking.
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 01/25/17 06:15 PM

Spending can also be an addiction. My MIL has it along with a few of her children. I believe WST has that problem as well. He keeps trying to spend the same $$$ over and over. Reality says you can't do that but he keeps trying. Least that's how I see it and I was his $$$$ backup for most of our M.
Posted By: LovingAnyway

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 01/25/17 06:34 PM

Thank you, Hold, for answering my questions. I don't think you give yourself enough credit for your outstanding patience.

She doesn't steal or lie anymore. So I don't think having a joint account where both your salaries are deposited and bills paid from is unreasonable anymore. I know it once was.

Also, involving her in its accounting would be reasonable, now. With separately maintained savings accounts--so that presents to each other come from there, with a budgeted allowance from the central account going monthly to each.

My DH was a shopaholic for many years. I didn't have it nearly as bad as you or Orchid did. Mostly because of my AO's and DJ's, my DH was afraid of me. Still...we've battled it throughout our marriage. Funny thing...as he conquered it himself, he got some self-confidence. And when I stopped attacking our marriage through justifications and AO's and DJ's and all the rest...well, it helped, too.

The switch comes from gaining the good dopamine drops from not spending greater than the ones for spending. Also, when we did have to make a larger purchase item, I would ask him to do it--the research and eventual purchase. That helped a lot. Along with the admiration and appreciation he received from doing it so well.

I had to own up to being a miser, too. He would get false self-acceptance and confidence from spending; very much like a substance addiction. I would get it from being falsely virtuous for not spending--sacrifice and pride from playing victim. Talking about it, as it happened, doing those honesty drive-bys really made the difference.

Your DW seems to talk to you more now than back when. What if you asked her to tell you every time she wanted to make a purchase and didn't? Would that be of interest to you?

I'm happy your goal is to stay married--you can't make her want to stay married. You know that. It's what you tell yourself. You're getting closer to empty nest--and easing of the huge monetary obligations--and I'm looking out for the marriage. It's a big change. And further--when you have lots of time together. Our goal was to retire together. Now what?

smile

LA
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 01/25/17 07:05 PM

It is interesting as the layers are peeled away what is uncovered.

I have always stated that for most (not all but most), the A is a symptom more than the cause. For many the A is part of a bigger problem.

In my WST's case, that is the revealing part. In his case, he has become his dad and mom's worst combination. Combination of taking their bad habits and weaknesses and letting it be nurtured within his soul. While some of his other siblings have decided to do similar but in a less combined and more destructive level.

There are many paths persons can take. On the flip side, I have seen 2 of his siblings (he has 11), resist those inclinations and become good, honest and faithful men. Only one of them is married, the other is divorced......a different story.

So Hold, what do you think is her real reason for these actions over all these years? Is it something you can afford to live with? It is a question I have wrestled with myself.

LA, thanks for your posts, it got me thinking and well.......we know how dangerous that can be. LOL!!!! wink

Take care,
Orchid
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 01/26/17 05:37 PM

Originally Posted By: LovingAnyway
She doesn't steal or lie anymore. So I don't think having a joint account where both your salaries are deposited and bills paid from is unreasonable anymore. I know it once was.


We can agree to disagree. She still asks to use the cards all the time. She is better about not "stealing" them and using them without my permission, but that does not mean that if I gave full access to her she would continue to always ask my permission before spending. I got burned the last time I gave her control. I am NEVER giving her full access. Ever again. There is NOTHING she can say or do that would convince me the reward of a "closer relationship" with her is worth the risk of financial ruin. Could I be any clearer?

Like I said, we have tens of thousands of dollars of credit card debt and no plans to dial down our lifestyle to repay that debt any time soon. When we discuss these issues, she gets very defensive. She is not interested in having a calm discussion of how we could cut back expenses and generate more funds available to pay down card balances. That is part of what causes me to decide that I cannot trust her with any level of control over our finances.

She doesn't seem to derive any emotional benefit from the idea of living without debt hanging over our heads. She just knows what she wants and pushes relentlessly for me to consent to paying for them. We have discussed her going to back to working full time outside the home now that both kids are out of the house and the cancer threat has receded (thankfully all treatments over months ago). She likes working part time for minimum wage because it provides a flexible schedule. Fine. Then stop asking me over and over again for expensive things we can't afford and pushing to spend more (can we go here? can we get tickets for this? can we get this for the kids?) rather than spending your times trying to come up with ways to spend less so we save more and can pay down more of our debt.

You seem to envision a partnership between us that simply does not exist. Maybe she wishes I treated her more as an equal. I tried that. It was horrific. I don't actually think she wants that. I think deep down she wishes I were more forceful, not more cooperative. But my being forceful terrifies her, so she fights tooth and nail any time I try to do more than veto overspending. I agree the "parent'child" dynamic we have on finances is a bad dynamic. But, like democracy, that doesn't mean it isn't the best dynamic available.

Look, I understand I am a big part of the problem. My fears and insecurities. My neediness. My unwillingness to go "all in" and become the best man and husband I can be. I am not saying this is entirely her fault. Just look how defensive I got when you suggested going back to having joint accounts. It is like I have PTSD.

When I say this is the best available dynamic, I understand that is in large part because of the constraints I am placing on finding a better solution. This is the best I can do without going outside my comfort zone. Maybe something better is available outside my comfort zone. But, as with trying to determine how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop "the world may never know".

Thanks for caring.
Posted By: TC_Manhattan

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 01/26/17 06:10 PM

Hold, the problem is not your unwillingness to go outside of your comfort zone.

It's that she is unwilling to even consider going outside of hers and growing up finally. She is locked into a perpetual state of irresponsible immaturity.

The way I see it, she's not 8 years old anymore. Long past time to grow up.
However, she has chosen the option of being Passive Master and it has been working for the duration of your relationship, so she has no motivation to consider changing.

The only part of your mutual dynamic that I don't fully understand is your fear that she could/would find anyone out there with more money than you who would have her.
The most I could see is that someone might come along and toy with her momentarily, then get the heck outta Dodge.. (Not that she wouldn't deserve it, either.) frown
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 01/26/17 08:42 PM

You maybe needy but she is financially co-dependent on you.

Mine is the same way and can't see that fact. So now he gets to go off to lala land and figure out that $$$ has on emotion or loyalty. You either have it or not.

He took us to the point of filing bankruptcy....actually went over that cliff. Restoring my credit now is a big challenge as a result and despite my warnings and my constant income (except for a portion of 2013) out of 26+ years, he didn't listen.

So for me this separation is emotionally draining and makes me feel as if I failed but financially, my son and I should be doing better. Not great but better. Great will be a goal. smile

Hold, take a look at it from her real issues.......a selfish stance of which she shows no signs of changing. Start there and plan ahead.

I get that it takes a while and you want to wait until the kids are grown, the house is paid and all that catch up stuff. But if a hurricane blew in today and wiped all that out, wouldn't you start over?

I had to look at it that way. It helped. I focused on recovery for us not rescue for him. I could no longer fund his dysfunction.

jmo,
Orchid
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 01/27/17 02:33 AM

TC is correct and incorrect. Yes it is partly her issues but it is also partly mine. That is why this is so difficult and poignant. If I were stronger, I could help her with her PTSD as to sex. If she were stronger, she could help me with mine. A it is, we both mean well but neither of us is healthy and whole enough to heal ourselves much less help the other. Tragic but all too common.

Orchid: Do not worry, I do have an ironclad boundary. I don't let us run up credit card debts in excess of our equity on our house. As long as I control the spending to stay within that boundary, and don't give her access to more assets or more credit, then even if we divorce we can sell the house, use the proceeds to pay off our credit card debt, and then start over with a clean slate. No, neither of us would have money available to put a down payment on a house, but with the kids grown that just means each of us would decide where to rent a small apartment and how much to pay for rent and that is what divorced people need to do anyway.
Posted By: LovingAnyway

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 01/27/17 04:23 AM

I was quoting you...which was me saying "If this is true, then you can now have a partnership."

It's not true. You do have PTSD. And it's reasonable, understandable. You're not unique or wrong.

My offer was to challenge you to see this as ongoing financial infidelity. So you, being here on MA, could have a plan and a path to recovery. So you can really see your WW as she truly is--because she relentlessly pursues your permission to have affairs with spending.

Not asking for strength--asking for you to decide to walk the path of the BS to recovery. Which first takes telling her how traumatic her continued infidelity really is--every request outside the budget is like asking you "Can I bang him? How 'bout him? Will you buy him and me dinner, too?"

And the ongoing interest on such a debt is screwing you. You know that. That's a daily harm, accruing. Inside and out. To her and to you. So you contribute to actively harming your wife and marriage daily. That's harsh. Tell me if it's true. You might have thought your passivity was safe, that you weren't doing harm.

I'm asking you to be truly kind to your WW. Tell her how the debt is eating up true financial security. That you want to recover your marriage from her cheating. Which includes building trust, being honest, defining personal and marital boundaries, and stop hurting you.

Give her a path back; including working full-time, acknowledging and owning her choices throughout the marriage and every day to do harm to you and the marriage; and to actively commit to not doing harm to you and the marriage.

Because redemption is rooted in love. Without asking for her to stop, you enable her to continue. She may continue--you can decide to not aide and abet the guilt/shame spiral that continues it.

Her pleasure from spending is fleeting. The guilt/shame portion of the cycle gets longer, hurts more and more. It's an emotional cancer.

Mentally, your boundaries prepare for the marriage to fail eventually. That's your fail safe line. Yet your goal is to stay married, so that's an ongoing slow corrosion, really, isn't it? Against what you want most?

Begins with stating that you experience her as unfaithful and untrustworthy; as a partner attacking the marriage and yourself with deep pain.

You turned physical infidelity as a "I don't want to know" which translates to financial infidelity as well. But you've said that isn't true...you want to know when she does it and you hate to be asked over and over again for her to do it.

Give her the perspective and see if she wants to get to redemption. She can't see reward in being debt free until she understands the peril and pain of it.

She doesn't become a healthy partner until she stops being a danger.

Your job is to share and see what she wants most.

This isn't rating you as better or best husband. There is no rating system. You're you. She loves you. Whether you accept that or not. You're half of the marriage.

If you'll have this talk...then continue it. Each time she asks for something outside the budget--say "Ouch." Mean it. Feel it. Just like when she pulls away from your touch when you're feeling close--say "Ouch." That's your job.

Tell her that a marriage recovered from financial infidelity has no debt, deep savings, equality and trust. That you want to get there. You want that freedom and reward. And you want it for her, too.

It's not forceful...it could be essential.

You do so well in seeing each other's shortcomings and I hear a forgiveness that exceeds tolerance. Seems to me you've been treading water to avoid the torture of drowning and you've forgotten, you can fly.

LA
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 01/27/17 02:58 PM

This is why you are such a gem and were so sorely missed. I hope many others are reading so they can experience your beautiful eloquent words.
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 01/27/17 06:08 PM

LA that is beautiful.
Posted By: Rich57

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 01/28/17 01:30 PM

Originally Posted By: LovingAnyway
I feel like I've hijacked Hold's thread, though.

I think Hold has a no hijack is really a hijack policy on his thread - please correct me or edit me if I am wrong Mr Moderator Hold! smile smile smile

LA - there are lots of us who read on this thread and I agree with the others that it is nice to see you back again and I am sure we all appreciate your perspective!
At least I do!
Posted By: Ace

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 01/28/17 05:55 PM

Originally Posted By: Rich57
I am sure we all appreciate your perspective!
At least I do!
Me two! yahoo
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 01/28/17 08:14 PM

Agree!
Posted By: LovingAnyway

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 01/29/17 01:26 AM

I'm so happy to see you, Rich! And look at Ace posting, too. grin (And hello to Blair.)

Hold--though I appreciate your post, my initial reaction is one of your most artful dodges. I hope you're mulling what I suggested. I hope you feel the deep and abiding love so many have for you and your marriage. That's what evident to me.

I don't know about eloquent words. I write from total focus on you and a deep desire to aid you in some way. I can be wrong--you know I've been wrong many times. And incomprehensible, too.

I know you do feel deeply, sir. I believe your wife does also. And by numbing ourselves we see our partners as being fine or numb, also.

Accepting that you feel deeply and making it your life's work to not feel at all--well, that's gotta hurt. You know?

You're not alone. Been there...done that. Just gives the illusion of working. Change your premise, change your life, toots.

LA
Posted By: right here waiting

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 01/29/17 03:12 AM

Originally Posted By: LA
Seems to me you've been treading water to avoid the torture of drowning and you've forgotten, you can fly.
LA


Originally Posted By: Hold
this is why you are such a gem and were so sorely missed.


Hold nailed it so sweetly and succinctly. You have been sorely missed, LA. I'm as delighted as the others to see you here again with your signature point-blank, direct line to the heart of the matter insights--classic LA! Welcome back.
[/hijack]
Posted By: LovingAnyway

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 01/29/17 05:05 PM

((((RHW)))) Thank you!
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 01/30/17 01:43 PM

LA: It was a dodge after I composed a lengthy reply as to why I would not be taking your advice. I decided that your post was so heartfelt and pure and good I would not sully it with my negativity.

I know I am in pain. I know this path will never lead to peace or satisfaction. I am continuing on this path anyway. I didn't want my negation to stand as my direct response to what you wrote. What you wrote was profound and lovely. A wiser man would take your advice.

You are, of course, correct in everything you wrote. I am hurting myself and my wife every day. I intend to continue to do so until the day I die. That is why I keep telling everyone here that, while I wish I could bring myself to return to being the good-hearted and well-intentioned person that I used to be, I can't and won't. Not as regards to myself.

Toward myself, I have switched to the side of evil. To the side of intentionally causing pain. I get more payoff from causing myself pain than I ever got from trying to obtain pleasure or at least refraining from causing pain when I could. I know it is bad and wrong and a waste and that I will end my days with a pile of regrets. Nevertheless, I am going to continue doing it.

I am too lazy and fearful to do the work to move toward happiness. The mountain is so high and I am so small and I simply cannot bring myself to begin that journey. I know it is one step at a time and one day at a time. But you have to turn to the light and take that first step. And I prefer to stay here cold and alone and hiding in the dark. From myself. You are all so kind and generous to be there for me. But I am not for myself. So all that the rest of you hope for and wish for and would be willing to do to help is all for naught. Because I am not for me.

That is why I had for a time stopped posting about me, moved my old thread to storage and devoted my time here only to posting to others. Because only with respect to others can I accomplish anything worthwhile. I slipped and posted about myself when Mrs. H got the offer to go on the trip and I was so badly torn inside about whether to grant my blessing and financial support. So in a time of weakness I broke my promise to myself and posted about me. Hopefully in the future I will be strong enough not to make that same mistake.
Posted By: LovingAnyway

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 01/30/17 07:33 PM

Hold,

I got it. I'm very sorry I was obtuse. My own stuff got in the way.

I'm glad you broke your promise to yourself. Your threads have always been important to me. Your severe honesty helps me to see we are all separate again after my emotions identify the rope that makes us all one.

That's essential and I thank you for it. I had a fear flash realizing you moved your old thread to storage and might do the same with this one again. I think you miss your ongoing accomplishment by being you. I can know myself more through reading your posts and those who post to you.

What we see in others we have in ourselves. Your own heartfelt eloquence is easily seen in every post. I thought of myself as a seeker, searching for information to save my marriage and then, as a sharer. I realize we are always both, simultaneously. I'm grateful to find you doing both when I came back and didn't realize you'd stopped at all.

I'm grateful you slipped and broke your promise to yourself. I'm richer because of it. What I write to you is really just want I wanted to tell myself and couldn't find the words.

What you think of as a mistake, I cherish. Thank you for making it. I believe all your posts, in storage or not, helps others and the only say you get in it, is whether or not they can be found. Not whether they help or not.

Let them be found, please.

I'm okay you won't be taking my advice. There's not a win/loss column for me if you do or don't. What there is for me is the journey itself. Your journey helps others and your willingness to share it, even as you share your wise counsel for others, isn't negated because you won't take advice. The act itself is the connection in a world where by design, we are alone.

So I challenge your self-perception that your good-hearted and well-intentioned self is past tense. He persists. Deal with it.

smile

LA
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 01/30/17 09:26 PM

Oh, I know he is still there. I keep him locked in the basement, chained to a radiator. He is in misery. I revel in his misery. It is what he deserves. Like I said - evil.

That is why the harshest personal attack I can post to someone is: don't be like me. Don't start down this path. It doesn't end well.
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 01/30/17 09:47 PM

Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
Oh, I know he is still there. I keep him locked in the basement, chained to a radiator. He is in misery. I revel in his misery. It is what he deserves. Like I said - evil.

That is why the harshest personal attack I can post to someone is: don't be like me. Don't start down this path. It doesn't end well.


But I (and possibly many others), want you to be well. Are we misguided?

I'm determined for me to be and stay well, least what is within my control. A man harping on me to eat better but gives me grief being the prime source of my high BP and other ailments isn't my idea of being healthy.

Still I can control what I eat and I don't live in a box. I enjoy my eating and wear it well. I wear a smile as well and like it to be genuine (like my food). smile

I wish that for you, good food and smile. Is that doable? wink

Orchid
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 01/30/17 10:21 PM

The problem is that I do not want to be well. Or at least I am not willing to do the work to become well. I am comfortable in my misery and terrified of change. I fear that if I get well I will not be able to tolerate staying married to Mrs. H. I fear that I will make stupid mistakes during the process of getting well. I fear that I will break my marriage or my career or both if I try to move from the stable but unpleasant "here" to the stable and more pleasant "there".

Seems to me that you guys see me as treading water in the middle of a deep lake, and you can't understand why I don't swim to shore. To you, it seems that it requires enormous energy to stay where I am, and that it would be much easier once I got to one shore or another. North, south, east or west, it doesn't appear to matter which direction I swim so long as I get moving.

To me it seems like I am stranded on a small island. There is a fresh water stream, some coconut palms, and I can catch some clams on the beach. Very primitive living. Lots of work to maintain myself. But doable forever. To me, it seems like you guys are asking me to get into the ocean and swim to the mainland. To me, it looks very far away. The water is cold. The surf looks very rough. And I fear I will drown if I step foot off my safe little island. You guys want me to have a life beyond cold water and coconuts. You want me to be part of the broader world. You guys are telling me that the mainland isn't all that far and the water will feel warm once I get in and get used to it. You guys are saying that if I am too weak to swim that far today then I should start exercising so I become stronger and can make the journey. But I am weak and afraid. I am going to stay on my small deserted island.

I cannot tell you how terrified I am of change. My pulse is racing and my breathing is shallow and I feel tightness in my chest just thinking about it.
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 01/30/17 11:01 PM

You've given me a lot to think about.......eating lunch and meditating (kinda).

Will reply more later.
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 01/31/17 06:26 AM

Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
The problem is that I do not want to be well. Or at least I am not willing to do the work to become well. I am comfortable in my misery and terrified of change. I fear that if I get well I will not be able to tolerate staying married to Mrs. H. I fear that I will make stupid mistakes during the process of getting well. I fear that I will break my marriage or my career or both if I try to move from the stable but unpleasant "here" to the stable and more pleasant "there"..........

...........I cannot tell you how terrified I am of change. My pulse is racing and my breathing is shallow and I feel tightness in my chest just thinking about it.


The common word here is 'fear'. Giving you credit for the honesty of your challenges.

How deep is your fear? What things do you change that you are ok wtih?

Do you eat only 1 type of breakfast, lunch and dinner? Are you open to trying new foods? Visiting new places? Learning new tasks? Venturing on new projects? Reaching out to others?

Right here on MA must have been a change for you, right? Look at how well you have helped others learn how to recognize, accept and change. thumbsup

Can you narrow down your fields of fear?

You know Hold, I have more hope for you than my H and that makes me happy for you but sad for my now WST. Maybe that's why I find your posts so interesting. I'm trying to understand how a man who has a basically good family is willing to walk away from it all, even without a raging A (or so I'm told). He has never really ever stood up for us or with us. That saddens me and I feel bad for my son, who certainly does not deserve to be treated as such. Still it is who he is and I can't change that. I know this and that is why we had to separate.

I fear change also. Especially change like having to downsize from a family of 3 to a family of 2. To move to a new place and make it work. There is some unknown that makes me lose sleep. I have to work to stay calm knowing that I have no backup, no partner who can watch out and be there for myself and my son. I have to work extra hard to carefully check and recheck our paths/decisions.

I pray a lot, it helps. smile

Orchid
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 01/31/17 02:42 PM

Originally Posted By: Orchid2
I'm trying to understand how a man who has a basically good family is willing to walk away from it all, even without a raging A (or so I'm told).


He has demons. He is running from them. Staying with you means staying with the demons, because you know all his weaknesses and insecurities. He wants to be away from you so he can pretend he doesn't have them. Of course, they go with him. Of course, it would be a wiser choice to stay with you and face his demons. You would help him do that if he asked. But he will not ask. Because he would rather run away from his good family than face his demons.

I understand his choice. I too refuse to face my demons. The only difference is that when push came to shove I stayed. Not the noble choice so many here think it was. I didn't stay primarily out of love for my wife. I stayed primarily out of fear. And because I knew I would be weak and abandon my kids if I left. And I enjoyed the interaction with them too much to give it up. That was not loving so much as selfish.
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 02/01/17 12:47 AM

Well you are certainly more honest than my WST. At least your acknowledge your demons and maybe if your reasons are always for the right reasons, you are making a better decision than WST is.

That's probably why I still feel there is hope for you and your M.

See, I don't get the opportunity to fail or feel weak. I have no backup person in my life to be there for me. Not in the financial or marital sense. So I have had to toughen it up for years. I get browbeaten for fighting to survive and finally got tired of fighting.

WST does get to live with his own demons. Least they won't be coming out to bother me as much from now on.

What I believe I had influenced his is fun to have another A. Took the air out of that one by reminding him of how the last fling ended (in court with a 3 year RO as a keepsake). So he claims he is alone, I say I don't know. He gets mad but really, if he refuses to be transparent about where he lives, what are we suppose to think? So I honestly, don't know. He doesn't get it, or he does and doesn't like that version. Who knows?!?!?!?!

I think he lives next to a river (de'nial).

Don't go fishing there, it is stocked with stinkfish. eek

jmo,
Orchid
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 02/01/17 01:38 PM

One call with Mrs. H exemplifies the situation. She called to ask if she could take some of her friends from work to lunch at a members-only club I belong to. I was angry at her for asking. Pouncing on me on the phone in the moment with her friends standing next to her after she already mentioned to them that she would ask me. Puts me on the spot where I am the bad guy. I hate that. I have told her so. she does it with the kids all the time and it drives me batty. Maybe if she asked in advance in private before discussing it with others I might feel OK about it. But when she pounces on me I feel attacked and violated. Just like she feels when I try to initiate sex "out of the blue". Part of why I don't initiate sex any more. I know how it feels to be asked for something you don't want to share.

But that is my problem. I want to be the type of husband who would say "yes, sure, it will be fun and a treat". But given all my frustration and resentment, I told her "no".

Yes, I had practical reasons. I was not there so there would be an added guest fee. And the place does not give checks at the end of the meal (they bill members monthly) so it would be difficult for the women to split the check among themselves (and I had no intention of treating the entire group - which to me is part of the problem). So I explained this to Mrs. H and she withdrew the request.

But I felt bad for wanting to say no. I wasn't looking to find a way to make it happen for her and her work friends. I was looking for justifications to say no. I hate being a husband who is looking for ways to say no to his wife. And I expect to be that husband for the rest of my life. Lucky I enjoy being depressed.
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 02/01/17 07:06 PM

She is being manipulative and I'm not sure why that is ok. Glad you said no (as long as you had valid reasons).

You know why my WST didn't tell me stuff? One of his reasons was that 'I would not agree or say no.' So he made major purchases (purchase a work truck that I had to finance, went on trips with other people and spent my $$$$ without asking or consulting me, etc.

After a while that gets old......... maybe now I'll be able to save some $$$. wink
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 02/02/17 02:41 PM

We are both manipulative. She tries to manipulate me to spend money. I try to manipulate her to stay married to me.

So ironic. When I used to tell her how I felt about her and was sincere and meant every word, she did not believe me and thought I was lying to try to get into her pants. Now that I am not trying to get into her pants she believes what I say to her even though now I am saying it even when I don't actually feel it - because that is the type of husband I want to be and I want her to stay with me so I say the things I know I should say whether I feel them or not. The truth got me scorn and the little white lies get me hugs and kisses and smiles and what appears from the outside to be real love and appreciation on her part.

That is part of why I feel bad about myself - I don't share my inner truth with her. And that is why I will never share my truth with her. When I did in the past I got punished and now that I lie I get rewarded. Funny world we live in.
Posted By: TC_Manhattan

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 02/02/17 04:28 PM

Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
...The truth got me scorn and the little white lies get me hugs and kisses and smiles and what appears from the outside to be real love and appreciation on her part.

That is part of why I feel bad about myself - I don't share my inner truth with her. And that is why I will never share my truth with her. When I did in the past I got punished and now that I lie I get rewarded. Funny world we live in.


So let me see if I get that. Your reward is a charade? Truly?
That's the sum and substance of your reward?

Hold, you are selling yourself way short.
You are worthy of so much more than a mere shallow charade.
And even that you have to work for constantly.

You are Silas. And she is your corporal mortification.
You'd make a great early Christian...
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 02/02/17 08:05 PM

TC: No, I think the love and appreciation on her part are genuine. That is the irony. She could not bring herself to love me without hesitation back when I was trying to have sex with her. She held back because fully loving me would have put pressure on her to have sex with me and feeling obliged to have sex triggers her PTSD.

Now that we don't have sex, she can relax and allow herself to love me fully. Of course, now that we don't have sex, I have to hold back emotionally. Opening myself to her fully would rekindle my sexual desire for her. And these days, the thought of allowing myself to desire her sexually triggers my PTSD.

I keep telling you, we are perfectly matched! This is so much like an O Henry story.
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 02/02/17 08:40 PM

Is there care in this R, enough to sustain the dysfunction?
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 02/02/17 08:49 PM

Orchid: Yes, there is lots of care. I got a nice hug and a couple of sweet kisses on the cheek this morning. That is 3 more signs of Affection in one day than I got on most days back when we were doing MC or ST. Then it was a cold war. Now it is warm and pleasant. I like warm and pleasant. If the only way to get to warm and pleasant is to refrain from sex, so be it.

I am not interested in spending even 1 day back in cold war in the hope that we might find a way to have both caring touches and sex. I am choosing to continue to get caring touches. That is my goal. I do what I can for Mrs. H so she continues to be motivated to stay with me and provide caring touches.
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 02/02/17 08:53 PM

Care is more than a hug or a kiss.

True care shows action that the needs of the other is given fair consideration and enacted upon. It does not work well when it is one-sided between 2 consenting adults.

jmo,
Orchid
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 02/02/17 11:16 PM

We both care. We both try to love the other person the way they want to be loved. We both fall short in our capacity of providing what the other needs. I am convinced that she loves me dearly. Much more than she did when we first got married. Much more than she did while we were doing MC. I think my being faithful and attentive and complimentary to her despite the scars and the changes to the shape and size and texture of her body have impressed her. I think when you are a very beautiful and sexy lady and get lots of male attention and kinda take it for granted and then you get older and then you get cancer and then your hair falls out and your skin gets thin and scaly and you look in the mirror and you don't like what you see but your husband tells you that you are beautiful to him and he wolf whistles every time he sees you naked, that you feel loved in a way that you didn't feel years ago.

I think she used to hold back on caring for me out of fear that if she was pleasant and affectionate that I would pressure her for sex. And she was correct. I would have. Now I don't. She loves me more for that. And she tries in her way to care for me. And she would even be willing to have sex with me more often if I initiated more often. Who knows, she might even be willing to have sex with me once a week on a regular basis. That was my "holy grail" during MC and ST.

I don't begrudge her the level of care she provides because I am not trying to obtain more care from her. I don't want it. I want to be the one who provides more care for her than she provides for me. I want to be the one who is making the greater sacrifice for the relationship. I want to be the one who cares less and thus has more power. And as long as I mostly refuse to have sex with her, I am. So I will continue refusing. Because I care about the power more than I care about the sex or being happy or being open and honest or any other aspect of our relationship.

Early in our marriage, she refused to let me care for her because she did not want to "owe" me. I used to complain that she would not give me any credit for anything I did for her. It seemed she cared more about not feeling obliged to have sex with me than she cared about whether either of us was happy to be married to the other. I told her that marriage should be about giving the other person everything you have to give and being open to allowing the other person to be generous and caring.

Now I am the person refusing to let her care for me. And I see that I was wrong and she was correct. It is much more satisfying to be the person who refuses to give the other spouse credit for anything they try to do for you. Lonely. But you are much less vulnerable. When I allowed myself to pressure her for sex, she could not afford to be vulnerable to me. I was not safe for her to be open with. Since she continues to pressure me financially, I refuse to allow myself to be emotionally vulnerable to her. I do not view her as safe for me to be open with.

Perfect match. O Henry. Irony. Tables turned. Tragedy. Farce. All of life rolled into one tiny insignificant marriage. Shakespeare would have a field day with us.
Posted By: TC_Manhattan

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 02/02/17 11:25 PM

Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
I want to be the one who cares less and thus has more power. And as long as I mostly refuse to have sex with her, I am. So I will continue refusing. Because I care about the power more than I care about the sex or being happy or being open and honest or any other aspect of our relationship.


So this is your life script in a nutshell..

Tis all about power, not love.
Sounds like the joker in the White House.
How scary and sad.. shocked
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 02/03/17 06:49 PM

I tried going for love uber alles at the start of our marriage and for many years after. I got burned big time. I realize that Mrs. H might actually be trustworthy now in matters of the heart. I am too fearful to see if that is the case. She as a former rape victim was too afraid to trust me at the start of our marriage. By the time she learned to trust me, I lost faith in myself.

Not scary. But very sad.
Posted By: LovingAnyway

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 02/03/17 10:45 PM

Hey, Hold...

I get that this is your balance...what you evolved over several years to combat your torment. I'm okay with your trade offs, with this self-treaty.

Thing is, doesn't it leave out your wife? Do you believe compliance is agreement?

And how would this be a tragedy if it is what you want? Tragedy for you, for her or the marriage?
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 02/04/17 02:48 AM

She made the ground rules for our marriage. Each person for themselves. I argued for years that I wanted a joint / mutual marriage. She told me I was foolish and weak. In the end she convinced me of the virtues of her position. If she now feels she was in error, I feel no guilt in telling her it is too late to change her mind.

I was compliant in the absence of sex for decades. Her body, her choice. She said no, I accepted that. Do you think my compliance was agreement? Again, she made the ground rules. Compliance is acceptance. Desire or agreement is not relevant. If you aren't getting what you want from the marriage, that is your own fault. Your spouse is under no obligation to provide anything just because you desire it.

The tragedy is that she may now be willing to provide what I dreamed of and longed for and desperately desired for so many years. Unfortunately, by the time she became willing to provide what I spent so many years begging for, I no longer want it. In fact, I take pleasure in spurning it. That is the tragedy. If she had decided to provide it sooner, we both would have been immensely happy. As it is, she is sufficiently but not overwhelmingly happy, and I am a total mess.

Tragedy for me, and her, and the marriage. I don't want this in the abstract. This is not the marriage I prayed for when I was single or in the early years of our marriage. This is the marriage I prefer over the alternatives I view as available.

This is the risk minimization marriage. Not the satisfaction maximizing marriage. Tragedy that we will never know the satisfaction maximizing marriage because I am too weak and too fearful to move from where we are to where we might arrive. The road ahead has hairpin turns on the edge of steep cliffs. I would rather stay here in the dark shadow at the valley floor rather than climb the steep path up to the mountain top. The view there might be spectacular. But I am too afraid to fall off the cliff to take even one step along the path upward.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 02/05/17 03:58 PM

The previous post is very dark. In reality, my day to day marriage is very pleasant. As I have said, Mrs. H is more loving and affectionate than at any point in the past. I enjoy our marriage today far more than at any time in the past. If I have to sacrifice Sexual Fulfillment for the current level of Affection, at this point it is a trade I willingly make.
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 02/05/17 06:26 PM

I wish your fears were not holding you back. frown
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 02/06/17 02:05 PM

Why? I have the power to forgive her for making me choose between 2 important needs. She doesn't do it out of cruelty. She does it for the same reason I make so many foolish choices: pain and fear. If I were wise, I would forgive myself and forgive her and move on. I choose to stay trapped. The prison is within my own mind. I am comfortable here.

There is no way of knowing for sure that my being "brave" would lead to a better place. Or that, even if it did, that getting there would not involve much pain and damage to Mrs. H, our kids, etc. Don't wish for me to be brave. Wish for me to be wise and to forgive. Where I am now is quite beautiful in the grand scheme of things. Wish or pray for me to appreciate it more.

Here is one thing I appreciated yesterday. Mrs. H was getting ready for work early in the morning. she was wearing a short robe which hung open. She started talking about work or the kids or something in her life that she wanted to share with me. After a few sentences, I interrupted her to say: "you are sitting in front of me in a short robe that is falling open to reveal everything. You do understand that I am unable to hear a word you are saying, right?" She smiled and maybe giggled and pulled her robe closed and said I am silly and strted her story over. I see that as a positive interaction. She was only slightly annoyed but also pleased that I still care when her robe falls open. Earlier in our marriage she would not have smiled and she would have been very annoyed that I wasn't paying attention. And probably more annoyed that I found her naked body distracting. She didn't want me to be distracted by her body. Now she likes it.

To me, that is a huge improvement in our marriage. That is a way that I can now be me, the real me, the man that I am. I don't have to hide who I am. Hopefully I can appreciate more about where we are today and let go of where we were before. But as my name says, I have trouble letting go.
Posted By: Rich57

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 02/06/17 02:12 PM

Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
If I were wise, I would forgive myself and forgive her and move on.

NO - you would forgive your self and her and move forward.
You dont need to move on but forward is a must.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 02/06/17 02:22 PM

Yes, that is what I meant. Forward. Not leave her. Forgive both of us and appreciate what we have together.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 02/10/17 03:55 PM

Great day with Mrs H while snowed in yesterday. She was warm and friendly and affectionate. Let me kiss her. She usually turns her head to the side to avoid it. We are getting along so much better these days.

She gave indications she would have been open to sex. I deflected. I do not want to go there.

I need to keep repeating that this is what I always wanted (besides the lack of sex, and the lack of sex is my choice) so I should revel in how she treats me and drop the resentment. So hard to drop it. Need new tape in my head.
Posted By: Oblivious2678

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 02/10/17 04:36 PM

Lots of built up resentment to let go of would definitely be difficult.

Ever thought of having the mindset that you have an entirely new marriage/relationship with a different woman since your wife's cancer scare? The previous marriage before that no longer exists?

Or does this mindset create too much anxiety due to the need to succeed in the bedroom?
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 02/14/17 03:32 PM

Best start to a Valentine's Day in years. Surprised Mrs. H with presents and flowers and cards hidden around the house. She seemed very appreciative.

I have what I always wanted. Time to stop allowing resentment from past hurts to ruin everything.
Posted By: Oblivious2678

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 02/14/17 03:38 PM

Are you truthfully going to allow the resentment to stop? I'd love to see you follow through with it. How appropriate it could be for it to occur on Valentine's Day night!
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 02/15/17 02:47 PM

Who knows the future. I am open to letting go of the resentment. That has not been the case in 12 years.
Posted By: Oblivious2678

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 02/15/17 03:21 PM

Good for you sir. High risk, high reward, but I think in your case, the risk has been diminished considerably.
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 02/16/17 12:19 AM

Virtual hugs for you, Hold. It's a big choice, but you have the tenacity to accomplish anything you set your mind to!
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/06/17 06:17 PM

We have been getting along very well. Mrs. H far more affectionate. Far more appreciative of my good points. Far more accepting of my weaknesses. I enjoy our time together more than ever before. Starting to feel glad I waited this out rather than foolish for wasting so many years.
Posted By: TC_Manhattan

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/06/17 07:32 PM

Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
We have been getting along very well. Mrs. H far more affectionate. Far more appreciative of my good points. Far more accepting of my weaknesses. I enjoy our time together more than ever before. Starting to feel glad I waited this out rather than foolish for wasting so many years.



Sounds like a winner to me! thumbsup
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/07/17 03:47 PM

Strange to say, but in some ways her cancer was the best thing that ever happened to our marriage. She looks at herself differently. She looks at me differently. I don't wish this on her. But given that it happened, there has been a silver lining.
Posted By: LivingWell

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/10/17 12:18 AM

Hi Hold. I like the blue suit you're wearing.

I'm happy to read this. Then-h's dr explained it to me. In my situation, it cemented the road to divorce. I thought that there was a pretty good chance that it might go the other way for you. Happy for you that it did.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/10/17 03:14 PM

Hey LW, always great to hear from you.

What does "blue suit" mean?
Posted By: Miranda

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/10/17 03:21 PM

Lol,

LW is talking about your "moderator blues" Hold. You know, your name in blue now.
Posted By: Oblivious2678

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/10/17 03:44 PM

"Yer my boy, Blue!!!"
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/10/17 03:44 PM

Ah, that makes sense.

I constantly remind myself to look forward and not back. You cannot change your spouse. Only they can change themselves. And they have to want to. Until the cancer, she did not want to. Now she is pleased she did. She has recently admitted that she used to unpleasant toward me and that now she is much more relaxed around me.

Until I got older, I was unwilling to change the way I acted upon my desire for sex. So time and physical changes have changed me as well.

I am glad the changes have made us more compatible.
Posted By: NewEveryDay

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/10/17 09:09 PM

Yeah hold my DH last week told me if I meet his XW one day I should thank her for "training him in" that got a better husband than she did. Life matures us and I'm so grateful for you both that you two get to enjoy the fruits together.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/10/17 10:32 PM

But as LW points out, the changes do not always bring you closer together. Some people when they get sick or a parent dies, they have a MLC and a A. Mrs. H had a parent die and she got sick and it caused her to appreciate me to an extent she never did before.

Part of that was that I stuck with her despite the scars and her diminished physical capacity (she used to go to the gym every day, now a long walk wears her out). But part of that has nothing to do with me. She sees herself as "less than" to a greater extent than I do. She frequently apologizes for what she no longer is or can do. She is grateful for compliments in a way she never was before. I think she has been humbled by the loss of control over her body and her life. She no longer feels like she doesn't need anyone for anything and would be fine alone and with no help. She wants a companion in a way she never did before.

That is NOT always the outcome of major life changes. Not everyone clings to their partner. Many run away. Not always a reflection of the partner.
Posted By: Miranda

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/11/17 02:12 AM

I can attest to this. I had hoped that my husband's heart surgery and attendant complications would produce a similar result to what Mrs Hold experienced. But no way did it go that way.
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/11/17 03:32 AM

I find it a bit selfish that person's are nice to their spouses after a hard loss. While that's better than not appreciating, I wonder if it's because they know they are now vulnerable and don't want to be alone vs truly appreciating family as those who really care despite what has happened.

I guess, care vs what is in it for them is where I find a big question of trust.

jmo,
Orchid
Posted By: MaidUpName

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/11/17 08:26 AM

Originally Posted By: holdingontoit


That is NOT always the outcome of major life changes. Not everyone clings to their partner. Many run away. Not always a reflection of the partner.


That's to true

Talking with my IC in the early days it became apparent that it was in the immediate aftermath of my brain haemorrhage that WD started becoming detached and distant.

She made the point that it is very common in a situation where the wife gets sick, especially with small children (the boys were 2 and 6) the husband panics and is overwhelmed by the prospect of coping alone should his wife pass away. So he decided, possible subconsciously, that he doesn't want that responsibility and moves towards extricating himself from the marriage/family.

Small subtle things at first which on the back of a serious illness just made me feel I was being needy and paranoid but with hind sight.....

Hold, I'm so glad the opposite happened for you. You come across as someone with so much love to give, a real sense of family responsibility and a genuine desire to be part of a loving marriage.

Your wife is lucky to have you

MUN
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/13/17 01:42 PM

Orchid: Yes, some people are all about what is in it for them. I remember discussing this with Mrs. H early in our marriage and during MC. That I thought marriage was all about what you could do for your spouse and she felt marriage was all about what you could get your spouse to do for you. In the end things started changing when I decided to switch over to her way of looking at things. I started doing less for her, and she realized she would have to do more to keep me invested in the relationship.

MUN: My wife used to think I was lucky to have her. Now I think she is coming around to seeing things the way you do. Amazing what a combination of double mastectomy combined with reconstruction surgery that results in about a meter of scars, and chemo and radiation that leave you weak, in pain and unable to exercise will do to one's self-esteem.
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/13/17 05:30 PM

Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
Orchid: Yes, some people are all about what is in it for them. I remember discussing this with Mrs. H early in our marriage and during MC. That I thought marriage was all about what you could do for your spouse and she felt marriage was all about what you could get your spouse to do for you. In the end things started changing when I decided to switch over to her way of looking at things. I started doing less for her, and she realized she would have to do more to keep me invested in the relationship.

MUN: My wife used to think I was lucky to have her. Now I think she is coming around to seeing things the way you do. Amazing what a combination of double mastectomy combined with reconstruction surgery that results in about a meter of scars, and chemo and radiation that leave you weak, in pain and unable to exercise will do to one's self-esteem.


Sad that she continues to value herself based upon her physical body.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/14/17 12:35 AM

She values herself for more than that. She is very organized. I am not. So she keeps track of things for me. She doesn't understand how I survived for years living on my own before I married her.

It isn't that she only values herself for her body. It is that her body is the aspect of her life that has taken the biggest hit from the cancer. Also, before the cancer she was planning to get a full time job that pays far more than she makes working her part time job. She feels guilty that she promised me she would work full time when the kids were both in college, and the cancer is part of the reason she has decided not to take a full time 9-5 job. She actually works just as many hours part time as she would full time, but the hours are spread out among all 7 days of the week and some in the evening so it is not 8 hours a day 5 days a week. She has more flexibility to arrange her schedule, which she likes. But she doesn't earn as much. she feels she is letting me down in that way.

So it is not just her body. But that is one aspect of her that has, in her eyes, taken a major hit. I still see her as beautiful and tell her so often. No difference in my behavior in that area. But she appreciates it far more than she used to.

And let us be clear. It is not like her values are skewed and mine are pure. Her body was one of the things that attracted me to her. Frankly, if I had asked a sculptor to carve the perfect female form for me, he would have carved her body when I met her. And her body 20 years later prior to the cancer. So she isn't the only one who valued her body too highly. I did too. And I paid the price for my foolishness.
Posted By: Miranda

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/14/17 03:03 AM

There was just something....disturbing to me about the word choice there. "Unable to exercise"

Of all the things that an infirmity or illness can rob you of. THIS is what the big problem is? For real? I mean I have been "unable to exercise" due to my Fibromyalgia for years. If I exercise I literally can't do jack shinola else for days afterward. I've effectively crippled myself. I don't mourn that for a damn second. I mourn a lot of shinola. But not that.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/14/17 10:24 PM

Exercise was a big part of her life pre-cancer. She went to the gym pretty much every day. It helped her lose 1/3 of her body weight. She misses it, and is part of why she feels "less than".

Totally OK if exercise means nothing to you. It doesn't mean much to me, either. But it bothers her that cancer took that away from her.
Posted By: LivingWell

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/14/17 10:26 PM

Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
But as LW points out, the changes do not always bring you closer together. Some people when they get sick or a parent dies, they have a MLC and a A. Mrs. H had a parent die and she got sick and it caused her to appreciate me to an extent she never did before.

Changes can bring you closer together. Or not. Depends on the choices and decisions of the people in the relationship.

His affair changed me, and it changed what was required in order for me to remain in the marriage. He lollygagged with recovery efforts and then he got sick. I stayed with him through treatment but it was too little, too late for the marriage. So after he recovered, I filed for a divorce that I didn't want but needed.

I am better off. But I wanted to be better off in a recovered marriage.


Quote:
That is NOT always the outcome of major life changes. Not everyone clings to their partner. Many run away. Not always a reflection of the partner.

It was amazing to me what was revealed about a lot of people during the illness. It was most amazing to me that no one surprised me. Not one person. And I really did want to be mistaken about several.

Hold, you didn't surprise me during Mrs. Hold's ordeal. From what you wrote, she didn't surprise me either truth be told. smile
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/14/17 10:50 PM

LW: I am glad you were not surprised.
Posted By: Oblivious2678

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/15/17 01:57 PM

Hold, I hope Mrs. Hold can fill this void with something else healthy. Filling voids can be difficult.

How are you doing digging out of this snow? I've heard 2-2.5 feet in your region.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/15/17 02:00 PM

She has replaced exercise with working 7 days a week. I have discussed with her that this is wearing her down. But as you say, she needs something to fill her time and she tends to get obsessive about things and working a dozen 4 hour shifts a week is better than if she spent 50 hours a week shopping!
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/24/17 01:21 PM

Originally Posted By: SmilingWife
Sad that she continues to value herself based upon her physical body.


Clear that she does, at least in part.

When DD was home a few weeks ago we were discussing that MIL has a date (FIL died a couple of years ago). I told Mrs. H and DD that Mrs. H should feel free to date after I am gone. If you aren't dead, you should live. Mrs. H looked at DD and said "I am not going to date. I don't want to have to take care of another man. And anyway, no man would want me. I have all these scars and no boobs."

So the change to her body definitely weighs on her.
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/24/17 11:27 PM

Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
Originally Posted By: SmilingWife
Sad that she continues to value herself based upon her physical body.


Clear that she does, at least in part.

When DD was home a few weeks ago we were discussing that MIL has a date (FIL died a couple of years ago). I told Mrs. H and DD that Mrs. H should feel free to date after I am gone. If you aren't dead, you should live. Mrs. H looked at DD and said "I am not going to date. I don't want to have to take care of another man. And anyway, no man would want me. I have all these scars and no boobs."

So the change to her body definitely weighs on her.


Yep. She is at least consistent.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/27/17 01:46 PM

Son was home over weekend. He had a few extra days at the end of spring break so he made time to see his Mom. Mrs H was poking me about ignoring them and after the 4th or 5th repeat (while I was in the room with them and after I promised not to leave until son did) I made a crude remark. She took offense and started yelling at me. I stayed calm and told her I was sorry but I am not her punching bag and her repeated insults went over the line. But I would do my best to avoid being crude toward her.

I thought it was over but then she exploded at son that he never calls or texts and that he treats her very poorly. She said he does not realize that she has scars and her boobs are gone and she is in pain and he should pay her more attention. Both of them crying. Heart-rending to watch.

They had a long talk. I had a long talk with him. I thought we had patched things up.

Today she sent a couple of messages about a storage place and parking spot for son to use over the summer while he vacations before starting his job. I suggested she focus more on the security of the place and not whether they have a shuttle to take them to the airport after they drop off the car (filled with all his worldly possessions). She exploded at me that I was criticizing her without adequately researching the alternatives. Obviously she is still upset.

Clearly she is not anywhere near as happy with her life or with our marriage as I thought. She feels lonely and afraid. Lousy place to be.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/29/17 03:39 PM

I complimented Mrs. H today, as I do frequently. She smiled and said "you are nice to me". Then she frowned and added "sometimes".

So glad I stopped trying to have sex with her. These week long or longer trips to the doghouse used to get me down. Now I can mostly ignore her because being in the doghouse is so much less painful.

She said I don't care about her. I told her I do, but I can't dive down into the abyss with her every time she goes down there. If there is something I can do to help her get back up, then I am here for her. But if there isn't anything I can do to help (and she says no, there isn't), then I have to disconnect so we aren't both incapacitated.
Posted By: Miranda

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/29/17 03:49 PM

Exactly, Hold

I'm doing the same. And getting the same kind of replies. My husband feels like I don't care about him. He's wrong. I definitely DO care. It is my preference to stay married to him. But I can no longer afford to be drawn down into every drama he has. I have to stay up on top. I have to take care of me, so I can take care of us. That's what a good boss beyotch does.
Posted By: TC_Manhattan

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/29/17 03:50 PM

I think yours was a perfect response.

You've really got this, Hold.. The proof is in your ability to maintain your okayness in the face of her trips to the dark side.

As Turtle says, self esteem is the ability to like yourself even when others don't.
(My paraphrase.)
Posted By: Oblivious2678

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/29/17 03:51 PM

Nice job steering clear of her pity party on her side of the street. You were invited, but politely declined and invited her to your own party, which is much better if she chose to stop feeling sorry for herself.

Strong Hold!
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/29/17 04:26 PM

She said DS doesn't care about her either. I looked at her in disbelief.

The son who cried when you accused him of not caring? The son who agreed to spend two weeks driving his car out to the west coast with you? The grown son who is going to spend two weeks living in hotel rooms with his mother? The son who wants you to be with him while he hunts for an apartment? THAT is the son who doesn't care about you?

Look, I know it stinks to feel that no one cares about you. BTDT. So I am sympathetic. But we don't have sex and I just told you that you have a better figure than the 20-something weather girl on tv. I'm clearly not saying it to get into your pants, so if I am not saying it because I care about your feelings, what exactly is my motivation?
Posted By: Oblivious2678

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/29/17 05:18 PM

She must not believe you, which is crazy. My wife still doesn't believe some of my compliments either. I've been rejected so many times when I make a move that I don't care anymore either. However, she still feels most of my compliments are sex driven and not from the heart. I feel your frustration.
Posted By: Miranda

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/29/17 05:49 PM

Wow, Hold, she's really gone down the rabbit hole.

Not sure where her feelings of not being cared for are coming from, but they aren't from reality. They are definitely coming from a place of feeling not worthy or not loveable or something else.

No amount of love or caring or attention is going to fix that.
Posted By: Oblivious2678

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/29/17 06:44 PM

^^^Agreed. Not your monkeys. If the book is accurate, she's feeling some shame.
Posted By: TC_Manhattan

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/29/17 06:59 PM

Hold, would she consider going to an IC to address her esteem issues?
It wouldn't be so out-of-line considering her altered self image following the cancer and reconstructive surgeries. That stuff is all too real.

If you suggest it as a way for you to support her recovery, do you think she would bite?
That feeling of vulnerability will not likely ever disappear of its own volition.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/30/17 01:36 PM

Excellent idea TC. I will discuss it with her. We sent both kids for help at various times so she is not opposed to IC as a philosophical matter. Perhaps that would be good. I am guessing she will resist starting now because she has travel plans in April and May. But perhaps she would agree to start over the summer. And sometimes the idea that you are going to see a IC and talk about the issue unblocks certain obstacles.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/31/17 12:07 PM

She shut down talk of IC for her hard. Oh well. her circus, her monkeys.
Posted By: SFB

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 04/01/17 05:21 PM

Hold:

Just catching up on your thread.

I have a wife very similar to yours. However, without the rape and other sexual issues in the past. Flamingo, is, however, a Catholic School Girl riddled with guilt.

Who had breast cancer and a double mastectomy. But not reconstruction.

Who feels that she is "less than" because this very important part of her is gone. Even thought she had a very "hate/Hate" relationship with her breasts.

Who misses in son, who did NOT go to college, and makes both of us so angry due to his sloth that we moved him to Florida so maybe, just maybe, he can figure out his life.

And he doesn't contact us either. It has to be initiated by us. Flamingo feels that he does not care about her. After all she has done for him.

So, your W's interaction with her son? How he doesn't care? I get that. I have seen that interaction many times over the years. Mom on the attack.

However.

Now that he is in Florida? I told her, if she EVER wants to talk to him regularly, she needs to keep it light. Telling him that he doesn't care about her because he hasn't called? That will get you a lot less phone calls. Complaining to him about the lack of a good paying job? Phone is silent.

So, we ask about his days, and nights, and how his gaming is going on and how the world is going. And leave any judgement out of it. Because its his circus, and his monkeys.

This makes Flamingo crazy, she JUST HAS to point out the error's... But she learned. And continues to learn.

Approach her with that. Maybe, she can learn this, like my Flamingo did. Your son is going to be far away, and he might call every day, but it will not be enough. She has to let it go. Take what she gets, and accept that.

We know from 12 years around here that she is NOT going to an IC. We know that she in not going to really face her issues. The BC has clarified MUCH in her head. Did for Flamingo as well. Having some other friends pass away is also making a difference as well. A little bit of mellow is a good thing.

Next time she is standing in front of you with the robe half open? Stand up, wrap your arms around her under the robe, hold her close and tell how beautiful she really, really is. And you just had to tell her, and show her, RIGHT THEN.

Then let her go, and sit back down.

It's the little things that show that we still love and desire our spouses. Not the lack of breasts. Them.

One step at a time, friend.

SFB
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 04/03/17 01:43 PM

SFB: Thanks for that. Good idea on how to stay in touch with S without pushing him away.

And I agree she will never go to IC to address sex. But I thought she might go to address how she feels about S. Apparently not.

As for telling her how beautiful she is, I do that in spades. Always have. She smiles and appreciates it in a way she did not before. Hugging or touching her toe or elbow or caressing the back of her neck and then walking away? Yes, do that also. Again, smiles these days I never got before. I believe that is a big part of why she stays even though she thinks I hate her. She realizes I treat her lovingly even when I don't feel it. And she realizes that is not universal behavior.

Thanks again. Your suggestions are spot on.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 04/07/17 02:04 PM

Mrs. H left this morning to visit S at school. School organized Mom's Weekend.

She woke me up this morning for snuggle time. OMG. How I longed for that years ago when we were going to be apart. How much I yearned for her to acknowledge the separation and want a hug before we parted.

Intellectually I enjoyed this. I know it is a good sign. I like it when she lets me drape my arm around her. It is a rare treat.

But physically and emotionally I felt very little. No urge to let hands wander. No tingles. No oxytocin.

Still, this is the path I chose and this is the best outcome one could hope for on this path. I got more hugs this morning than in many entire months of our marriage. I got compliments for being a great husband. I got smiles. And her wishes for a pleasant weekend seemed genuine. Far better than many of the cold cold partings we had in the past.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 04/10/17 01:04 PM

Mrs H had a great time with S this weekend. Found out some details about S from his best buddy. Good setup for their drive together next month to his job far away.

I had a very productive weekend. Joined a meetup group that did some trail clearing work at a nearby state park. Bought shelving and organized the garage.

Mrs H was very happy to see me. Gave me a big hug for cleaning out the garage. Again, I was very pleased to get a welcome home hug, but more of an intellectual than an emotional activity. No oxytocin.

Mrs H on her own initiative got up at 5:30 am to drive me to the train so we didn't have to pay for parking or detour to get the car on the way home. A thoughtful touch that earlier in our marriage would not have occurred. She got me a bag of nuts at the airport on the way home just to show she thought of me while she was away. She really is trying to help me feel loved.
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 04/10/17 01:33 PM

I am glad to see her trying Hold

Is your son going to graduate college already? I can't believe it has been 4 years since he left for college.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 04/10/17 01:42 PM

Yes, God willing, he graduates in May and starts his job a few weeks later. He knows zero people in that area so will be quite an adventure. But there is an alumni club from his school and it is a big enough company that they have several new hires joining at the same time so he should be able to make a small circle to start. That is why Mrs H is driving out with him, to help him find an apartment and get things set up.
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 04/10/17 01:44 PM

Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
Yes, God willing, he graduates in May and starts his job a few weeks later. He knows zero people in that area so will be quite an adventure. But there is an alumni club from his school and it is a big enough company that they have several new hires joining at the same time so he should be able to make a small circle to start. That is why Mrs H is driving out with him, to help him find an apartment and get things set up.


That is very exciting. So did he intentionally want to go to the other side of the country? Or was it the job was such a good one....just curious what he is thinking.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 04/10/17 01:51 PM

He had several job offers in the midwest closer to his college.

But he is a computer engineer so many of the top jobs are on the west coast. He didn't prioritize heading there but this was the best job offer he got. We were hoping he would take one of the finance jobs he applied for, because those were all on the east coast closer to us. But he didn't get any of those.

No matter. This is a really good job. He will be able to apply the full range of skills he learned in college. So it is a very fine place to start his career. Fairly easy to switch into finance or consulting later on but once you stop being a "real" engineer it is hard to get back up to speed on the technical side. Mrs H "stalks" his job by reading all of the company's press releases. She considers it a good thing that she can't understand a word of any of them because they are all too technical.

Thanks for taking an interest in DS's journey. We are very proud of him. Unfortunately, he takes after me and is a bit melancholy. We have urged him to get professional help but he is resistant. Hopefully he can learn to overcome what I believe is a genetic / biological issue. I told him no shame to take meds if he needs them. Chemical imbalance in the brain is no different than high cholesterol or high blood pressure or low thyroid. The shame is not needing it. The shame is needing it and not taking it. If I didn't take my cholesterol meds and had a heart attack, he would be angry at me. Well, if he needs AD meds and doesn't take them, how am I supposed to feel?
Posted By: Miranda

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 04/10/17 02:14 PM

Hold

I've been watching your posts both about Mrs H and your son.

The progress in your relationship is pretty impressive.

Your son... well, no surprises as to his success. I know you're proud as can be though, as well you should be. The engineering program he is completing is no joke. One of the most seriously challenging programs for anything in the entire country. You've really done something special with him.

I'm sure he'll do great out west, and continue to make you proud.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 04/10/17 08:48 PM

Just so we are clear. I am very conflicted about Mrs H meeting my needs. I feel pressured to let go of the resentment. Letting go would require me to explore getting my need for SF met. That would require me to exercise, eat healthier, address my ED and PE, etc. I am more comfortable NOT addressing those things. So now I resent her meeting my needs, because it makes me feel worse about not making an effort to invest more in our marriage. As I have said, my touchstone principle has been balance and equality. I do not put more into the marriage than she does. If she is putting more in, does that mean I have to as well? Equality and balance was my justification for me doing LESS. I do not like it when it impels me to do more. I do not like it Sam I Am!
Posted By: Miranda

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 04/10/17 08:49 PM

Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
Just so we are clear. I am very conflicted about Mrs H meeting my needs. I feel pressured to let go of the resentment. Letting go would require me to explore getting my need for SF met. That would require me to exercise, eat healthier, address my ED and PE, etc. I am more comfortable NOT addressing those things. So now I resent her meeting my needs, because it makes me feel worse about not making an effort to invest more in our marriage. As I have said, my touchstone principle has been balance and equality. I do not put more into the marriage than she does. If she is putting more in, does that mean I have to as well? Equality and balance was my justification for me doing LESS. I do not like it when it impels me to do more. I do not like it Sam I Am!


You'll figure out something... Discomfort is a mighty motivator for change
Posted By: MaidUpName

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 04/10/17 10:58 PM

Quote:
I do not like it Sam I Am!


Yet, when Sam I Am persisted until he got to the point where he felt compelled to try Green Eggs and Ham, he discovered that not only did he not "not like them" but in fact, they turned out to be rather pleasing to him. smile
Posted By: catperson

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 04/10/17 11:58 PM

A therapist can help you work through it. smile
Posted By: FashionBarbie

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 04/11/17 02:02 AM

Sam I Am was the one peddling Green Eggs and Ham, not the one resistant to trying it.
Sorry if this is a t/j.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 04/11/17 01:51 PM

FashionBarbie: No t/j is possible on my thread. The one who resists and eventually tries and likes green eggs and ham always reminds me of the Grinch.
Cat: Good suggestion to seek therapy. I am not wise enough to take it.
MuN: Yes, if I tried it I might like it. We can't have that in Hold-world.
Miranda: You should know that I have been uncomfortable pretty much my entire life and rarely does it motivate me to change. My fear outweighs the discomfort. Here is where I belong and here is where I will stay and wander. But thanks for walking the maze with me.
Posted By: Miranda

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 04/11/17 02:08 PM

You know I'm along for the journey, Hold.

And I know that all things are possible. I'll just be here waiting to see what develops. It's all good. I'm glad to share it with you either way. I like your company.
Posted By: Oblivious2678

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 04/11/17 04:49 PM

I'm with Miranda. I'm along for the journey as well. Whichever path you decide to choose, I'm here to have a virtual beer with ya to support. Cheers!
Posted By: LivingWell

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 04/11/17 07:58 PM

Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
As I have said, my touchstone principle has been balance and equality. I do not put more into the marriage than she does. If she is putting more in, does that mean I have to as well? Equality and balance was my justification for me doing LESS. I do not like it when it impels me to do more. I do not like it Sam I Am!

It could be that you have found the perfect balance for Mrs. Hold to be able to demonstrate her feelings for you. Doing "more" on your end might result in her having to do to "less" on her end to maintain the balance each of you requires in this area.

If you enjoy and are content with what you have now, it might be nice to keep it like this for a while.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 04/19/17 03:08 PM

Love Languages is a real thing.

Things at work are stressful. Mrs H wants to support me. she knew something was bothering me. She offered to help. But I feel pressured by the way she offers "support". And she is uncomfortable providing the kind of support I would prefer. So I don't share the source of my stress with her. Just makes both of us feel worse.
Posted By: catperson

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 04/19/17 03:36 PM

At one point, you were going to work on having more friends. What's up with that?
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 04/19/17 05:29 PM

I may have observed that life would be better if I had some friends.

Do not confuse that with any intention of trying to make new friends.

I have 1 drinking buddy that I meet at a bar after work maybe once a week. I have 1 acquaintance I join to walk his dog on occasion. Friends? I have none. Closest I have is the people here. None of whom have I ever met in person.
Posted By: Rich57

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 05/13/17 02:11 PM

Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
Friends?
I have none.
Closest I have is the people here.
None of whom have I ever met in person.

Maybe we should have a meet up?
Posted By: right here waiting

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 05/13/17 03:07 PM

Rich, some of us have done that over the years. It's great to meet the individual, flesh-and-blood human you've already come to know. Then there are the fun little surprises...the people you envisioned as dark haired turn out to be blond...they seem reserved on line but turn out to be quite extroverted... Like that.

So many wonderful people, way too many miles in between.
Posted By: Oblivious2678

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 05/15/17 01:18 PM

That would be fun. I don't think we're too far away from each other either, Hold.
Posted By: NewEveryDay

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 05/15/17 02:31 PM

Hold I thought you were years ago getting more active in synagogue to build community?
Posted By: catperson

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 05/15/17 03:43 PM

What hobby would you like to be doing?
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 05/16/17 01:27 PM

Thanks guys, but I intend to fix this problem the same way I fixed the sex problem. Learn to do without entirely.

And FYI, if anyone planned a meetup I for sure would not be attending. Mrs. Hold is mostly unaware that I post here and would not be pleased to discover how involved I am. So go ahead and have a meetup as I think it would be fun. But no need to save a seat for me.

Had a glorious weekend at S22's college graduation. Rented a airbnb house. The 3 living grandparents and my sister and BIL and nephew were there. Many of S22's friends and their parents came over to our rented house throughout the afternoon to make a toast and get in one last handshake or hug. Had no idea it would work out that way. Was just trying to avoid the cost of 4 or 5 hotel rooms. Ended up being a spectacular exclamation point to his college career.
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 05/16/17 01:47 PM

Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
Thanks guys, but I intend to fix this problem the same way I fixed the sex problem. Learn to do without entirely.

And FYI, if anyone planned a meetup I for sure would not be attending. Mrs. Hold is mostly unaware that I post here and would not be pleased to discover how involved I am. So go ahead and have a meetup as I think it would be fun. But no need to save a seat for me.

Had a glorious weekend at S22's college graduation. Rented a airbnb house. The 3 living grandparents and my sister and BIL and nephew were there. Many of S22's friends and their parents came over to our rented house throughout the afternoon to make a toast and get in one last handshake or hug. Had no idea it would work out that way. Was just trying to avoid the cost of 4 or 5 hotel rooms. Ended up being a spectacular exclamation point to his college career.


That is so nice! What a nice graduatin party.
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 05/16/17 02:33 PM

It sounds like a fantastic party! Well planned for sure!
Posted By: Miranda

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 05/16/17 02:55 PM

That's awesome Hold. What a great way to wrap it up for your son and have a wonderful weekend.

I remember my own college graduation being such a wonderful moment. I hope your son looks back at his own just as fondly.
Posted By: NewEveryDay

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 05/16/17 02:59 PM

Hold that is so awesome!
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 05/16/17 03:57 PM

Thanks everyone. It was great. All the parents who live in state and went to the same school were amazed that we thought to rent the house and were very happy that we provided a venue for all the graduating seniors from S22's fraternity to say their goodbyes without having to ditch their parents. We had met pretty much all the parents during Parents Weekend events over the years so it was nice for the parents to have a chance to say their goodbyes as well. Some of the families with younger children said they intend to rent a house when their next child graduates. Seems like we started a trend.
Posted By: catperson

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 05/16/17 06:04 PM

I can't believe your son's already graduated. It seems like yesterday you were angsting over him moving away, lol.

DD26 graduated this weekend with her Masters. Proud mama here. smile
Posted By: Rich57

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 05/16/17 08:46 PM

Originally Posted By: catperson
I can't believe your son's already graduated. It seems like yesterday you were angsting over him moving away, lol.

Ugh yeah, just what I was thinking!
Its really been 4 year, OMG
Posted By: LivingWell

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 05/18/17 06:39 PM

What a terrific graduation for him, Hold!

You're really a great dad. You might not be able to see it or really appreciate it now but wait until you watch your kids with theirs. Imho, that's when you won't be able to so easily brush away your contributions.

Ask me how I know. grin
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 05/23/17 01:50 PM

I know it. I appreciate nothing.

Knock on wood the kids are doing super. D20 got all A's last semester with 4 of 5 courses in her major. She started her dream internship yesterday. So many of her classmates would question why she wants to do this since it is not a Wall Street finance or Silicon Valley tech company. With her grades her classmates would think she could do "better". But this has been her dream since she was 2 so there is no "better" for her. I am so glad she gets a chance to live her dream. Even if it doesn't turn out as fabulous as she hopes and expects, she gets to live it for 7 months.

S22 and Mrs. Hold just arrived in the city where he will be starting work next month. Time to apartment hunt. He is being interviewed by potential roommates and also hiring a agent to take him around town. He too has a job that he really wanted and is doing great.

I am so happy for them. And yet feel so empty. I know they love me so much. I wish I loved myself a tiny fraction as much. But this is my choice. My decision not to seek help. My decision to live dissociated from myself and my loved ones. My decision to go through life as a zombie. Pretending to be alive.

I think Mrs. H would be there for me now in ways she could not before (I don't mean sexually, I mean emotionally). Doesn't matter. I won't let her. That is my revenge. And I cherish that more than anything else in life.
Posted By: Miranda

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 05/23/17 02:02 PM

I'm desperately curious as to what your daughter's industry is that is so fascinating to her... because I am.

I'm happy their doing so well. It's wonderful to see those things come to fruition. I'm sorry you don't feel better about you. ...

I wish you could come 1/2 as far as I have.
Posted By: Oblivious2678

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 05/23/17 02:15 PM

Great to hear about your kids!

I understand where you are coming from, but I am confused. I thought the revenge was to punish Mrs. Hold, not yourself. Your last post sounds like you are punishing yourself.
Posted By: catperson

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 05/23/17 02:27 PM

Martyrs take great pride in being wounded.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 05/23/17 03:13 PM

Oblivious: There was never any chance for me to be happy. I don't want that. I don't like myself enough to aim for that.

My "revenge" is keeping my secret. I know my inner truth. Or maybe not the secret. More like seeing how long I can keep up the charade is my game. I "win" if I can convince Mrs. H it is in her interest to keep pretending she doesn't know. That is the beauty and the allure of this game. I can't make her do what I originally wanted. So now I make her pretend she doesn't know. I CAN make her do that. I get my "win" as long as she does not leave.

I am not going to give up that "win" by telling the truth and working on myself and on our relationship to make it closer to 100% of what I want. It is a higher percentage of what I want now than it ever was while I was trying to make it "good". Now that I am not trying to be open and honest and am totally game playing I get more of what I wanted. It is painfully ironic but as catperson said it is the painful part that I enjoy the most.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 05/23/17 11:29 PM

NED: Recently quit my synagogue after 12 years. Always felt like an outsider despite being on the board, regularly attending services, etc. Never once had a meal with another member based on meeting them at a synagogue event or activity despite going often. Then Rabbi ignored me during Mrs. Hold's health crisis and embarrassed me in front of congregation. I took that as a sign from God that I should quit. I know it isn't. We see signs where and when we want to see them. Rabbi later apologized but I can't bring myself to go back.

For a decade I wished to make partner at my firm. Didn't happen. Now finances are poor and they made noises about offering me a spot. I told them no thank you. Is that a wise move with finances shaky or me cutting off my nose to spite my face? Hard to tell.

The pattern in my life is I feel like an outsider everywhere. College. Graduate school. Everywhere I ever worked. The constant is me. I guess I just feel safer as an outsider. If I am not one of them and don't allow myself to care about them then they can't hurt me. Doesn't actually work but I seem to be a very slow learner.

Cat: I have no hobbies and don't want any. That might lift my depression. As you say, some of us tend our wounds instead of trying to heal them.

Miranda: Sorry, can't tell you more about D20. It is a wonderful story. But since I deep sixed the long thread I have been trying to leave personally identifying info off my thread here. Kids at business school these days prioritize finance or tech because those industries pay the most. S20 doesn't fancy those industries. She is following her dream. That is what matters, not what industry it is in.

S22 moved even farther away after college. I won't say where. We will see him less and miss him more. But as Cat says, that just feeds my pride at coping with all the pain, so in some ways it is more comfortable than if he were closer and we could see him more often.
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 05/24/17 03:11 AM

Wow, Hold. I would quit too, with all of that going on. Sorry to hear that, especially when you and Mrs. Hold needed the support.

You speak of your kids living their dreams. But, what is your dream? What would you like to do, if you had the time and money to do it?
Posted By: NewEveryDay

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 05/24/17 11:03 AM

I'm sorry Hold. It seems really common in the men I'm close to at work and my family, that it's hard for men to find those lifetime friends that are worth stepping out to get to know. My brothers' best friend is someone we know from high school but he moved away for school long ago and it's hard to find new folks like that. I wish it wasn't so difficult for you.

That's so awesome how well your kids are thriving. Doing their dream jobs. I can see with your gentle spirit how you contributed to that, helping them think things through and spending special time together. I hope it gives you some respite from the suffering.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 05/24/17 02:00 PM

Blair: I do not allow myself to dream. I have little in the way of goals or aspirations. I slog through every day waiting for death to arrive, but determined to hold it at bay for as long as possible. I promised my Mom she goes first. I want to walk my daughter down the aisle at her wedding (she should kiss a boy - or girl - first maybe). At this point those are my only goals in life. Outlive my parents and attend my kids' weddings.

The kids seem to value my input on their life decisions. S22 called me to discuss how he responds to an email from HR. He liked my suggestion. D22 loves me with a desperation that borders on the unhealthy. She was amazed at the emoji I sent her this morning.

Mrs H claims she loves me desperately too. Lately there are glimmers of this but my depression is so deep and dark and all-encompassing and my frustration and resentment so mountainous that little from her comes through. I feel the rush of oxytocin when I talk to my kids. I feel nothing when she says how much she loves me and how much she is looking forward to spending the rest of her life with me. The fact that things with her have gotten so much better lately is welcome but I fear it is too little too late. I don't know if the ice encasing my heart will ever melt toward her.

She always wanted strong and silent. I am that way now because I do not allow her to affect me one way or the other. She likes it better this way. I like it better this way. I do not know how to be this way and allow myself to have feelings for her. If I have to choose between opening my heart to her or staying composed in the face of her emotional storms, I choose to remain aloof. I do not believe I can do both.

NED: Yes, it is hard for many men to bond outside work. That is one component of the rise in suicide, alcoholism, drug abuse and overall negative mental health outcomes when middle aged men lose their jobs. They have no support system outside work. Except their wives. And that is too much of a burden to place on any one human being.

I used to place that burden on my wife. She quite appropriately resented the imposition. But I do not have any other way of getting those needs met. So I do without. As Cat says, I am very proud of my ability to endure doing without. I have no intention of even trying to get my needs met, because then I would no longer be doing without and my sense of self as a martyr would disappear. No way I am allowing that to happen.
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 05/24/17 02:04 PM

Hold, I get a sick feeling when I read your post. I don't know how that is sustainable.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 05/26/17 05:27 PM

Originally Posted By: SmilingWife
Hold, I get a sick feeling when I read your post.


That is exactly the feeling you should get. I am a very sick puppy. You are a very moral person. What I am doing repulses you. That reflects well on you.

Quote:
I don't know how that is sustainable.


Been doing it for 12 years. I see no reason to stop now.

The "revenge" I spoke of earlier is that I know I am broken, I have no intention of fixing myself, and I expect Mrs H to stay with me despite both of those facts.

After all, that is what she expected me to do all those years. I actually feel good that she was never willing to get help for her PTSD because now it gives me a pass to forego trying to address my depression. Sauce for the goose and all.

I can tell that every so often she is tempted to ask me to get help, but then she realizes that I might say the same words to her, so she remains silent. She is caught in a trap of her own devising. It is poetic justice.

Like I said, I have gone over to the dark side. I am ashamed of what I am doing. But the shame simply convinces me that I don't deserve better, so I stick with this program of self-inflicted punishment. The fact that my wife gets caught in the splash damage is a bonus. The fact that I see it as a bonus and not a cost shows how deeply enmeshed I am in this sick twisted dynamic.
Posted By: LivingWell

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 05/26/17 05:50 PM

Imho, if you could tweak things to a point that you felt good about it instead of shame then you might get more of some of what's lacking without paying in the ways that you did in the past.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 06/06/17 01:11 AM

D20 loving being at her dream job but dreading the real work and responsibility as training gives way to doing the actual job.

S22 reviewing his budget and marvelling at how I paid all our bills all these years.

Mrs H apologizing for not being motivated to spend recreational time with me Saturday but she made up for it Sunday spending time with my family.

Surreal to look out from within my dead zone bubble and see the good things happening in my life and feel nothing.
Posted By: Oblivious2678

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 06/06/17 01:54 PM

There's something about watching/hearing our children's reactions to experiencing adult responsibilities that we do every day that took for granted as kids. You're doing one heck of a job with those kids.

Are you feeling nothing with your kids' accomplishments now? I thought it was you only felt nothing when it came to Mrs. Hold attempting to show you feelings/affection/emotion?
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 06/09/17 01:27 PM

I may have an opportunity to go outside my comfort zone and challenge myself at work. Please send me mental wavelengths of courage to overcome my fear, anxiety and pessimism and go for it.
Posted By: Miranda

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 06/09/17 01:56 PM

Hold

I'm sending you all my considerable moxie (you know it's huge, right?) Seriously, buddy, you got this thing, whatever it is. I know you do. I hope you can feel my support on this.
Posted By: Oblivious2678

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 06/09/17 02:07 PM

Hold,

Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and envision accomplishing this challenge. You have the tools. Trust in them! You got this!
Posted By: TC_Manhattan

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 06/09/17 03:14 PM

Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
I may have an opportunity to go outside my comfort zone and challenge myself at work. Please send me mental wavelengths of courage to overcome my fear, anxiety and pessimism and go for it.


GO FOR IT!!!

You are all that and more!
thumbsup
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 06/09/17 03:16 PM

Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
I may have an opportunity to go outside my comfort zone and challenge myself at work. Please send me mental wavelengths of courage to overcome my fear, anxiety and pessimism and go for it.


You have all my support! I know you can do it.
Posted By: silverado

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 06/09/17 05:07 PM

Take that step!!
Be Indiana Jones - you can do it!!
Posted By: NewEveryDay

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 06/09/17 05:45 PM

Remember what LA used to say? Courage is felling fear and acting anyways. Thanks for coming here for encouragement that's a step in itself:)
Posted By: LivingWell

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 06/09/17 06:42 PM

Wavelengths added from me, too, Hold!
Posted By: Chrysalis

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 06/09/17 06:51 PM

sending good juju and prayers.
Posted By: kerala

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 06/09/17 07:28 PM

Rooting for you.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 06/09/17 07:39 PM

Thanks for all the support. Very heartwarming for a person who generally feels very lonely. Not today. smile
Posted By: Miranda

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 06/09/17 08:16 PM

You're never half as alone as you feel...
Posted By: Oblivious2678

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 06/09/17 10:57 PM

^^^^^^ We're all on your team...and love being on your team.
Posted By: Ace

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 06/10/17 01:11 AM

Hi Hold,

Sounds like you could use a healthy dose of Pronoia, which is the overbearing feeling that the universe is conspiring to...
Click to reveal..
...shower you with blessings. clapping

Some say it's the opposite of paranoia and takes the same amount of energy to put into motion.


Ace
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 06/10/17 01:37 AM

Sending positive thoughts. I know you can succeed!
Posted By: catperson

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 06/10/17 11:24 PM

Hold, what's the worst that can happen? It's not like you're in the CIA and you'll get a bullet in the back, lol. Try, succeed or fail, you are STILL FAR BEYOND where you were BEFORE you tried. smile

About damn time! wink
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 06/11/17 07:49 AM

Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
I may have an opportunity to go outside my comfort zone and challenge myself at work. Please send me mental wavelengths of courage to overcome my fear, anxiety and pessimism and go for it.


If this is a positive opportunity, you know I'm there for you but I don't have enough info to go on and not sure if it is important for us to know more details.

Still knowing you for as long as I have, I'm going to give you that benefit of the doubt that it is a good opportunity and not otherwise.

That said, you've now been sent a canoe's worth of courage and inner strength to help you on this positive journey.

You know, it's ok that we admit when we feel broken but we also need to know when we can see ourselves healing as well. Small steps.

Did you see my post about potty mouth? It's a thing I've been carrying around for a while and know it is a bad thing but back in the day, it was a coping mechanism that helped me to survive. Now, not so much but like chain smoking (which is never imo a good thing), it is a hard habit to break).

So we each have our challenges. I'm ok with the decisions I have made even though it meant letting WST go. In reality he was gone a long time ago, just there in body and that didn't benefit the family much. I know, it sounds callous but it's true, sad but true.

I want you to get to a similar place and willing to lend you a hand to get there.

That's what MA friends are for........ can you tell I just heard a piece of the Burt Bacharach PBS special? That song is now ringing in my head and I love it. smile

Take care,
Orchid
Posted By: right here waiting

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 06/11/17 08:38 PM

Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
I may have an opportunity to go outside my comfort zone and challenge myself at work. Please send me mental wavelengths of courage to overcome my fear, anxiety and pessimism and go for it.


Adding my full-throttled support. Go for it!
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 06/17/17 05:18 AM

Any updates on your new venture?
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 06/19/17 03:29 PM

Nope. Waiting for the other side to get back to me.

But thanks for asking.
Posted By: Oblivious2678

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 06/19/17 03:42 PM

How is your fear, anxiety, and pessimism dealing with the limbo?
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 07/05/17 12:42 PM

Yesterday on the way home from dinner, Mrs. Hold put both arms around me, pulled me close, and turned her head up for a kiss. This was my dream come true.

I only had to give up sex for this. Glass is definitely half full. I am posting this to fix that thought in my mind.
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 07/05/17 02:23 PM

Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
Yesterday on the way home from dinner, Mrs. Hold put both arms around me, pulled me close, and turned her head up for a kiss. This was my dream come true.

I only had to give up sex for this. Glass is definitely half full. I am posting this to fix that thought in my mind.


Very nice Hold. And thank you for posting something nice about Mrs. Hold.
Posted By: Miranda

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 07/05/17 02:33 PM

Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
Yesterday on the way home from dinner, Mrs. Hold put both arms around me, pulled me close, and turned her head up for a kiss. This was my dream come true.

I only had to give up sex for this. Glass is definitely half full. I am posting this to fix that thought in my mind.


That's the good stuff right there.

I took an extra day off with the holiday just to spend time with my husband. I did it before I knew when the surgery was planned. I did a lot of housework and homework, but I also spent a lot of time just being affectionate with him, and also we had some "sexytime." Because I know I've got to keep moving this thing forward.

Appreciate the good times. Be in the moment. That's the only place the good stuff is!
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 07/05/17 10:50 PM

Way to see the positive!
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 07/06/17 02:11 PM

Today after she got up and got dressed, she came back into the bedroom and lay down next to me for a minute or so. I got to put my arm around her should and tell her how flattering the dress looked on her.
Stuff I always wanted. Gotta focus on the positive.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 07/17/17 01:09 PM

I built Mrs H a new door for the garbage shed over the weekend. She complained that the old sheet of plywood stained deep cherry was ugly. So I spent the weekend cutting and staining cedar paneling and then screwing it to new plywood and attaching a 1 x 6 so it won't warp. She came back from visiting a friend out of state and actually liked it. Usually my handiwork is too amateur and brutalist for her taste. She said this looks like a woodworker made it. Score one for me.
Posted By: Miranda

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 07/17/17 01:12 PM

Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
I built Mrs H a new door for the garbage shed over the weekend. She complained that the old sheet of plywood stained deep cherry was ugly. So I spent the weekend cutting and staining cedar paneling and then screwing it to new plywood and attaching a 1 x 6 so it won't warp. She came back from visiting a friend out of state and actually liked it. Usually my handiwork is too amateur and brutalist for her taste. She said this looks like a woodworker made it. Score one for me.


Channeling WUD yo! That shinola is contagious...

Way to go, woot woot!! clapping dancing
Posted By: Oblivious2678

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 07/17/17 01:21 PM

I love when I complete my wood projects in successful fashion too. Job well done sir.

We need a muscle emoji.
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 07/17/17 10:37 PM

Great job!
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 07/24/17 01:13 PM

I was correct that I cannot live up to WuD's example. Made 2 beautiful doors for the garbage shed. Can't hang them because the hinges don't have enough space to close flat. The hinges are sunk deep into 4x4s to hold the weight of the doors. Extracting the screws, removing the old hinges, filling in the holes in the 4x4s, buying and installing new larger hinges are major projects (for me, for WuD they wouldn't even be noticed). Will be a couple of weekends to get it done given our obligation to visit my elderly parents. All the while, our garbage is not secured against the critters who live in the area. Argh.

On a happier note, amazing how Mrs H has transformed. Late Sunday afternoon we went to the beach to listen to a band play a sunset concert. The clouds rolled in and a breeze was blowing and Mrs H got cold. I offered to walk back to the car and get her a sweater. Instead, she sat on my lap and let me put my arms around her to warm her up. That would never have happened in the bad old days.
Posted By: Miranda

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 07/24/17 02:00 PM

Originally Posted By: holdingontoit


On a happier note, amazing how Mrs H has transformed. Late Sunday afternoon we went to the beach to listen to a band play a sunset concert. The clouds rolled in and a breeze was blowing and Mrs H got cold. I offered to walk back to the car and get her a sweater. Instead, she sat on my lap and let me put my arms around her to warm her up. That would never have happened in the bad old days.


Posted By: LivingWell

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 07/24/17 10:26 PM

Hold, I haven't mentioned something because I didn't want to rain on the dismal parade you've had going, but now I'm willing to drizzle on it a bit..... grin

Consider the possibility that taking sex off the table has served to create a safe zone for Mrs H.... one in which she is free to explore and express her feelings for you without getting in over her head.

If that is what's been happening, it could at some point lead to her reaching a place where sexual activity is the next step..... and you will have been a key participant in her getting there.

At that time, I hope you will be open to considering other ways to continue being a participant in her (and your?) sexual healing. Yes, I'm talking sexual activity and possibly intercourse, too.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 07/25/17 01:21 PM

LW: I am open to sexual activity with Mrs H if the activity is focused on her enjoyment. There will be no PIV sex unless and until we find a way for her to enjoy the proceedings first. I am willing to be part of that exploration. I am not willing to have any kind of sex that involves me having an orgasm just to massage her ego or for her to feel that she is doing her wifely duty or that our marriage is "normal". If sex is just going to be about getting me off, and not about us interacting mutually, well, my right hand does that job just fine all by itself. But if she wants to explore her sexuality, then I can be there for her.
Posted By: LivingWell

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 07/25/17 04:40 PM

Imho, you're on the right track. I think that you will be able to tell the difference between Mrs Hold obliging you out of appreciation and her being ready for the steps in a higher level of healing.

Were you able to fully enjoy and appreciate her on your lap? Your level of enjoyment and contentment can figure prominently.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 08/07/17 04:23 PM

Yesterday Mrs H and I went to listen to music and did a little dancing. She beamed when I asked her to dance. She had a look of inner joy while we were dancing. She held my hand when we went back to our seats. This morning she drove me to work (car in shop) to make my day easier.

I do not discuss our marriage with my Mom but she observed me and Mrs H when we went to dinner with my parents last week. After dinner Mom told me that lots of her friends have kids who are getting divorced when the grandkids go to college. Mom said that she thinks I made the right choice for me - which is a big concession because for years she told me she thought I would be better off divorced.

So all in all I am feeling good about things with Mrs H.

Edited to add note to LW: Mrs H reached for my hands several times while we were dancing. And she kissed me. With her sensitivity to tastes and odors, kissing has been few and far between throughout our marriage. I think she might be open to more physical contact. Unfortunately, I am not. Tough to write but I like things how they are and I am unwilling to change things. All signs are positive but I am too scarred (and scared) to make a move.
Posted By: star*fish

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 09/12/17 02:04 PM

Scarred is harder to overcome than scared. Despite that, the scene you just described was very intimate and sweet.

There was a while during the worst times in my marriage where my grown children wanted me to divorce their father. In fact, they were angry with me when I didn't. Now however, they are very thankful to have an intact family when most around them have split up.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 09/12/17 05:11 PM

Not sure I agree that is uniformly or even mostly true about scarred vs scared. For me personally, scared is massive. But I do appreciate the sentiment.

And I am glad that you and your children are pleased with how things turned out. I imagine your marriage must be in a very good place if you are willing to live in KSA.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 09/15/17 12:19 AM

OK, going to bare my soul here.

Years ago, during and after we were in MC, I posted on some online dating sites. Not proud of it, but I was even more despondent that typical for me and MC was going nowhere and I was looking for some validation. Not an excuse but an explanation. At some point Mrs. H found out but she forgave me, in part because we weren't having any sex due to her rejecting me.

The good news is I never contacted any women directly or went on any dates. Most likely because most of those dating and hookup sites feature robots rather than actual females.

The bad news is this week I got email attempting to blackmail me. They wanted me to send them money to avoid posting all my dating site messages to my Facebook account and emailing them to my wife. They know my name, my wife's name and my e-mail address.

No, I am not paying them. Yes, I told my wife about the threat. Yes, she supports me. She accepts that I never had any contact with a particular female (which is true). And she knew I had accounts and posted so to her that level of infidelity is old news.

Anyway, it is possible that participants here will receive messages or see social media posts that disclose my past indiscretions. I want to apologize to anyone if that is triggering. I want to apologize to anyone if that lowers their opinion of me. And I wanted to get this out into the open in case the BoD wants to strip me of my Mod status.

Ashamed (as usual) but not hiding (which is unusual for me).
You guys here are my best friends in the world outside my nuclear family. Sad but true. I have precious few friends IRL and none of them know as much about me as you guys do. I hope after this passes I can continue participating here. Bracing for the storm.
Posted By: silverado

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 09/15/17 12:59 AM

Yikes! Here's hoping they're just blowing smoke in an elaborate phishing expedition.
Posted By: Miranda

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 09/15/17 01:55 AM

Oh Hold! I am so sorry that you are going through this.
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 09/15/17 03:20 AM

You are good at handling things, but still - ouch. Sorry to hear this. Hang in there.
Posted By: josie

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 09/15/17 03:52 AM

You can set your Facebook page so nobody can post on your page or comment on any posts on your page. Look under Settings. Problem solved. Or you can set it so only your Friends can post on your page or add comments.


Even if they have your wife's private email address, they can't tell her anything she doesn't already know, right?

With your Facebook account locked down, they don't have anywhere else to go with their alleged "information."
Posted By: LivingWell

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 09/15/17 04:04 AM

Great that it's old news to Mrs. Hold. Way to go on that one.

I'm concerned that it is old news though. Could be that someone has been sitting on this info for a while and for some reason has decided to use it now.

I hope not but of so, one of the things that you have going for you is that MA said in an announcement in the past that they would cooperate fully in helping to nail anyone who attempted illegal shenanigans against any of its members. Blackmail, extortion and such is illegal in every state. Consider getting help from law enforcement. If you do that, the best thing might be for them to carry out their threat.... more tracks to follow. Even the so-called untraceable tracks are getting easier to id.

Good luck with this, Hold. However it goes, I'm sure you will handle it with the strength you've shown many times in many ways.
Posted By: Chrysalis

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 09/15/17 06:33 AM

Hold, I support you.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 09/15/17 01:30 PM

Thanks all. Yes Josie, thanks, I did change my Facebook privacy settings. Have to think about whether / how that needs to be done for other social media.

Mrs H is out of town but over the phone she sounded very sincere when she said she loves me very much and we will get through this together.

Funny how the most helpful aspect of this is that she did catch me years ago. That was no fun but makes this much easier. Not a shock or completely new information for her. Just a bad memory being brought back to the forefront. Similar to but less traumatic than a A.

They also threatened to disclose to my workplace. I almost laughed. Maybe saying something about the low level of morality here, but unless I was having sex with one of their employees I can't imagine my firm gives any thought to my cheating on my wife. I don't know where these hackers / blackmailers are from, but I have news for them: here in the US I would be far from the first lawyer who cheated on his wife and whose firm looked the other way.

Not that I HAVE cheated on my wife. Nope. Never. There were times I desperately wanted to but thankfully never found a way to pull it off. We have a morbid joke in my house when Mrs H asks me whether I ever cheated: can you remember a single day during our marriage when I seemed thrilled to be alive? No? Then you can be confident I have always been faithful.
Posted By: Miranda

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 09/15/17 01:39 PM

lol, Hold, you've been "with" me through so much. I almost can't remember a time when you weren't part of my life.

so many struggles we've seen each other through, and we are both so changed from the people we once were.

I'm really proud of you today.

I'm really proud to call you my friend, then and now.
Posted By: catperson

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 09/15/17 01:49 PM

Good grief. Some people are such schmucks.
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 09/15/17 02:23 PM

Hold my opinion of you is even higher now. smile

I am proud to be your friend.

I do believe it is unusual that someone has waited years to attempt this.
Posted By: josie

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 09/15/17 03:01 PM

Honestly, I would just laugh at them and tell them that you have no intention of giving them $0.01. They'll move on. They're just phishing for someone nave enough to actually send them blackmail money.

I hope you didn't respond at all. That would tell them they had a "live one." Journalists explained all this at the time of the Ashley Madison blackmail threats.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 09/15/17 04:29 PM

No, I did not respond at all. Exactly because I did not want them to think I cared what they did. Deleted the message, but mentioned it to my wife in case they try to contact her. If they do, I imagine they will find they do have a "live" one but not one disposed to give them any of her money.
Posted By: FashionBarbie

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 09/18/17 02:35 AM

Don't respond at all; this whole scam just stinks.
Posted By: SFB

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 09/18/17 03:26 PM

Hold:

Interesting that happened to you. Blackmail does not have a time limit. And the release of the Ashley Madison info made it real easy for fraudsters to make connections, and possibly extort from some individuals.

When you have 12 million or so potential "marks", all you need is a couple a day to respond with $$, and its a pretty good living.

SFB
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 09/19/17 01:26 PM

Hey, it wouldn't surprise me if it was the guy who ran Ashley Madison trying to make more money off the same guys. Just because there were no real women on that site and all the responses were from employees and bots does not mean that a guy's wife wouldn't be upset to find out that he was on the site.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 09/25/17 01:19 PM

Got another threatening email from the blackmailers over the weekend. Told Mrs H. She is supportive. I did not reply to them. They said if they don't hear from me by Friday, they will send all my messages to Mrs H. So I guess this year I will REALLY have something to atone for on the Day of Atonement.

Wondering if this is something I should report to the FBI since I doubt I am the only one they are attempting to blackmail.
Posted By: Oblivious2678

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 09/25/17 01:51 PM

It can't hurt to report it.
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 09/25/17 09:48 PM

I think you should report it. It is blackmail, and they have attempted extortion (with threats) twice now.
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 09/26/17 11:18 AM

Originally Posted By: Blair
I think you should report it. It is blackmail, and they have attempted extortion (with threats) twice now.


I think you should report it.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/05/17 01:35 PM

I can't tell you guys how much I love and depend on this place. I have precious few friends IRL. None of them know as much about me as the people here do.

Not sure why I am so choked up this morning. I read AR's update and feel for her and her baby. I read Orchid's thread and felt so glad that I have a close relationship with my parents. I read SW's thread and was gratified that maybe something I posted here might help someone.

I live such a false life outside. Only here am I real and honest. That is a big problem. But I don't have the courage to change. Thanks to all for holding my hand through this journey.

Mrs H is not feeling well. I don't think it is serious but she has elevated antibodies and blood cells so her body is fighting something. The doctors just don't know what it is yet. She is scared that it might be something awful and incurable. I insist that whatever it is, they will find a way to treat it. She doesn't like me trivializing her concern. So I tell her that I know she will recover because God would never grant me early release. Funny, she doesn't like that reaction either! So I just tell her that her outfit is ugly. She asks me if it really is bad. I say "no, I just wanted to see you take your clothes off while you change into something else". she smiled. Weird, she never wanted me to look at her naked body back when we were having sex. I am never going to understand her.
Posted By: Miranda

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/05/17 01:44 PM

Hold

I feel the exact same way as you about this place! So odd. But it's family to me.

You're right, you're never going to understand her most likely. But it's okay, you don't HAVE to. All you have to do is accept that she's different, and flawed and unique and you can love her through it. Right?

I'm sending you both prayers and healing light. Prayers that it will be nothing, just a minor infection, or some transient allergy. But no matter what you guys will have the strength necessary to be together in what comes.

Love to you, buddy... much love.
Posted By: Oblivious2678

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/05/17 02:07 PM

We are definitely family here. I feel it.

Prayers that it will be nothing as well.
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/05/17 03:26 PM

((((Yes you are all my family too))))))
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/06/17 04:57 AM

You are safe and you always provide wise and thoughtful counsel. I agree with the others here. I think we all adopted each other. smile
Posted By: mgellan

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/06/17 02:24 PM

Sending good thoughts your way that the issue is minor! -- Mg
Posted By: Chrysalis

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/06/17 06:43 PM

Yes, a family here. ((((((Hold)))))
Posted By: SFB

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/06/17 10:53 PM

Hold:

Yes, we are family here. Our own little campfire. 13 years for me with some of you.

My Flamingo has something going on too. Her stomach hurt, and there were these other things, and then the blood test said her white blood cells were well below the minimum...

Dr. Google had her dead in three months.

Much worry in our household, my efforts to comfort were poo-pooed. So, I suggested a new blood test, you just got off antibiotics, and your WBC may be depleted...

And that is what it was.

But she did end up with a diagnosis of gastritis... Which, while painful, is manageable with a "bland" diet.

Life is good.

SFB
Posted By: right here waiting

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/11/17 05:51 PM

Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
Got another threatening email from the blackmailers over the weekend. Told Mrs H. She is supportive. I did not reply to them. They said if they don't hear from me by Friday, they will send all my messages to Mrs H. So I guess this year I will REALLY have something to atone for on the Day of Atonement.

Wondering if this is something I should report to the FBI since I doubt I am the only one they are attempting to blackmail.


Hold, I don't read your thread often, and am only now catching up on what's been happening with those blackmail threats. I cannot even imagine that your having poked around on dating sites, years ago, could result in any negative impact on you, or your position here. I won't speak for them, but I'll wager the rest of the Board would react the same way. I hope you've reported the threats, and am very glad your wife is supportive. We are, too.
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/11/17 06:38 PM

Originally Posted By: right here waiting
Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
Got another threatening email from the blackmailers over the weekend. Told Mrs H. She is supportive. I did not reply to them. They said if they don't hear from me by Friday, they will send all my messages to Mrs H. So I guess this year I will REALLY have something to atone for on the Day of Atonement.

Wondering if this is something I should report to the FBI since I doubt I am the only one they are attempting to blackmail.


Hold, I don't read your thread often, and am only now catching up on what's been happening with those blackmail threats. I cannot even imagine that your having poked around on dating sites, years ago, could result in any negative impact on you, or your position here. I won't speak for them, but I'll wager the rest of the Board would react the same way. I hope you've reported the threats, and am very glad your wife is supportive. We are, too.


Ditto.
Posted By: kerala

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/11/17 08:40 PM

me too.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/19/17 12:47 PM

Interesting turn of events past few days with Mrs H.

I applied for a job in another city, about 80 miles away and connected by train. Not sure I will take it (offer was underwhelming) but in case I do, we discussed where we should live. We cannot afford to buy anything in the new bigger more expensive city. So I am against selling our house at first, until we see the new job is going to work long term. I would train to job Monday morning and come back Thursday or Friday night. So we would have all weekends together.

Mrs H was concerned about being apart and whether I would be tempted to cheat. I reassured her that I have no intention of ever letting any woman see my miserable excuse for a hardon ever again. She replied "except me of course, I am your wife, right?" I looked at her as if she grew a new head. She frowned but said nothing further.

A few days later the Harvey Weinstein scandal erupted and the #metoo campaign began. Of course as we know Mrs H is a metoo. Like almost every other woman I know. So we were discussing what disgusting pigs men are and how no woman ever forgets what happened to her. I said "yes, but some of them find a way not to hold it against the man they love and are romantically involved with". She frowned and said nothing further.

She has been especially affirming and affectionate lately. She knows that the decision whether to switch jobs is weighing on me. She knows that not having enough money to retire weighs on me. She knows that her working 2 or 3 hours a day, 7 days a week for minimum wage and not being available to me any weekend mornings or weekday evenings is not ideal. She keeps telling me that she loves me and wants to be there for me. I say thanks but my body language is dismissive.

So here we are years later. Kids out of the house. Her mostly recovered from cancer (she still has pain, weakness and stiffness in her joints). I think she appreciates me more than earlier in our marriage and wants more of an emotional connection. I am not sure what I want. I pulled back and built walls against her during the years of rejection and disconnect. Am I prepared to reconnect with her? On what basis? I don't know.
Posted By: Miranda

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/19/17 12:51 PM

the fact that you are examining these things, and being somewhat honest with each other (I do see you as being honest with her in your exchanges, not brutal, but honest) is a good thing.

I believe that you will be able to find your way to some kind of peace with this.
Posted By: Oblivious2678

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/19/17 12:53 PM

Even though this job offer was underwhelming, is it a job that you would love? If not, I'd keep searching. The right one with an overwhelming offer allowing you to retire quicker is out there.
Posted By: Oblivious2678

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/19/17 12:56 PM

Originally Posted By: Miranda
the fact that you are examining these things, and being somewhat honest with each other (I do see you as being honest with her in your exchanges, not brutal, but honest) is a good thing.

I believe that you will be able to find your way to some kind of peace with this.


I agree with this as well. I believe you both have been letting each other in slowly, but still afraid to let each other fully in. Keep swimming towards this. I believe it will only benefit the both of you moving forward especially now that you are emptynesters.
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/19/17 02:14 PM

I hope if you take the job you don't go too long being seperated from Mrs H all week. It is not good for any relationship especially for one that is fragile.

Her work schedule is a problem to me. If she is mostly recovery from her cancer maybe it is time for her to start thinking about more regular hours and better pay.

Of course she won't want to do that until you are sure of where you will be living.

Maybe you can downsize your home if you get a new job and move.
Posted By: catperson

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/19/17 02:30 PM

Just keep giving her your truth. It IS possible for her to change, should she want to. And now that she has a card in the game - wanting a connection, hearing your truth (directed at HER actions) might start registering and might spur a revelation. Good job.

I've told DH several times now why I don't want sex with him - his lack of meeting my needs - and he hears it, but I don't think he really hears it. Because his needs are being met. But I'm slowly pulling back on those things, so there may come a point for him, too.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/19/17 03:22 PM

Originally Posted By: SmilingWife
I hope if you take the job you don't go too long being seperated from Mrs H all week. It is not good for any relationship especially for one that is fragile.


We do not see each other much except on weekend afternoons and evenings as it is. I get home late from work most nights and she is already in bed. We talk for a few minutes then I go into the kitchen to have dinner. She does not want to be in the kitchen at night because she will snack. Plus I am wound up from work and she wants me to be calm and speak slowly and in a low voice because she is trying to wind down to get to sleep (she has trouble sleeping, maybe from the cancer meds?). By the time I am done with dinner she has the lights off in the bedroom and does not want to be disturbed. So if I called her after work during the week and we chatted it would be about the same level of contact. In fact, if we skyped while I was in the kitchen of the apartment near the new job, and we talked while I ate dinner, that would be MORE contact than we have most nights during the week.

Quote:
Her work schedule is a problem to me. If she is mostly recovery from her cancer maybe it is time for her to start thinking about more regular hours and better pay.


Her schedule is a problem but I will not ask her to change. The weekend morning meetings are the largest, most lucrative for her and with the leader she likes best.

Yes, she could get a full time job during the week and earn more. However, if she doubled her pay (reasonable starting salary for full time position in the field where she went back to school to get her certificate) I would still make 10 times what she does. Yes, it would help us pay down credit card debt if she was willing to devote her increased income to that but I don't think she is all that motivated to do so. I will not push.

That is where I have been the past few years. Disconnected. I don't ask anything of her and I don't offer more than what I feel comfortable doing. I do what makes me feel good about fulfilling my role as a husband. Given that other women compliment me on how I treat Mrs H, I think I am doing a decent job despite mostly "mailing it in". I am sure Mrs H knows I am mostly going through the motions, but she isn't willing to step up her game so she doesn't call me on it. When she wants to get a full time job and talk about her PTSD toward sex we can talk about me re-engaging in the marriage. So far, she shows no intention of addressing the hot button issues. In that case, neither am I.

I know this is a terrible way to live. I would urge anyone else not to live this way. But I can't bring myself to move away from this spot. It is like the US health care system. Not what anyone would devise "on a clean slate". But we got ourselves here, and there are costs to transitioning to another system. The new system might be better. But so far we have not shown ourselves willing to pay the costs and endure the pain of transition. That is me. Don't like where I am. Not willing to pay the cost to move elsewhere.

Quote:
Of course she won't want to do that until you are sure of where you will be living.


She talks all the time about stopping the part time job and working full time. But the increased pay isn't worth it to her. I think she keeps waiting for me to insist. Which I will not do. I like feeling justified in not investing much in the marriage. If ask her to make changes for my benefit, I would feel obliged to make changes for her benefit. Just as she never wanted to feel obliged to provide sex, I do not want to feel obliged to do anything for her. She set up these ground rules for our marriage. If she wants a different set of rules now, she needs to make that explicit and "go first" on making the changes.

Quote:
Maybe you can downsize your home if you get a new job and move.


We currently live outside any major metropolitan area. Our house is nice but small and relatively inexpensive. A 2 bedroom apartment in the new city costs 5 times what our 3 bedroom house is worth. We have no choice but to downsize and rent if we move to new city. Might be able to afford a house in a town with lousy schools (we don't need schools) in a suburb closer to the city. Big decision whether to rent small apartment in the city as our only dwelling. Or buy a house closer because we like the space and being outside city on weekends, but with a longer commute. Admittedly, first world problems. But a major change. So I want to see that the new job is stable before pulling the trigger. So at first I will rent studio apartment in city. We shall see if Mrs H has any interest in coming to the city after her Sunday morning meeting. That would help us decide where to base ourselves going forward.
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/20/17 03:18 AM

I don't think you should have to insist that Mrs. H get a full-time job. I think the two of you should sit down and decide your long-term goals together. And talk about how much money she could earn, versus what she is earning doing part time work. Then, make it her choice as to when retirement happens based on the debt ratios. If she wants to retire earlier and go shopping more during retirement, then she needs to get a full-time job now. If she values having a part-time job more, then retirement won't happen for example 10 years longer.

Does she know all of this? Is your wife able to understand how long it will be to pay off the debt, let alone have a good retirement egg fully vested?
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/20/17 01:33 PM

She likes being able to visit the kids or go on vacation with a friend whenever she likes. As long as she gets co-workers to cover her shifts, with the current position she can take off whenever she pleases. That cannot be done with a full time 40 hour per week job. So regardless of the pay, she hesitates to switch to such a job. I understand her thought process.

Since the cancer, she has been far more appreciative and supportive. The problem is that what I want most from her is off the table. So no matter how much effort she puts into providing words of affirmation and acts of service, without any sex my bucket toward her remains mostly empty.

I make enough money that if we lived responsibly we could pay off the debt and save for retirement. We simply overspend. Mostly on vacations for her and us visiting the kids. I do it as well. I flew cross-country to help both of them move into their apartments this summer. Thousands of dollars in cost. Eyes wide open. Do not regret it for a minute.

We did not have to lease DD an expensive new car. I wanted to. That means the financial burden on me will continue. I do not expect Mrs H to help. That is my job.
Posted By: SFB

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/23/17 08:40 PM

Hold:

This:
Originally Posted By: Hold
I do not expect Mrs H to help. That is my job.


Simply? No. You are providing a comfortable lifestyle, she can help with the perks. Those perks can be travel, and car leases for kids.

And something for retirement.

SFB
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/23/17 11:18 PM

I will make this more explicit than perhaps is wise.

She earns about $20k. If she went full time, maybe she could earn $40 - 45 k. I make several hundred k. The extra $20 - 25 k makes almost zero difference to our lifestyle or to our retirement (we only keep $12 - 15 k after taxes). So I cannot in good conscience ask her to give up her flexibility for another $12 - 15k per year.

Now, if she were interested in working hard and getting promotions and working toward earning $80 - 100 k, that would affect our income and savings. But I cannot assume promotions and raises unless she is committed to prioritizing her career over flexibility to visit the kids, go on vacations, etc. Unless and until she commits to maximizing her earnings, it isn't worth fighting with her over a marginal difference in our income.

Yes, I know, another man would insist she get a full time job and focus on earning promotions and raises. But that man wouldn't still be married to her.
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/24/17 01:48 PM

Hold, I do agree with you. There is a lot of stress when both spouses work full time especially if both are working hard for promotions. I don't like working 25 hours a week. My house doesn't feel right anymore...I never feel like things are done right. So if I didn't have to work I wouldn't. With my dhs health issues I just feel I need the safety net. And I appreciate the flexibility of my job.

I only mentioned in cause I thought that was the plan before she got cancer.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/26/17 02:51 PM

Originally Posted By: SmilingWife
I only mentioned in cause I thought that was the plan before she got cancer.


You have a good memory. Thanks for caring enough to remember. Yes, that was the plan before she got cancer.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/30/17 05:36 PM

Much talking this week about whether to take the job offer. Lots of pros and cons. Tough decision.

Part of the pros and cons is that I feel like I have been unsuccessful in my life outside of parenting, and this might be a chance to prove to myself that I am not a loser and that I can be successful.

During our conversations, Mrs H several times wondered why I stay with her. She understands that our marriage, and my decision to stay with her, makes me feel worse about myself. She does not understand why I don't leave. I tell her that it has gotten much better and I want to stay with her.

Clearly it hurts her to hear me say that much of our marriage has been unpleasant for me and that I am not staying primarily because of how wonderful everything is and has always been. I describe our marriage in the most positive terms I can but I do not cover over that there are serious problems. In both directions. I am far from perfect.

The good news is that she made herself available for a long snuggling session on Sunday. I know that is a precious gesture on her part. The bad news is that there are aspects that remind me of what we don't share. But I honestly believe she would share it if she had it available to give. I do not think that was true earlier in our marriage. So the glass is half full. Is that enough for me to be satisfied? I honestly don't know.
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/31/17 01:34 AM

Hold, you are brilliant, compassionate, and wise. How can you not see all of the gifts of your personality? Take the job offer if you want a change that allows you personal growth. If you think you will enjoy it and Mrs. Hold can support you, you should go for it. Do something for YOU for a change.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 11/27/17 03:22 PM

Still agonizing over whether to take the new challenging job that requires me to "couch surf" for a year or 2 until I can afford to rent an apartment closer to the new job.

But my reason for posting was simply to say how much I appreciate marc1952's posts. His post in Infidelity was pure gold, as usual. I did not want to threadjack or go meta, but I also did not want to let the opportunity pass without my commenting how much I enjoyed reading his post.
Posted By: NewEveryDay

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 11/27/17 08:54 PM

Hold what does Mrs H say about the couch surfing? Maybe you can couch surf together and rent out your home? Stranger things have happened! Going now to find Marcs post
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 11/28/17 02:13 AM

Mrs H is worried about me. The physical toll of not having one place to rest my head every night I am in the city. And the risk that I will be tempted to stray.

We will not be together no matter what. We don't spend much time together during the week awake and conscious as it is, even though we live in the same place. By the time I get home at night, she is checked out. What difference does it make if I call her in the evening from my office in our local small town or from the city 75 miles away. Either way, by the time I get "home", she is unavailable.

I will not ask her to give up her gigs in our local town and come with me to the city where I will be wandering from one AirBnB to another 3 nights a week. She wants to stay in our town, keep to her routine, meet with her friends, and go home to our house every night. I will come home on weekends to connect with her. As much "connection" as we have. That is enough for me.

If I am successful, then in a year I should earn enough money to rent a place in the big city. Once I have a place of our own (not as fancy as she would like), she can decide whether to keep up her 7 day a week work schedule in the suburbs or cut back on some days and spend one or two nights a week in the big city with me. I am indifferent to what she decides.

In 3 or 4 years, God willing, we will have cleaned out the house, upgraded the kitchen and bathrooms and gotten the house in shape to sell. At that point we can sell our house and buy a vacation house somewhere more suitable to be a weekend retreat. Either closer to the big city or someplace with worse schools and better scenery than our current house.

This is a big decision. I am totally torn up inside.
Posted By: Miranda

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 11/28/17 02:16 AM

What about joining a club or a gym and showering there and sleeping on a couch in your office?
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 11/28/17 02:20 AM

I like Miranda's suggestion.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 11/28/17 02:24 AM

Don't give me ideas. A couple of weeks ago I could not get the key to work in my sister's apartment at 1:00 am. Instead of waking her up, sleeping on her couch and showering in her bathroom, I slept on the floor at the office and applied new deodorant in the morning. Mrs H yelled at me when I got home and confessed.

I belong to a club in the city that has a gym. A person COULD sleep at the office, go to the club in the morning, shower and change and go back to the office. Wow, you are giving me another possibility to save money. I bet the new firm has a deal with a dry cleaner for next day service. I could rotate suits and probably no one would notice. Leave a couple of extra shirts and ties in my desk drawer.

You are making the new job seem more enticing even though I cannot afford to rent an apartment.
Posted By: Oblivious2678

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 11/28/17 12:46 PM

Sounds like a good idea to me. Save money to go towards your great plan of a weekend retreat/vacation house with great scenery. You work very hard. You deserve to go after whatever your goals are. It will all work out with Mrs. H if you both want it to and I believe you both want it to.
Posted By: Miranda

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 11/28/17 01:51 PM

I think its a better plan than sketchy airBnB and such
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 12/04/17 05:57 PM

I am going to turn down the job offer. A friend in the industry was offered the same position previously and also turned it down. Without associates to do the work that the supervising lawyer brings in from clients, it is very difficult for the supervising lawyer to get the work done. This leads to unhappy clients. She ended up moving to another firm that had several junior lawyers available to help her get the work out the door. Plus, as discussed, the pay was not enough for me to rent an apartment in the city and the wear and tear of working like a dog and not having a single base of operations for sleeping and bathing seemed beyond the level of energy I have available at my age.

So now I have to work hard to get my results to a better place for the current fiscal year. But at least I can work hard and take a short drive to and from my comfy home (which has wifi). Seems more feasible. Maybe my pessimism and depression talking but I talked to several lawyers and referral sources and most advised me not to take the other job.

Then I had ugly weekend with Mrs. H. We looked at renovating kitchen. Way beyond our budget despite the good bonus I just got. We still have too much credit card debt to pay down to invest that much cash into a new kitchen. Mrs H very disappointed. I feel for her. I know she is disappointed in me financially. So am I.
Posted By: Oblivious2678

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 12/04/17 06:02 PM

Sounds like a logical decision. I'm glad you were able to get input from a friend in the industry. Information from our networks can be gold sometimes.

There will be another opportunity that will come knocking. Keep the eyes and ears open. You are valuable.
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 12/04/17 10:15 PM

Wow, it was wise A View to turn down the job offer. If you can't do good work, it would suck the life out of you and you would hate your job.
Posted By: Oblivious2678

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 12/22/17 01:04 PM

How are we doing Hold?
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 12/22/17 01:19 PM

I am OK. Thanks for checking in.
Very busy dealing with new tax law.
So glad to read that things seem to be going well with you and O2 as regards the move.
Posted By: Oblivious2678

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 12/22/17 01:45 PM

Thank you. Still a lot to do, but late June will be here before I know it!
Good luck with the new tax law.
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 01/18/18 04:38 AM

Hey Hold,

Howzit? grin

Orchid
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 01/18/18 03:55 PM

Thanks for asking.
Mostly SOSO - which is good. We are blessed that the kids are doing well.
Mrs H is doing fine health-wise.
Mrs H and I get along well relationship-wise. Eliminating sex has reduced the tension remarkably. She is much more affectionate. Much more respectful and complimentary. So by giving up my big EN, which was not producing any satisfaction anyway, I have gotten paid back by deposits into several other baskets.
As I have been saying for a while, I have gotten as much as I could have hoped for based on my decision to stay. Mrs H seems to be pleased to be married to me so I guess it is also working well for her.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 01/22/18 05:07 PM

Going away on a business trip. Woke up early. Mrs Hold wanted to snuggle before I left. So we snuggled for a minute or 2.

What I hoped and dreamed and prayed for years ago. Something that MCs and STs assigned as homework and Mrs Hold steadfastly refused to do.

I realize this is progress. I realize this is a "good thing". But I also realize that she only feels safe to do this because we stopped having sex. And I fear it is too little too late. No oxytocin hit on my end. Felt nothing emotionally. Knew it was a sign of how much she cares for me. Wish it meant more to me.

I am staying "no matter what". And there are parts of being with her that I enjoy. But at this point, the physical side is not one of them. So ironic and sad. Now that she finally wants some physical connection, I don't.
Posted By: Oblivious2678

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 01/22/18 05:58 PM

Not to sound weird, but instead of going from cuddling to hitting the home run, would you be interested in going to 2nd base? Would that generate some oxytocin?

I'm thinking of taking it much slower and baby steps to slowly ease back into your EN.

Has this crossed your mind at all?
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 01/23/18 02:18 PM

Yes, it has crossed my mind. No, I have no interest in going there.
Long and complex reasons but no. She hates the taste and smell of first base. Second base is complicated since the mastectomy. She tells me third base does nothing for her. So the problem is not me jumping from nothing to home run. The problem is there is no gradual ramp either. Every step has its own set of problems and I simply do not have the energy or patience to work my way through the maze.

If I had not needed to get up and shower and get dressed to catch my train, I would have snuggled longer. I hope to snuggle again. I do not expect to take it further. I get the feeling she wants me to make a move. I can't bring myself to do it. I get more of a payoff from not making a move than from making one. Lousy and self-destructive but is what it is and I don't see me changing.

I rubbed her feet the night before. She likes foot rubs. I like giving them. But again, no oxytocin. I enjoy it but not because it is her. She has terrible knots in her neck and shoulders and feet and I like kneading them.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 01/29/18 01:37 PM

To any of you who question whether my wife truly was raped or that the rapes affect our sex life, last night we got another bit of evidence that I think supports my analysis.

We were watching the Grammy awards. Kesha sang "Praying" with many female stars as a choir to support her. It was very moving and powerful. I had tears in my eyes at the end. I turned to my wife. She said "what?" in a loud an annoyed tone.
I said "I hate the guys who did those awful things to you. I want to shoot them, beat them, slice them into little pieces."
She said "I can't do this. It is too overwhelming. I can't talk about it"

Back in MC, after she admitted to having been raped, whenever I asked her to talk about it, she always said "there is no point, it is in the past and it does not affect me at all now, and our sexual difficulties have nothing to do with that".
Last night she didn't say "stop worrying about it, it is in the past." She said "it is too much, too overwhelming, and I can't talk about it". That is a very different message.

I came home late Saturday from a week apart. There was a little hand holding but no real physical connection. I am glad that I no longer expect or even hope for anything. I am glad I have taken the physical out of our marriage. I don't want to be on her #metoo list any longer.
Posted By: NewEveryDay

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 01/29/18 02:01 PM

Hold that is so heartbreaking. I’m so grateful she has you.
Posted By: Miranda

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 01/29/18 02:11 PM

Ya know, Hold, I always said my rapes didn't affect me anymore either. And they really didn't... UNTIL. Until they did. Until I found myself involved with a man who expected me to have sex that WASN'T on my terms. All the damn time.

And I found something out. I found out what you're trying to say here. I found out that in it's own way, it was every bit as violative as those rapes were. Because he KNEW what happened to me, and he was supposed to love, respect and CARE for me. But he didn't.

So, what you put here today touches my heart in way you can only begin to understand. Because without being told, you get it. And I'm so happy that there are men like you in the world. So happy that I'm sitting here at my computer with tears streaming down my face. I'm proud to call you my friend.

Thank you for this today, Hold.
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 01/29/18 04:05 PM

That is very sweet Hold. Heartbreaking and sweet.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 01/29/18 06:18 PM

I guess it would be sweeter if I felt good about myself for being this type of guy. Well, I don't feel bad about not forcing myself on her (or anyone). But I wish it were more along the lines of not wanting to force myself on her for now, knowing that there would be other times when she would want sex and we could have sex then. Or I wish it were along the lines of not wanting to force myself on her, and realizing that this means it is in both of our interests to divorce, and leave her free to be with someone who either prefers not to have sex at all or whom she desires more often. And leaves me free to go find someone who would want to have sex with me frequently enough for me to be pleased with the situation. Which frequency, at this point in my life, might well be very INfrequently. But I am not leaving. And no, I don't feel good about giving her the freedom to only have sex on her terms when that means we don't have sex at all.

To be fair to her, I get the feeling that there are times when she would be amenable to me initiating. It might be the case that, if I were willing to initiate occasionally and then be very gracious when she declines the offer, that we would have sex every once in a while. But at this point, I do not intend to initiate at all. I don't trust her to be honest about how she feels and I am not talking any chances that she will concede even though she feels pressured. For us to have sex, she would have to initiate. And it seems that does not work for her. Which, in a theoretical sense, is OK. She seems to have responsive desire. She needs to be approached. She doesn't feel comfortable being the one who makes the first move. Lots of couples work that way. That is how it worked back when we were having sex. I initiated 100% of the time. Now I won't initiate and she won't either. So we will likely remain sexless.

No, I don't feel noble and strong and caring. I feel like an idiot. And a loser. Who doesn't have the guts to do what the situation demands. But that is OK, as it feeds my eeyore tendencies and my martyr complex. I know this is all in my head. I could choose to look at myself as her hero and a champion. I choose not to. My choice. I get to reap the consequences.
Posted By: Miranda

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 01/29/18 06:26 PM

Hold

I'm sorry you feel that way. I know it's a complex and thorny situation that isn't easily navigated AT ALL. I live in it daily, and can't make heads or tails of it myself. I agree that the responsible thing to do would have been to divorce my husband a long time ago. Too late for that, the horse is out of the barn. We are all just doing the best we can with absolutely impossible circumstances really.

I know it doesn't matter what I say at this point. It isn't going to make you feel much better. But I don't see you as an idiot or a loser at all. Just a guy who is on a journey down a terribly treacherous and rocky slope. Trying to pick the best path out of a bunch of really crappy choices. I think you're doing the absolute best job that you can. I really do. I sit in awe of the choices you are making. If my husband made HALF of the ones you make, we'd be in a much better place.

I give you mad respect... I honestly do.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 01/29/18 06:53 PM

Yes, but that is like a girl telling you that you would make an awesome boyfriend - for someone else. It may be sincere, but it doesn't help. I have been "friend zoned" more than enough for one lifetime. Which is not meant to insult your comments or to denigrate your respect for me. But I never wanted to be the most virtuous or admirable guy in my high school class. I was aiming for something along the lines of "most likely to succeed". And I have not succeeded. To be told "but you managed to retain your integrity amidst your failure" is cold cold comfort. In a weird way, I would respect myself more if I had retained less integrity and sold it for a little more action.

The part of myself that makes me proudest these days is the extent to which I disguise my inner self enough that my wife can continue to pretend that my love for her is undivided. She knows it isn't. But I hide it well enough that we can both pretend almost all of the time that it is. I like the deceptive side of me, not the honest side. I know that is wrong. But I am way too far down this path to turn back now. There is nothing left but to play this out to the end.

The fact that I won't force myself on her against her will does not make me a creature of the light. The fact that I enjoy lying to her does seem to me to make me a creature of the darkness. Maybe I am only grey and not black. We are all human and complex mixtures of light and darkness. To me, one is characterized by what they strive for. And I am not striving toward the light.
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 01/30/18 02:11 AM

I want to smack you and hug you all at the same time. You have such compassion for your wife, such an amazing understanding of her, to want to defend her, to want to take away her pain. Yes, she is finally admitting that it hurt too much and she tried to compartmentalize her pain and not deal with it. But that didn't work, and her attempts at hiding her pain are affecting you both - still.

Can you negotiate a safe communication pattern where she puts out a green card for the "green light" or a yellow card for snuggling, or something else? I think your wife wants to be loved, wants to be needed, and wants to feel like you want her. But her pain might be keeping her from doing something about it. And hence, she is stuck in limbo. And so you are stuck in limbo too. You have become used to Limbo. But I think that both of you can become closer and be able to meet each other's needs. I know the potential is there.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 01/30/18 03:38 AM

The green light would be for snuggling. Maybe yellow could be for foot rub. We don't do more than snuggle. I am not merely afraid of doing more. I am actively opposed to doing more.

I have suffer form ED and PE. Getting rid of them requires drugs and exercise and changes to my diet that would set up expectations far in excess of my wife's ability to make real. Putting in the effort to become capable of satisfying sexual activity (for me, nothing we do is satisfying for her) and then being rejected, as I inevitably would be, would raise my level of frustration and resentment back to where it was in the bad old days. I refuse to go there.

We were always incompatible sexually. Mostly mentally but also physically. At this point given my age and deterioration and the changes to her body from the surgery, and the compounding of the mental problems with years of fighting and failing, we are AMAZINGLY incompatible. We have a host of both physical and mental obstacles to overcome. Our problem is not merely lack of communication. Or the emotional minefields inside our own heads that make successful communication excruciatingly difficult. Or the physical incompatibility we began with. Or the deterioration of age and events. We have it all. It is totally overwhelming and not something I am interested in attacking. Not even by trying to eat the elephant one bite at a time. At this point I don't enjoy the taste of elephant and I can't imagine, no matter how many recipes we try, finding a way to make it palatable.

Originally Posted by Blair
I think your wife wants to be loved, wants to be needed, and wants to feel like you want her. But her pain might be keeping her from doing something about it. And hence, she is stuck in limbo. And so you are stuck in limbo too. You have become used to Limbo. But I think that both of you can become closer and be able to meet each other's needs. I know the potential is there.


And now you know why I am evil. Because you are exactly correct. She wants those things. And it hurts her not to get them. And we are both stuck in Limbo. And both hurting. And I am doing nothing to help either of us escape our pain. I am waiting for her to go first. When I know she cannot. And despite knowing this, I do nothing. Do not try to excuse me. The fact that I have suffered and am suffering does not excuse me. If it did, then her past trauma would excuse her forever. It doesn't. And neither does mine.

We are living a kind of classical Greek tragedy. I am watching it happen. And doing nothing. It is surreal. It is almost as if I am watching my life from outside it. Just as my wife learned to exit her body when sex began. And to feel nothing while it was happening. So I have learned to watch my life pass by from outside my body. And feel almost nothing. That is why we are so perfectly matched. We are both excellent at dissociation. I am sure we sensed it in each other. We probably both thought we had found the person who would enable us to inhabit our bodies once again. But we were exactly wrong. Instead, we had found the person who would ensure we never again inhabit our bodies. We found the one person who could tolerate infinite dissociation in their partner, because they were living it themselves. We found someone who would never ask their partner "when am I going to see the real you?" Because we would never feel safe to show our partner the real me. The worst is: we secretly like it when out partner dissociates. Because it means we are free to continue doing it too.

You guys are like my wife. You tempt me to be honest. And then I hate myself when I am honest. I should go back to lying and hiding. I can't believe I am going to hit 'post" to this. I am lying here bleeding. I love it and hate it all at the same time. Of course, you guys know why those in pain cut themselves. Because when you are numb all the time, it is nice to feel something even if what you feel is pain. I am surprised by how little pain I feel writing this and reading it. I am really very far gone.
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 01/30/18 03:42 AM

Originally Posted by holdingontoit
The green light would be for snuggling. Maybe yellow could be for foot rub. We don't do more than snuggle. I am not merely afraid of doing more. I am actively opposed to doing more.

I have suffer form ED and PE. Getting rid of them requires drugs and exercise and changes to my diet that would set up expectations far in excess of my wife's ability to make real. Putting in the effort to become capable of satisfying sexual activity (for me, nothing we do is satisfying for her) and then being rejected, as I inevitably would be, would raise my level of frustration and resentment back to where it was in the bad old days. I refuse to go there.

We were always incompatible sexually. Mostly mentally but also physically. At this point given my age and deterioration and the changes to her body from the surgery, and the compuuounding of the mental problems with years of fighting and failing, we are AMAZINGLY incompatible. We have a host of both physical and mental obstacles to overcome. Our problem is not merely lack of communication. Or the emotional minefields inside our own heads that make successful communication excruciatingly difficult. Or the physical incompatibility we began with. Or the deterioration of age and events. We have it all. It is totally overwhelming and not something I am interested in attacking. Not even by trying to eat the elephant one bite at a time. At this point I don't enjoy the taste of elephant and I can't imagine, no matter how many recipes we try, finding a way to make it palatable.

Originally Posted by Blair
I think your wife wants to be loved, wants to be needed, and wants to feel like you want her. But her pain might be keeping her from doing something about it. And hence, she is stuck in limbo. And so you are stuck in limbo too. You have become used to Limbo. But I think that both of you can become closer and be able to meet each other's needs. I know the potential is there.


And now you know why I am evil. Because you are exactly correct. She wants those things. And it hurts her not to get them. And we are both stuck in Limbo. And both hurting. And I am doing nothing to help either of us escape our pain. I am waiting for her to go first. When I know she cannot. And despite knowing this, I do nothing. Do not try to excuse me. The fact that I have suffered and am suffering does not excuse me. If it did, then her past trauma would excuse her forever. It doesn't. And neither does mine.

We are living a kind of classical Greek tragedy. I am watching it happen. And doing nothing. It is surreal. It is almost as if I am watching my life from outside it. Just as my wife learned to exit her body when sex began. And to feel nothing while it was happening. So I have learned to watch my life pass by from outside my body. And feel almost nothing. That is why we are so perfectly matched. We are both excellent at dissociation. I am sure we sensed it in each other. We probably both thought we had found the person who would enable us to inhabit our bodies once again. But we were exactly wrong. Instead, we had found the person who would ensure we never again inhabit our bodies. We found the one person who could tolerate infinite dissociation in their partner, because they were living it themselves. We found someone who would never ask their partner "when am I going to see the real you?" Because we would never feel safe to show our partner the real me. The worst is: we secretly like it when out partner dissociates. Because it means we are free to continue doing it too.

You guys are like my wife. You tempt me to be honest. And then I hate myself when I am honest. I should go back to lying and hiding. I can't believe I am going to hit 'post" to this. I am lying here bleeding. I love it and hate it all at the same time. Of course, you guys know why those in pain cut themselves. Because when you are numb all the time, it is nice to feel something even if what you feel is pain. I am surprised by how little pain I feel writing this and reading it. I am really very far gone.



(((Hold))))
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 01/30/18 04:51 AM

I wish we could help more. It breaks my heart. My Ex thought 4 times a day wasn't enough, so he left and went looking for something better. You are honest. You are safe to post here. Always. This place needs you.

I agree with SW. Hugs, Hold.
Posted By: Miranda

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 01/30/18 03:07 PM

I'm sorry Hold. I'm sorry that I contributed to your pain in any way. It was not my intention and I should know better, honestly. As long as I have known you.

I identified strongly with this below

Quote
we are AMAZINGLY incompatible. We have a host of both physical and mental obstacles to overcome. Our problem is not merely lack of communication. Or the emotional minefields inside our own heads that make successful communication excruciatingly difficult. Or the physical incompatibility we began with. Or the deterioration of age and events. We have it all. It is totally overwhelming and not something I am interested in attacking. Not even by trying to eat the elephant one bite at a time. At this point I don't enjoy the taste of elephant and I can't imagine, no matter how many recipes we try, finding a way to make it palatable.


My situation is glaringly similar. Almost exactly the same. I distract myself by not having the time or energy for sex at this point, because of school and work, but that isn't going to last forever. My husband is getting more and more irritated and bitter about it. That's the big difference in our situations.

But honestly, I am here for you, as witness to whatever you want to tell. To give you support, empathy, sympathy, and feedback if you so desire it. I understand you don't hope for improvement. I know how that feels. I know you don't think you are a "good man" but I'm going to go ahead and keep thinking you are. Because my perception is based on somewhat different values than your is. I hope that's ok.

Sending you love and light and all good things.

M
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 01/31/18 12:23 AM

So many incompatibilities.
Her excellent senses of taste and smell. That make kissing often unpleasant for her. Despite gum, brushing, flossing, mouthwash, avoiding onions, etc. If brush or rinse right before, the smell and taste of the rinse is too strong. If wait too long after cleansing, the negative odors are back. No win. Little or no kissing. I guess she needed a guy who naturally smells or tastes better to her.
While she would never admit this, deep down she wanted a big strong guy who would give her a good ride. Which terrifies her. My being small helped her feel safe. But it was a false safety. Yes, she would never really enjoy what I did, which made it less likely that she would lose control. But my not being able to please her meant I would never be pleased with myself. Not a recipe for safety.
I needed a woman who enjoyed manual, oral, toys, etc. So my lack of size and strength would not be such a detriment. She claims to get nothing from any of that.
All of that continues to stand between us. And now we have added age and fading capacity and aches and pains and her surgery and years of frustration and resentment.

We had a nice standing hug when she woke up today. Another exercise assigned by MC and ST that she refused to do in the past but seems pleased to do now. She went into the kitchen for her coffee and I followed her and nuzzled her neck from behind. Squeezed her butt. And told her how beautiful she is. More beautiful than the picture postcard view out of our kitchen window. She smiled and blushed and thanked me. Anyone watching our interaction would say we have a deep and abiding love for one another. Maybe we do. At this point I am so lost I wouldn't know.
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 01/31/18 04:34 AM

Is there a desensitizing mouthwash for her so that less things are strong? Is one of her medications causing an increase in sensitivity of taste or smell? Does she have migraines where smells trigger her headaches?

Hold, just so you know, we won't give up until you tell us to stop suggesting things. You have a huge fan base here, and there is so much support available. Just bear with us as we throw out suggestions to try. You are worth it. Mrs. Hold is worth it. I still have hope for you both. We are all rooting for you both!
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 01/31/18 03:28 PM

No idea. Turn off her sense of smell? Idea worth pursuing. I will research. She is top 1% of taste / smell. Got paid for that. As an example, her group of tasters would be given 2 glasses of beverage. Same recipe in both. Only difference was 1 had sugar from Brazil and 1 had sugar from Venezuela. Question was whether they could taste the difference. So only the most sensitive palates got hired.

She smiled and gave me a hug before she left for work this morning. I know that is a big effort for her. Intellectually I appreciate her effort on my behalf and the love behind it. I like it better than not getting hugs. But it does at times feel like crumbs. It is all she can offer at this point. So I honor her going as far as she can. But very difficult to accept that this is all I get and be happy about it. Nevertheless, recognizing that acting ungrateful won't help, I act grateful. I am grateful in the sense that her trying is better than her not trying. But it doesn't trigger the huge oxytocin rush that the same hug would have delivered during the early years in our marriage. So I am faking it until we make it. With no optimism that we will ever make it. Exhausting. So I come here to vent how tiring it is.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 02/01/18 02:44 PM

And I recognize our difficulties are not even close to all on her. I was not able to provide what she needed psychologically and emotionally. She needed someone calm and strong and whole who could withstand her outbursts and not react. Someone who could help her feel safe. I was too weak and reactive. I added to her doubt and anxiety instead of soothing it away.

Now I am so much closer to what she wanted and needed. Of course it is easier to remain calm when you simply don't care as much. When you have accepted defeat. And when you have given up on trying to help either of you be happier. Before, if she was unhappy I became unhappy because it meant sex was off the table. So her mood tremendously affected mine. Now, if she is unhappy I don't react. After all, sex is unaffected by her mood. And if she feels unhappy, I no longer feel much obligation to try to help her change her mood. Worse, the part of me that is frustrated and resentful kinda likes it when she is upset and there is nothing I can do about it. So if I can easily help resolve her frustration, I do so as best I can. But if this is an issue where nothing I do will make much of a difference, I just shrug and say "sucks to be you" and move on. Which is exactly what she wanted and needed when we started out.

Wish I had been that way initially. Wish it hadn't taken what it took to get here. But if wishes were fishes . . .
Posted By: Oblivious2678

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 02/01/18 03:18 PM

Being what each other needs now is great! It seems like you both have great companionship. You enjoy each other's company. There's nothing you can do about the past as you know.

You may not see it as such, but you have become independently stronger by not caring. I learned to not care as much and it helped me a lot. We all have flaws. I learned that as well. I learned to accept them for what they are and embrace the good things. I hope some day you can too.

You both were at fault for past needs not being met. However, you both have grown closer together thanks to shinola life has thrown at you. I hope sometime soon you embrace it.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 02/05/18 10:16 PM

Interesting conversation over past few days.

She offered to stop working Saturday and Sunday mornings. She said she feels guilty, and that she should be home with me on those days. I told her to keep working. She asked why. I said it was easier for me if she is not physically present on weekend mornings. That way, if I feel horny, it isn't so frustrating because she isn't there. She seemed surprised and said "I thought you didn't want sex any more?" I said that she misunderstood, and that I was done trying to initiate or have sex with her. That I still wanted sex, but not the hassle of trying to figure out whether or when it was OK to have it with her.

Today I told her I had an analogy that might help her understand. I told her to imagine a very unhealthy food. One she really loves. But she knows is bad for her because it would make her feel guilty if she ate too much. I asked her if she would prefer that I buy a big supply of it and keep it in the kitchen, or if she would prefer that it never enter the house? You could see her light up with understanding "no, please keep it out of the house". I told her she is that unhealthy food for me. I want it, but I know I will feel bad if I have any, so I prefer it remain outside the house when I might otherwise be tempted to give in to temptation.
Posted By: TC_Manhattan

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 02/05/18 10:27 PM

Geez, Hold!

And what pray tell was her reply to that? eek
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 02/06/18 02:05 AM

I wondered too....
Posted By: Oblivious2678

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 02/06/18 12:53 PM

Ouch bud. I know you are struggling internally. As you know, I relate to you in many ways, but man, take the risk. Take the plunge. You have nothing to lose here and everything to gain with Mrs. Hold.

I wish you would have let your guard down. Mrs. Hold was letting you in...into a place you rarely get to see. She was letting you know of the misinterpretation she had about your desire for sex. You had the opportunity to open up to her and be honest in a passionate way.

I honestly don't think she cares if you "finish early". I think she cares about making you happy and making you feel good. You have been filling her love bucket with affection, financial support, being a great dad, and supporting her through one of, if not the darkest period in her life.

She appears to be closer than ever to feeling comfortable enough to let you into a place in her heart that she has never let anyone before. You are the special person that will be able to enter. Embrace it. Let her love you the way you deserve to be loved.

Let that last statement sink in. Read it over and over. You deserve love. You deserve good things.

You have had an emotionally imbalanced marriage for years and I believe you are now becoming balanced together. Close your eyes. Leave the imbalance in the past and embrace the balance that is here in the present.

You can do this my friend. You deserve it. You are valuable.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 02/06/18 01:48 PM

TC and Blair: She said nothing. We were at the doctor's office. The nurse walked in right after I said it.

I should explain that the first part of the discussion happened in the car over the weekend and the second part happened Monday. So it was not one big conversation. I got the feeling that she was hurt when told her I did not want her staying home with me on weekend mornings. On my way to meet her for her doctor's appointment I thought of the analogy that might help her understand why I could want sex and want her but not want her around.

Originally Posted by Oblivious2678
Let her love you the way you deserve to be loved.


That is the point. So far, she can't. Yes, she can lie there and let me have my way with her. That is no longer what I want. I want her to participate and to get something out of it for herself. She does not have that to offer.

You are absolutely correct in your reading of her. I agree that she would probably make herself available to me if I asked. I don't want her to simply "be available". That is no longer satisfying to me. That is just another form of masturbation. I wish I could put the blinders back on and be satisfied if she made herself available. I wish I could be more selfish and not care what the experience is like for her. But I can't.

If this is triggering for her and she dissociates and her mind flees her body while we are having sex, then I am going to feel even more dirty and ashamed of myself than I already feel. Let that statement sink in. I might feel MORE ashamed of myself. Hard to imagine that is even possible. I simply cannot allow her to "make the grand sacrifice" for me. If she can find a way to have sex not trigger her PTSD, then we can have sex. We won't know for sure that she can actively participate if she comes to me to offer sex, but we have a pretty clear indication she can't if she doesn't. If sex is going to be something she needs to pretend isn't happening so she can endure it, then we won't be having any sex. If there is going to be a martyr in our marriage, it is going to be me.
Posted By: Oblivious2678

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 02/06/18 02:02 PM

I now understand that this is a much bigger issue than what my previous post was based on. However, the stage was set to communicate about what you just mentioned as well. I wouldn't just dive right in either. Communicate your fears in a passionate way including her PTSD. She may open up more about her PTSD. Communicate your need for her participation. I think you know much more about her sexual disconnect than she knows about your sexual desires.

I believe you are still far away from actual sex, but after years of being curled up in a ball in a dark room, I am envisioning you standing, facing the beautiful path that lies ahead. One foot in front of the other. Yes, there might be a tree root that trips you up here and there, but you get up, dust yourself off, and keep walking.

If you don't want to continue to talk about this, I completely understand. I just felt this tremendous feeling to extend my hand out to you, offering to help you onto your feet, so you can continue on this beautiful path that awaits you.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 02/06/18 02:06 PM

Thank. You are a big hearted guy. So glad to hear about the good things happening in your life.
Posted By: Oblivious2678

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 02/06/18 02:08 PM

You're a big hearted guy as well...and thank you, but I see the deflection. wink
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 02/06/18 02:25 PM

I don't pretend not to deflect.
What is the point of me posting that I cannot envision myself walking into the sunshine? That I don't feel I deserve it. That I have thankfully married a woman who helps me stay curled up in a ball, and that I intend to stay with her until death do us part. That I have arranged my life to maximize the chance that useful assistance never arrives. No one wants to read that.
Posted By: Oblivious2678

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 02/06/18 02:54 PM

Originally Posted by holdingontoit
I don't pretend not to deflect.
What is the point of me posting that I cannot envision myself walking into the sunshine? That I don't feel I deserve it. That I have thankfully married a woman who helps me stay curled up in a ball, and that I intend to stay with her until death do us part. That I have arranged my life to maximize the chance that useful assistance never arrives. No one wants to read that.


Never said you pretended. It just made me chuckle a little. grin

The point of you posting is for you to let out your frustrations, your feelings. Keep letting them out no matter how repetitive they may be. It's not about what you think we "want to read". Your friends here have been with you for years, reading every post...and they're still here! If everyone here only read what they wanted to read, no one would receive love and assistance that MA so graciously offers.

You're valuable my friend. Always have been. Always will be.
Posted By: Miranda

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 02/06/18 03:20 PM

Originally Posted by Oblivious2678


The point of you posting is for you to let out your frustrations, your feelings. Keep letting them out no matter how repetitive they may be. It's not about what you think we "want to read". Your friends here have been with you for years, reading every post...and they're still here! If everyone here only read what they wanted to read, no one would receive love and assistance that MA so graciously offers.

You're valuable my friend. Always have been. Always will be.




I roll my eyes at Obl's optimism sometimes. But this part right here, I gotta QFT.
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 02/07/18 04:21 AM

You DO deserve to walk in the sunshine and to feel warmth and love.
Posted By: SFB

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 02/08/18 05:14 PM

Originally Posted by Blair
You DO deserve to walk in the sunshine and to feel warmth and love.


Blair: And not to beat you up.... Where was this ever "deserved"?

We want Hold to have a better life. In many ways, he has a fabulous life, and he understands where he is ALOT better than we do. He articulates it in his posts all the time.

That is not my life. It is his. Not my Choices. His. And he is making the best choices for him.

He is walking in his own sunshine.

His statement to his wife about weekends is true. The analogy seems cruel. But it is true.

She makes the sacrifice to not work on the weekends, so that she can be home. What changes for Hold?

Really? Not much. There will be no more sex, that won't change. Maybe, the big change, is he gets an extra 2 minutes each day for snuggling or a hug.

Just keep truckin' Hold. I think the convo on the couch during the Grammys was more significant, than weekend work. If you truly broke that dam with her and she talked openly of the rape, and your compassion for her came thru as well, then the playing filed would finally move.

SFB
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 02/08/18 08:57 PM

Originally Posted by SFB
He is walking in his own sunshine.


Had to laugh. You really think so? I think I am walking under my own little rain cloud over my head, with sunshine all around me, just beyond the reach of my fingers at the end of my outstretched arms. Soaking wet, cold and shivering, knowing that if I could just take a couple steps to one side or the other, I would feel the warm sunshine on my face and my skin would quickly dry. But somehow I can't seem to take those steps out from under my cloud.

Originally Posted by SFB
She makes the sacrifice to not work on the weekends, so that she can be home. What changes for Hold?

Really? Not much.


I disagree. It would be a significant change for the worse. I would no longer have time home alone. I would no longer have a portion of time when I can do whatever I want and no be obliged to account for my activity. I would no longer be able to play computer games without being accused of neglecting her. I would no longer be able to masturbate in the morning while lying in my own bed. I would no longer be able to drive around town playing Pokémon or Ingress without receiving a call asking me what was taking me so long to get home from running my errands.

She would want that time to be "us" time, without offering to engage in my most desired "us" activity. Which makes it "her" time.

We have plenty of "us" time for my taste. We have lunch and dinner together Saturday and Sunday. We do whatever activity she wants to do every Saturday and Sunday afternoon and evening. I am sure she wants more together time with me. More conversation. More foot rubs. More watching tv. I am sure she wishes that I wanted more time alone with her. She wants to be WANTED. Ironic, isn't it? I am sure you can imagine how that makes me feel. Not pretty. But reality.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 02/08/18 10:24 PM

Originally Posted by SFB
I think the convo on the couch during the Grammys was more significant, than weekend work. If you truly broke that dam with her and she talked openly of the rape, and your compassion for her came thru as well, then the playing filed would finally move.


Wife offered a hug this morning. She has been doing that more often lately. I know it is her way of trying to communicate that she wants us to be more physical. I don't feel it. I know that I am shooting myself in the foot and turning down what I always wanted, but I can't find any motivation to woo her. I don't want to play courtship games. I don't want to do the work to get her warmed up to see if her responsive desire kicks in (does she even have any?). I don't want to worry about whether she is truly in the mood or just throwing me a bone. I am tired and cranky and resentful and I don't want to have to lift a finger as part of this process. If she wants me, she can unzip my pants. I know it doesn't work that way for many women. I don't care. I am not the one trying to get things started. If she wants to get me started, she needs to do it my way. Just like all the posts that tell men "she doesn't work the way you work, you have to come to her on her terms if you want to succeed." We have flipped the script. She wants it more than I do. Now she needs to approach me on my terms. I do not expect her to. I will probably freak out if she does.

She seems to think that this is just about risk of rejection. That if she makes it clear I will not be rejected, I will initiate. Nope, sorry, that ship has sailed. It is now about much more than simply consent. Her consent is, of course, necessary, but it is no longer sufficient. I need her to show me that she wants it for herself and will enjoy it for herself. I don't think she does or will. And I definitely don't think she would admit if she did. And I still might turn her down. The part of me that enjoys frustrating her enjoys this much more than the part of me that enjoys sex is likely to enjoy the awkward, spastic, halting, unsatisfying sex.
Posted By: SFB

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 02/10/18 01:33 PM

Hold:

This:
Originally Posted by Hold
Wife offered a hug this morning.


Accept the hug. And move on.

All the rest of it? Conjecture.

SFB
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 02/12/18 08:54 PM

Yes, you are correct. Just do. Stop thinking.
Again considering getting a job that will overwhelm me so I don't have any time to think.
My having free time to ponder the imponderable is never a good thing. And I have been a total mess since I turned down the offer. Things are slow for me at work and I am regretting my decision. More reason not to allow myself time to ponder. Just makes me even crazier.

Oh, and Mrs H and I had some "just us" time over the weekend. First time in over a year. Very awkward. Why do I make everything so complicated?!?!
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 02/20/18 01:54 PM

Did not take the new job. Senior partner is taking me to lunch to discuss my future with the firm - in what I hope is a good way. Another senior partner is retiring. They wanted me to take on his role. I said: not for less than half the pay. So should be an interesting lunch.

The really good news is that D21 got an offer for a summer internship. From a good company. She gets the details today. Mrs H has been very nervous as one after the other of D's classmates got summer internships. So now that anxiety is released.
Posted By: Miranda

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 02/20/18 02:21 PM

Oh... exciting times for your daughter, and for you! I cannot wait to see what happens.

Don't be shy about bringing up the other offer with your Senior Partner, Hold. Letting him know you actually considered jumping ship and decided NOT to? That's actually a GOOD thing.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 02/20/18 09:37 PM

D21 got some less great news. She thought the offer was in major city near where her brother lives. And at the corporate headquarters.

Found out her offer was to work at a satellite office in a small town outside of another city in a different state. The small town is most notable for its prison. Hey, it is good company and looks good on the resume and the pay is OK. And wet behind the ears young'uns shouldn't complain about where they get a decent job as long as they get one. But some of the "OMG OMG" went away when she saw where she would have to live. And the rents are crazy there. I am guessing there are only so many apartments that people from outside this town are willing to rent, and those go for a premium.
Posted By: Miranda

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 02/20/18 09:51 PM

Well, with the good, so comes some bad. That's the way of the world.
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 02/20/18 09:53 PM

Is she at least closer to home with the move?
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 02/21/18 03:55 AM

Is is a good resume-building opportunity? It might be worth a try, especially for a good start in the company.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 02/21/18 02:50 PM

I think she is taking it. Both places are far from home. It is the other way around - we don't expect them to move near us, we expect to move near them. If both kids move to the west coast then when I retire Mrs H and me will head west to live near them. I have no friends or ties to the community so I am happy to move. Will be tougher for Mrs H socially but she wants to be near the kids (our parents were far and we did not like that). So if D moves anywhere in the vicinity of S we are pleased. I very much wish we were our "this is your hometown" family but we are not. For 3 generations none of us live in the state where we were born.

Interesting conversation with Mrs H today. She will help D drive D's car to summer job. 1700 miles. Road trip. They will pass through a national forest on the way. Mrs H said "I haven't been there in 30 years". I looked at her sternly.
Me: Yes you have.
Her: Really? When?
Me: 18 years ago. My dad's birthday trip. After my parents and sister went home, we extended the trip and stayed in that national forest. Worst trip ever. Might have been the lowest point of our marriage. You seriously don't remember?
Her: No.
Me: You don't remember that the MC told you that she understands you have 2 little kids and are busy and tired but your husband works like a dog all year so you can stay home with the kids and this is his one big vacation for the year and you guys will be alone without the kids (her parents cared for them for 10 days) so maybe you could throw the dog a bone and have a little sex with him while you are away? And of course you couldn't.
Her: Did you have to add that last part?
Me: Yes, I did. You were cold and aloof the whole week, apparently because you were afraid I might want to touch you. I almost flew home halfway through the vacation because I was having such a terrible time. I almost filed for divorce the following Monday. And you don't even remember?

The good news is that, in a new paradigm, I said something that hurt her feelings and she did not send me to the doghouse. In fact she was quite friendly and affectionate after I said that. She has a lot of travel scheduled in the next few months so she is very happy with her life and I guess she can afford to indulge me a little.
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 02/21/18 02:55 PM

Wow Hold. That was some amazing Truth Telling. So proud of you.

And just stunned that she doesn't remember it. I guess she just blocks it out because it is too painful to deal with.
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 02/22/18 03:04 AM

Excellent job being honest about it. I am also surprised that she has zero recollection of it.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 02/22/18 01:47 PM

It really was so awful that I could almost believe she has pushed the memory out of her mind to avoid the guilt and pain.

Also, to be clear, the MC told her to "throw me a bone" in an individual session. I was not present. I only found out about it after we got home. The MC was shocked to hear how poorly the vacation went.

This episode is one of the reasons that I feel the rapes do affect Mrs H and that she does have PTSD. Once the MC said "you ought to have sex with your husband while on vacation", and the vacation started, Mrs H went into full freak out mode. At the time I had no idea why. Now I believe it is because the MC's statement caused Mrs H to feel coerced into having sex, and that feeling was triggering for her. So every day that went by on vacation without us having sex, the pressure on her built up higher and higher and she got more and more upset. Understandably. But inconsistent with her stated ability to be comfortable with her sexuality.
Posted By: josie

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 02/22/18 01:53 PM

What did you actually say to her at the time, in the national forest 18 years ago, that would make it memorable to her?
Posted By: josie

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 02/22/18 01:58 PM

Or, she does not like to have sex and felt trapped in a situation where it was expected of her. That's enough of a trigger in itself. Sort of like dreading Valentine's Day and birthdays because of similar expectations to deliver sex.
Posted By: Miranda

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 02/22/18 02:03 PM

Originally Posted by josie
Or, she does not like to have sex and felt trapped in a situation where it was expected of her. That's enough of a trigger in itself. Sort of like dreading Valentine's Day and birthdays because of similar expectations to deliver sex.


This... this right here is enough to trigger the fight, flight or freeze response in those of us that have been in "those situations" imo
Posted By: SFB

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 02/22/18 02:10 PM

Originally Posted by josie
What did you actually say to her at the time, in the national forest 18 years ago, that would make it memorable to her?


Hold didn't say anything.

He thought that just maybe, all alone in the wilderness, no kids, and alone time, that he might get something.

HE didn't.

It was VERY memorable for Hold. Mrs H? Something that was not that important to her.

But I am glad that Hold stated his truth to her the other day.

SFB
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 02/22/18 10:18 PM

Actually, we did discuss it at the time. We had a bit of a fight after I upgraded us from our original hotel to an even fancier hotel (she complained the first hotel wasn't nice enough for her), took her to a candle light dinner at a nice restaurant, took her to afternoon tea at the resort hotel we couldn't afford to stay overnight at, etc. By around the 8th day of the trip, I was getting irritated at being so solicitous and spending so much money on making every aspect of the trip suit her taste. And then getting told to keep my hands to myself. I could be wrong but I remember saying to her during the argument that I had half a mind to rent a second car and drive to the nearest airport and fly home early. Maybe I only thought that to myself and didn't have the guts to say it out loud.

We certainly discussed it when we got home and went to MC. I believe shortly after that trip we switched from a MC to our first sex therapist.

But I agree with SFB. All of the fighting and the MC and the ST is much ado about nothing to Mrs H. The defining aspect of our marriage to me. Background noise to Mrs. H. Which explains how she can be so oblivious today. It never meant much to her, so looking back she doesn't think it was that big a deal to me. After all, if it WAS a big deal to me I would have left her or stopped being so pleasant toward her. She really does not understand me well at all.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/19/18 03:24 PM

I was on the phone with a credit card customer service person. We got a security alert in the mail. So I was asking questions of Mrs H while the rep was listening. Hey honey, did you use my card to pay off a balance on your other card? Hey beautiful, did you use the card to make the final payment on your car? Hey gorgeous, did we use my card at the mall last weekend? The customer service rep asked me how long we had been married. I told her 25 years. She complimented me on the terms of endearment I used toward my wife.

Mrs H has another health issue. She had to get a MRI. She is afraid she is going to die. I told her not to worry, that cannot happen. She asked me why not. I told her "because God is not letting me out of this early". She did not appreciate that remark. Then I said "OK beautiful, turn that around, do you think God is going to let you get an early release from being married to me?" She smiled and said "no, I am going to be stuck with you for another 30 years. What did I do in a past life to deserve this.?" I smirked and said "no early release for you dear, not even to heaven".
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/19/18 05:25 PM

I am sorry she is not well. What is the MRI of?

And is she using the credit cards without agreement again?
Posted By: TC_Manhattan

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/19/18 08:29 PM

Hold, I'm interested to hear how your fraud alert situation works out. Happened to me a month ago, 3 phone/online purchases on one of my cards within 20 min. timespan. Turns out they had the CC #, exp. date AND security code when they ordered. One order (the phone one) got cancelled by the merchant as he was suspicious of the caller. The other two online purchases ended up showing up at my door. eek First package showed up overnight delivery and was a huge box with 2 hookah pipes in it. shocked shocked Turned that over to the sheriff. The other one showed up a week later. Scary thing was the bank told us they deliver to the billing address then send someone out to pick it up later, posing as a delivery man saying the package was misdelivered. That is what scared me into calling in the sheriff. I'd hate to spend my days stomping around with a loaded rifle, waiting for someone to show up for retrieval. WTF.

Apparently, someone hacked into something to get the card info. The whole scheme seems way to involved though to be worth the money it would take to retrieve and sell the items. Our world has gone nuts! sos
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/19/18 08:57 PM

SW: she has some symptoms and the doctors cannot figure out what is wrong with her so they keep testing her until they figure out what is causing the problem. I think her bronchitis (she has had it for months and took several courses of antibiotics and is still coughing) moved into her sinuses and is now affecting her eyeballs, but I am not a doctor no one knows for sure.

No, not using credit cards without agreement. I am allowing her and our daughter to live a very nice life. That is what I do. I figure just because I am miserable is no reason for them to be. DD has depressive tendencies (hmm, wonder where she got those from? wink . If I can get her "launched" without major hiccups I figure it is worth any expense. I found out today that I borrowed thousands in student loans and gave them to daughter when she was a freshman. Trying to figure out how much I can reasonably ask to get back so I can pay down the loans. I am thinking once we get to graduation (should be next June if all goes well) I will ask DD for some of it back. She has asked where it came from and I actually forgot that we borrowed it. When you owe as much as we do on credit cards, owing thousands on student loans seems no big deal.

TC: Yes, the fraudsters are sneaky and inventive. If they focused their talent and energy on legal pursuits, they could be very successful. I guess they don't have enough patience for that.
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/19/18 10:15 PM

Wow, Hold. What are they looking for with the MRI? I'm glad you have a fraud alert - did Mrs. Hold use your card or did someone else use it?
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/19/18 10:31 PM

Thanks for all the concern. Eventually I figured out that they were alerting me to a GOOD thing - we paid off one of our credit cards. Apparently, they decided to start sending people notices about positive events instead of only sending negative alerts. maybe they thought it would buy them good will to send good news. Of course, the opposite occurred. Millions of people are calling the call centers saying "what does this mean?" The call center people are going nuts having to explain that it is good news. People start the call freaked out, and end the call relieved but not happy. No one is thanking the credit card company for sending good news - they are all complaining that receiving written "alerts" written in banker-speak and codes triggers anxiety.
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/19/18 10:41 PM

It's because everyone is super stressed out about potential fraud, and when they figure out the truth, they feel like the bank wasn't honest with them.
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/19/18 10:41 PM

When does your wife have the MRI?
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/20/18 12:36 PM

Had the MRI Sunday. Gets the results this afternoon. She was upset with me this morning that I was not paying more attention to the results. I probably should pay more attention to her anxiety.
Posted By: Miranda

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/20/18 01:22 PM

Hold

It's hard to know what the right level of "attention" is for this. You don't want to "feed the monster" when it comes to anxiety, by adding on to it. It's very tempting to try to minimize or ignore it, or do other things to divert attention away from it. And in a lot of cases that is a good strategy!

Then in other cases, the ONLY way out is THROUGH. And then the person needs someone to come down in the trenches with them and sympathize and empathize.

Also a person who is staying level headed and calm is often seen by an anxious person as "not caring" and "cold." I'm the powerhouse clinical decision maker in medical matters for everyone who knows me pretty much, not just because of the depth of my science and medical knowledge, but also because in medical crisis, I stay very still, stoic and calm. But when Daryl had his health crisis, we had some cases where there was a bit of fracas between us because he did not perceive me as "caring enough." I said to him "did I not attend to every need and complaint you voiced?" He said "yes." So I asked in what way did I not care? Turns out that because I did LOOK distressed, it was being read as not caring.

I calmly explained that the WAY I show how much I care is by staying together and "taking care of business" because doing absolutely EVERYTHING possible to ensure a good outcome is the only way I know I know to stay in control of my own very tenuous grip on my sanity. And doing everything possible to ensure a good outcome means coordinating care, being level headed, taking charge etc.

In daily life I do this also. I show my caring by checking off items on a "to do list" <shrug>
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/20/18 09:30 PM

The MRI found something. Could be good or bad news depending on what it is. More tests needed to determine.

I feel bad for joking that it couldn't possibly be life threatening because God would never grant me early release. Now it seems it might be serious. Darn.

Miranda, yes, sometimes she accuses me of not caring because I don't get upset. But she hates it when I get upset because I am supposed to be her rock. No matter, she is the one who is sick so I am the one who will endure. Because anything I need to endure is nothing compared to what she has to endure.
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/20/18 11:24 PM

Oh boy - like cancer or MS? I'm a bit confused about her wanting you to get upset, but now I'm wanting you to get upset. It's hard to know which way is right when she acts like one of them is right only at certain times. You'd have to memorize all the ways but each one could be right!
Posted By: Oblivious2678

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/21/18 01:16 AM

We're here for you Hold. Thinking of you and Mrs. Hold.
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/21/18 01:26 AM

My post above should read:

...but NOT wanting you to get upset.

I should stop using my cell phone to voice post. My accent doesn't work out great.
smirk
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/21/18 11:24 AM

Mrs H has a mass of tissue behind her eyeball. The MRI could not tell if it was inflammation or a tumor. We are hoping for inflammation. If it is a tumor that migrated from her breast cancer and survived the chemo, that is obviously very bad news.

Work offered me a promotion that involved a pay cut. I turned it down. Now a huge fight over why I turned it down. They say I should be honored by the offer. I reply that I told them earlier not to make me the offer because I would turn it down and that would be uncomfortable for everyone. They made the offer anyway. I don't feel honored by their decision to go ahead and do what I asked them not to do. They have put me in exactly the position that I did not want to be in. And they are miffed that I am not happy about it.

Admittedly a first world problem. But annoying nonetheless.
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/21/18 11:27 AM

That is very scary Hold. I hope you get some answers soon.

And a promotion with a pay cut. Ugh.
Posted By: Miranda

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/21/18 01:14 PM

I'm so sorry Hold. I'm sending you and Mrs Hold prayers about the health matters.

As to your work issue? Yeah, I'd say I'd be more offended that they don't LISTEN to me, than honored.
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/21/18 01:22 PM

I'm sorry to hear how serious it is with Mrs. Hold.

It is not an honor to get a pay cut. It is as if they are hitting you twice and expecting you to turn the other cheek. Not cool. You and Mrs. Hold will be in our thoughts.
Posted By: NewEveryDay

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/21/18 02:40 PM

Oh hold, I'm so sorry about that mass. I am praying it turns out to be inflammation too.

That's a mess how they did that at your job. They misjudged how you would respond to such an obvious manipulation tactic. But you went with what you want over helping others avoid the consequences of their actions. WAY TO GO!!!
Posted By: SFB

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/21/18 04:09 PM

Hold:

I comes at you a lot of different ways. Hope that it is only inflammation. And your employer is telling you something. Listen to THAT.

SFB
Posted By: mgellan

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/21/18 04:11 PM

Sorry about the health issues, thinking good thoughts for it to be minor!! And yeah, sounds like you need to consider what your employers actions are not what they're saying? -- Mg
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/22/18 01:36 PM

I know they like me and respect me. This was intended as a compliment. I get that. Most in management did not realize how much I make. They did not realize it was a pay cut. That is the whole point. I had negotiated a very good deal for myself. Every time they asked me about a promotion, I told them "no thanks, I am very happy where I am". They thought they would "reward" me with a promotion that I consistently told them I did not want. They thought I would be pleased. They were wrong. Very wrong.

I do not want the 1 step promotion they offered. At that level, everyone's results and compensation are examined individually and broadcast to the senior management team. There will be more pressure to perform at a tip top level and little flexibility to adjust my compensation for "special circumstances". Currently, my comp is hidden within a budget category and not broken out separately. I had a very good deal that no one realized. Now I am losing my good deal and my situation will be more scrutinized going forward. That is NOT a good thing for me no matter how anyone tries to spin it. I have many flaws. But I am analytically brilliant. I can foresee many permutations of how this works out for me. Most of them are negative. Only if I "knock it out of the park" will it result in a substantial increase in compensation. If I "knock it out of the park", they could promote me then to an even higher level that would be a substantial pay increase. I kept telling them "don't offer me a promotion until AFTER I knock it out of the park so you can offer me 2 steps up. As between 1 step up or where I am, I prefer to stay where I am". They offered me 1 step up.

I understand management and their perspective and it is a much harder "ask" to want 2 steps up. That is the point. I figured they would never approve 2 steps up and I could stay where I am until I retired. That is why I told them "2 steps or nothing". They offered me 1 step. I had told them not to do that. I told them I don't want it. And now they are "shocked, shocked" that I don't want it and am not happy that they offered it. When I made noises about turning it down, they of course started poking around regarding my age, compensation, etc. Now they know I am older than they thought I was and I make more than they thought I did. The "cat is out of the bag". I cannot put the genie back into the bottle. I liked where I was, but that is no longer available. I have to move up to a position I don't want. More pressure. More responsibility. More stress. More administrative demands. Zero additional pay.

Now remind me how that is a good thing for me?
Posted By: Oblivious2678

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/22/18 02:57 PM

Most definitely not a good thing. As I read your post, I felt as if the walls around you are closing in. I feel that is what you are feeling. Do you feel those walls closing in quickly or moving slowly? Do you have time to create an escape plan?
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/22/18 05:58 PM

They won't fire me any time soon. But they will view me differently if I hold fast to turning it down. They would also have viewed me differently if I had said "under no circumstances will I accept a 1 step promotion". I tried to dissuade them gently and elegantly so as not to draw ire or attention. It worked for 3 years. Unfortunately, someone high up was impressed with my recent efforts and got it into his head that I deserved a promotion. When his underlings (my bosses) tried to dissuade him from pursuing that path, he bulled past them. It is so outside his worldview to turn down a promotion that he simply could not conceive that I was serious about not wanting it or that the my bosses were correctly communicating my desires. He apparently thought they were jealous of me and trying to hold me down and he was doing me a favor by "removing the obstruction". I think he now understands that he made a mistake but doesn't want to lose face by simply allowing me to say "no" without consequences. So I get to pay for his mistake. Nice.

Not uncommon. Happens all the time. First world problem. But quite annoying nonetheless.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/22/18 09:26 PM

I think I have found a line of argument that should enable me to keep my current position without generating negative views among management. I will try this out on someone tomorrow and see how it goes.
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/22/18 09:53 PM

Thinking of you, Hold. Your ability to ponder through situations and come up with multiple solutions and viewpoints is something a lot of people don't have. Hang in there. I hope your idea works well.
Posted By: Oblivious2678

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/23/18 11:43 AM

Power of positivity.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/23/18 12:12 PM

That is what got me into trouble. The high ranking guy is a confident optimistic person. Not within his conception of the universe that someone would seriously prefer NOT to be promoted. That is why I am making my pitch today to the more cynical, sarcastic, negative member of management. At least a chance that he will "get it".
Posted By: Oblivious2678

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/23/18 01:14 PM

Hey, reading people is a tremendous gift and must be used to the best of your benefit. Make it happen, my friend.
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/23/18 10:11 PM

^^^ So right Obl!

And Hold - remember to be confident yourself. You know your stuff and you are good at what you do!
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/26/18 01:51 AM

I am such a wreck and angry at myself because it is all first world problems.

Had a lovely day with Mrs H yesterday.

Today was ugly. Mrs H was pressuring me all day to buy plane tickets for a business trip I take in June. Several weeks ago I said she could come along. That was before the promotion fiasco. And before DD21 got an offer for a summer internship 2000 miles from school and asked Mrs H to help her drive DD21's car to the summer job. A 2 week road trip. They will have a blast, but an unexpected major expense for hotels, activities, plane trips for Mrs H to get to school and then get back from summer job area, etc. Then the plane tickets for my business trip were twice what I expected. And Mrs H was pushing me not only to book tickets there and back, but to book tickets for a side trip to another country nearby. After all, hitching a "ride" onto my business trip and being abroad for 9 days isn't enough, it only counts as a "win" for her if we also do a side trip. When she could see me hesitating about buying the tickets for the side trip, she said "fine, then I won't go with you at all, I'll just go visit my mother since I reserved the vacation time at work". Now I am in the dog house.

Did our taxes and the kids' taxes today. The kids each get a refund. We owe the feds thousands. We get money back from the state, but I have to lay out the fed money and wait for the state refund. I had hoped we would get a refund from both. Apparently Mrs H's employer took far less income tax out of her check than we needed. So I am paying tax on $15,000 of her income that she already spent. And I may be taking a pay cut starting in a few months.

Not nearly the problems that so many here are facing or have faced. It is just money. But a major reversal from how I felt yesterday. So much pressure and I could not be the upbeat optimistic rock Mrs H wants me to be. I showed anxiety and vulnerability. Bad Hold, bad.
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/26/18 01:58 AM

Why don't ypu file married but separate? Why can't Mrs Hold pay her own taxes?
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/26/18 02:04 AM

I would owe much more if we filed separately. I make much more than she does. I get a marriage "bonus" for filing joint instead of single. That is part of why I cover a big piece of her taxes.

If they took out of her checks the right amount of taxes, she would pay 3.5x as much in tax. So she would lose 20-25% of her checks on account of how much I make. Just the rules. Not me doing anything to her.

And yes, making her pay full freight on income tax might move the needle on her deciding between her current hourly wage and getting a full time job for 3 times as much. But do you think I have the guts to insist on that?
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/26/18 02:19 AM

Originally Posted by holdingontoit
I would owe much more if we filed separately. I make much more than she does. I get a marriage "bonus" for filing joint instead of single. That is part of why I cover a big piece of her taxes.

If they took out of her checks the right amount of taxes, she would pay 3.5x as much in tax. So she would lose 20-25% of her checks on account of how much I make. Just the rules. Not me doing anything to her.

And yes, making her pay full freight on income tax might move the needle on her deciding between her current hourly wage and getting a full time job for 3 times as much. But do you think I have the guts to insist on that?



At least have her change the withholdings so you don't have this problem next year.

I am sorry you are so stressed about money.
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/26/18 02:20 AM

I hope you are keeping the kids refunds. At least your dd's since you are still paying her way.
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/26/18 02:23 AM

Originally Posted by SmilingWife
At least have her change the withholdings so you don't have this problem next year.


I agree.
Posted By: Oblivious2678

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/26/18 12:06 PM

I agree. Make the adjustments so it doesn't happen in the future. It's time to put all of finances out on the table and communicate everything to Mrs. H. It's silly for you to stress about the money and for Mrs. H to spend the money that she thinks is there, but in reality, is not there. She can share in the stress of the money. You're supposed to be a team. Because you make the major income in the family, you should be the one running the financial show. I think a lot of the pressure and stress you feel from this comes from withholding the full truth about finances from Mrs. H.

I know how you feel about sharing "first world" problems. I feel the same way. It stresses us out, but we also know that many others struggle and why would they want to listen to our "first world" stuff?

Our problems are our problems. They all vary, but still communicate the heck out of them with us. I will do the same. When you start feeling shame or guilt because of it, look to pay it forward. IMO, you pay if forward A LOT, especially here at MA.
Posted By: SFB

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/26/18 12:56 PM

Hold:

The tax sitch you describe?

I see it all the time....

Breadwinner with big bucks and withholding, then the spouse with 20-30K in income, and withholding at $1k to 2K. Should be $5-6k.

And it is not a gender thing. Goes both ways. I have plenty of female breadwinners as clients.

SFB
Posted By: Miranda

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/26/18 12:57 PM

Hold

First world problems are HUMAN problems. We ALL have these kinds of problems. Daryl and I have had the exact same thing you describe, in a fashion, with tax woes. It's very painful, very stressful, and very upsetting! Sharing that with your friends makes it less so. Don't dampen the support you need and receive by brushing your pain off as "first world problems."

Let us help lighten your load and ease your suffering by saying "omg, me too!" and telling you what we've done to help us feel better. So that you know you're not the only one, and so that you have ideas for down the road.

That's what having a community is FOR. And we're your PEOPLE here.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/26/18 02:06 PM

I feel so much pressure I am having trouble concentrating. Mrs H's 4 hour MRI on Friday. Responding to the firm about their promotion offer. Trying to fund Mrs H and DD's road trip in May. Trying to fund Mrs H coming with me on the business trip in June. Her car radio broke. My car has the check engine light on. Argh.

I know Mrs H is stressed out by the mass behind her eye. And I know how much she loves travel and how fantasizing about future travel is the best medicine for her. But when I am struggling to deal with the high price of flights from the US to the country where my work trip goes, and then she says "hey, don't cheap out and only take me there, I want to spend the second weekend of the trip someplace different." Well, that pushes my stress beyond the breaking point. Last night she said she wasn't going to join me. Outwardly I expressed unhappiness. But inwardly I was thinking that might be best. Less cost. Less stress. Just have my work trip be a work trip. it is not as if she has not traveled a huge amount over the past 2 years since the cancer ended. We just got back from CA and OR. She is driving from TX to CA with DD. We are going to TX for a football game in August. She is planning to go to OR with her mother to visit DS in October. Rough life, huh?

And SFB, I know I should have her increase the withholding. I am glad I got her up to $2000 for 2017 from zero the year before. Now I need to give her a new W-4 for 2018 and get her to $5000.
Posted By: NewEveryDay

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/26/18 05:47 PM

What would make you enthusiastic about bringing her? Updating the tax form? Taking more hours at work? Eating out less? Something else?
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/26/18 11:32 PM

Increase her withholding just like you plan to do.

What would help alleviate the concern? Can Mrs. Hold pick up some extra hours to help pay for the trips?
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/27/18 12:24 AM

NED: I don't know if there is anything that would make me enthusiastic. Once the airplane ticket to country #1 went above $1500 (my internal mental budget for her airfare and our meals and entertainment combined), and the combined 3 city ticket went above $2000, I became UNenthusiastic about turning this trip into a vacation. Plus making a 5 day one country business trip into a 9 day two country vacation? With Mrs Hold wanting to do guided tours or costly attraction activities in both places? Mrs Hold is probably correct that she should not go, because I am going to be anxious and stressed about every dollar we spend. No fun to be with. Let her do the road trip in May with DD and they will have a great time together. Money better spent that spending a week with me being a grouchy Grinch.

I had a nice time last month together in CA and OR. I had a nice time with her in NY last Saturday. I expect to have a nice time with her in TX when we go to visit DD in April. But the travel budget is out of control. Not sure I can get enthusiastic about stretching it to cover her joining me in June. Eye mass or no eye mass, the budget is not unlimited. We are talking thousands of dollars extra for her to go. She makes $10 an hour. She already works 7 days a week. She worked over 2000 hours last year - full time hours for her part time job with no benefits. I can't be enthusiastic about asking her to work more hours to cover this. Even if she wants to, I would not feel good about it. I know, invalidating and infantilizing her. Still, I would feel bad. Dumb to do a trip I know is going to create friction rather than good feelings.

Would it help if she "traded" me the trip for increasing her withholding? Not sure it would. Her income costs us $8,000 in taxes. I am enthusiastic about covering maybe $3,000 of that. So she needs to move up from $2000 to $5000 of withholding. If she moved all the way up to $8000, would I feel enthusiastic about her joining me? No, I don't think so. I am glad I posted here and glad to ponder these issues. Don't think I got to a place she will like. But at least I considered new perspectives.
Posted By: NewEveryDay

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/27/18 02:20 AM

Hold last year or so it was Europe, I think the answer was you would rather find ways for her to not go, so this response was an improvement?

Outside of this trip, do you want her to be happy? Do you still derive pleasure in seeing her not get what she wants?
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/27/18 01:14 PM

NED: I do want her to be happy. Get what she wants? Very difficult for me to separate that from cost. I love it when she enjoys her job. I love to hear stories about how one of the members really appreciates her warm smile. I love it when she sees friends for a walk or to have a cup of tea. Do I want her to get all the foreign travel she desires? Much more complicated question for me. I get very anxious when she pressures me to spend more than I feel comfortable spending. It is like PTSD. I get flooded. Very tough for me to have a calm rational discussion of how long we should go, where, what to do, etc. I realize it is unrealistic as we are two different people, but I want her to react as if what I am offering is enough, instead of constantly pushing for more. Her pushing for more makes me feel like it will never be enough (just as I am sure she felt back when I was pushing for more sex). At that point I don't want to do a trip with her at all. Yes, the irony does not escape me.

But that is the point. I have taken sex off the table because it is so triggering for her. Yet she does not take "pressuring Hold to spend more" off the table. So when I feel pushed too far and devalued and taken for granted, yes, I enjoy telling her "no, you can't have that". Phew. Hard to type that.
Posted By: Miranda

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/27/18 01:21 PM

Wow

That is SO parallel to how my husband and function and how I feel concerning the "sex paradox"

It's crazy.
Posted By: NewEveryDay

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/27/18 04:12 PM

Specifically, do you want to make her happy, in ways that are not at your expense? I think it would soften the blow to say, you really wanted this trip in Europe to be just business and veg out alone for a week, but that you want her to be happy, and what can I do to make you happy here. Like that day together you had sounded beautiful, to have some of those to look forward to may make the same deposits. If that's what you want.

Quote
I want her to react as if what I am offering is enough, instead of constantly pushing for more.

You know everybody feels that way, right? But it is good news when your wife tells you there is something you can do that makes her happy, the same way it's good news when you tell her what she can do that makes you happy. Isn't that what relationships are about, extraordinary care?

I get you that y'all have this power struggle issue where the heels are dug in. But it really moved me what Miranda said yesterday about freedom coming in many forms, not just the obvious ones. Maybe you can find other ways to be happy together regardless of whether the rope ever gets dropped on the main issue.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/27/18 05:44 PM

Originally Posted by NewEveryDay
Specifically, do you want to make her happy, in ways that are not at your expense? I think it would soften the blow to say, you really wanted this trip in Europe to be just business and veg out alone for a week, but that you want her to be happy, and what can I do to make you happy here. Like that day together you had sounded beautiful, to have some of those to look forward to may make the same deposits. If that's what you want.


Yes, if it does not come at my expense, I want her to be happy. Mostly I want her to want to stay married to me. Happy helps with that.

Quote
Quote
I want her to react as if what I am offering is enough, instead of constantly pushing for more.

You know everybody feels that way, right?


The difference is that I have given up for pushing to get what I want. I HAVE allowed her to only provide what she feels like offering. I do not push for more of what I want from her. I just want her to show me the same courtesy. Maybe what I am offering is NOT enough for her. Then she can leave. Not what I want. But no, I am not interested in providing more. If she needs more to be happy, then she will not be happy. I hope that is not the case. But I recognize it might be.

Quote
But it is good news when your wife tells you there is something you can do that makes her happy, the same way it's good news when you tell her what she can do that makes you happy. Isn't that what relationships are about, extraordinary care?


I see it differently. She tells me something that would make her happy (long trip to multiple countries), but I can NOT do it (because I don't have enough money). That does not make me feel honored that she shared her needs with me. That makes me feel inadequate and a failure. I realize that is inside my head. But after all these years, she is not oblivious to that reality. She does not present the extra days of vacation as a fond wish or dream that she likes to fantasize about but realizes isn't going to happen in the near future. She presents it as a minimum standard for her to enjoy the trip, and questions why I have not already pressed the "book it" button on the web page. If I know I cannot meet the minimum requirement for her to be happy, I would rather not do it at all.

Yes, just like our decades-long sex fight. I have wised up and stopped asking her for sex. I wish she would stop asking me for things I cannot afford. I know she never will (or at least not likely she will do so before she hands me divorce papers). That is what makes this depressing.

And no, she doesn't see it as good news when I tell her what she can do to make me happy. Because she can't do that, either. Well, to be honest, at this point I don't think there is anything she can do that would make me happy. And she knows it. And that is depressing to her. Fair and balanced. Just like I like it.

Quote
I get you that y'all have this power struggle issue where the heels are dug in. But it really moved me what Miranda said yesterday about freedom coming in many forms, not just the obvious ones. Maybe you can find other ways to be happy together regardless of whether the rope ever gets dropped on the main issue.


We find ways to be happy together while at home on the weekends. We go out to eat. We go hiking. We go to movies and concerts and shows. We go shopping. We talk about the kids. I like being around her most of the time. It is when we start talking about big ticket items for the house (renovate the kitchen) or expensive vacations that we come into conflict and my PTSD gets triggered. I recognize that most people to not give in to defeatism as easily as I do. I realize she will continue to press for things she wants, and objectively that is a psychologically healthier behavior than my defeatism. But having given up on ever getting what I want, it burns me when she keeps pushing and pushing me to spend lots of money we don't have for things that she wants.

What I want on the money side is to scale back our spending and pay off our huge credit card debts. I want to pay down the huge student loan we took out for DD 3 years ago. I want us to live within our means so that maybe someday when I am too old to work we don't have as many bills to pay as we do now. Mostly what I want to do is scream, but I don't think screaming at her lines up well with my wanting her to be happy and stay married to me.
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/27/18 06:24 PM

Hold, I agree with NED it is healthy for marriage mates to be able to ask for what we want/need. There is a limit though. I assume she is fully aware of how deeply in debt you are and how much these vacations cost. I do think though that you send mixed messages. You go in debt for things that most of us would not consider necessities....but balk at what she wants. To her these are the same thing. I think it is way past time for a very frank discussion about the budget including the vacationing budget, including visits to the kids. Since your dd is graduating soon (this year or next?) this is a good time to make it VERY clear what the budget has to be.

Until then, just tell her....we can't do X if we do Y. One or the other. For instance, the trip with your dd or the trip with you abroad.

I don't like this part of Mrs. Hold, but I do think it is on you to be consistent with the budget,

I also don't think she is anywhere near divorcing you.
Posted By: NewEveryDay

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/27/18 06:35 PM

Quote
Maybe what I am offering is NOT enough for her. Then she can leave.

I think this attitude is worth questioning. If you made your DD waffles for breakfast, and she said Dad thanks, you know what else I like is blueberry syrup, would you get all mad and next time buy more maple? Or would you get blueberry next time?

Quote
I don't think there is anything she can do that would make me happy....What I want on the money side is to scale back our spending and pay off our huge credit card debts. I want to pay down the huge student loan we took out for DD 3 years ago. I want us to live within our means so that maybe someday when I am too old to work we don't have as many bills to pay as we do now.

This sounds like a great start. You deserve to be happy.
Posted By: Rich57

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/27/18 08:32 PM

Originally Posted by holdingontoit
I know she never will (or at least not likely she will do so before she hands me divorce papers).
That is what makes this depressing.

This sounds so much like my former Jewish American Princess.
That story did not end well.

Sorry to add to the downer post with my observation but I am just following along.

I hope you do not follow in my footsteps and I thought you were over the worst of it.
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/27/18 11:29 PM

Originally Posted by NewEveryDay
You deserve to be happy.


Yes, you DO deserve to have peace and happiness.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/27/18 11:38 PM

I am way past being able to compromise or negotiate or ask for what I want. I can't have what I wanted. Now I just want her not to divorce me.

I am exceptionally consistent. I say yes to her until I can't. Then I say no. And I lash out at her for asking for more than I can provide. it is a dysfunctional system. But it is the system I prefer. It keeps me trapped here. Trapped here is where I wish to stay.

They offered me a promotion at work. They cannot understand why I turned it down. They said it would lead to pay raises down the road. They said I am looking at this with too short a time horizon. That I am leaving money on the table. Funny, they think I am trying to maximize my income. You might think I would want to maximize my income, seeing as how frequently I complain about our debts and not having enough money. I do not. I don't want to get out of debt. I want to stay in debt and wallow in my discomfort and throw a giant pity party that causes my wife to lose all desire and respect for me.

I am exactly where I wish to be. Exactly where I feel more comfortable.
Posted By: Rich57

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/28/18 12:36 PM

Originally Posted by holdingontoit
They said it would lead to pay raises down the road.
They said I am looking at this with too short a time horizon.
That I am leaving money on the table.


How long would this take?
You are not a spring chicken.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/28/18 04:11 PM

Rich: Exactly. I had tried to avoid admitting how old I am. They have a mandatory demotion policy at age 65. I explained that if I took the 1 step promotion now, by the time I could expect the 2nd step, it would just about be time to start transitioning me to demotion mode. So there would be precious few years for me at step 2 to be worth taking the pay cut in the interim.

As it happens, I currently occupy the position that they demote you to when you reach age 65. But those who were formerly senior and get demoted have a much worse deal than I currently have. My plan was to stay here and keep my good deal until I reach age 67 and qualify for full SS benefits. That seemed better than getting a no raise promotion, and then maybe a few years of slightly higher income (but with substantial pressure, risk and liability), and then getting demoted to a deal worse than what I have now.
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/28/18 04:16 PM

Originally Posted by holdingontoit
Rich: Exactly. I had tried to avoid admitting how old I am. They have a mandatory demotion policy at age 65. I explained that if I took the 1 step promotion now, by the time I could expect the 2nd step, it would just about be time to start transitioning me to demotion mode. So there would be precious few years for me at step 2 to be worth taking the pay cut in the interim.

As it happens, I currently occupy the position that they demote you to when you reach age 65. But those who were formerly senior and get demoted have a much worse deal than I currently have. My plan was to stay here and keep my good deal until I reach age 67 and qualify for full SS benefits. That seemed better than getting a no raise promotion, and then maybe a few years of slightly higher income (but with substantial pressure, risk and liability), and then getting demoted to a deal worse than what I have now.



Your reasoning is sound to me.

Are they going to let you stay where you are?
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/28/18 04:22 PM

I hope so. We just have to spin a tale of how the senior executive who pushed for my promotion found a way to keep me happy that is even better for the company. I am confident that my fevered imagination can come up with a suitable cover story.
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/28/18 09:59 PM

I like your angle. Hoping it goes well for you. Fingers crossed!
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/30/18 12:49 PM

Mrs H in the MRI this morning for 4 hours. Just dropped her off. Let us all pray it is infection or thyroid imbalance and not metastasis. Good weekend for praying.
Posted By: Miranda

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/30/18 02:35 PM

Hold

It is a good weekend for prayer. The "superbowl" for our people. So I will join you in it. I've had a lot of mine answered as of late, so I have a lot of good juju going. I'm going to throw it ALL your way today. Every last scrap of it.
Posted By: NewEveryDay

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/30/18 09:43 PM

Yes Hold I'm praying too pray
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/31/18 05:25 AM

Me too, Hold. Sending happy thoughts!
Posted By: MaidUpName

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/31/18 05:21 PM

Easter prayers from a long way away heading your direction
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 04/02/18 12:49 PM

Seems we may get good news on Wednesday. Most likely a thyroid disorder and not cancer. Phew. Thanks for all the warm wishes.
Posted By: Miranda

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 04/02/18 01:07 PM

Prayers answered still. Not going to stop until you get the final news, though. I'm a firm believer in staying in my seat until the fat lady sings!
Posted By: NewEveryDay

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 04/02/18 01:28 PM

That's awesome news Hold thanks! Yes I'll continue to pray too.

Happy Passover!
Posted By: Oblivious2678

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 04/03/18 02:43 AM

So awesome to read good news. Continuing to send positive vibes your way.
Posted By: SFB

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 04/03/18 04:00 AM

Hold:

Are Mrs Hold and Flamingo Sisters?

She is tracking Flamingo....

Glad that the preliminary results are favorable.

SFB
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 04/12/18 02:25 PM

Tough times for Mrs H. 2 weeks until her endocrinologist appointment. She feels symptoms, feels scared, and knows that treatment is weeks away at the earliest. Frightening for her to be so out of control.

She lashed out at me and at DS for not being sufficiently attentive yesterday. He was at a work event 3000 miles away and she chided him for not checking his messages often enough. I talked him through feeling guilty.

Today we were talking about my cousin who settled for 2 beta type guys in her marriages and how she was never willing to accept the challenge of an alpha guy. Which shifted into talking about how I am beta and she settled for me. And that there are ways in which I settled for her too. Cannot feel good to her that we are together because it is comfortable and we both don't want to do the work to find someone else, as opposed to being together because we are so passionately in love.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 04/12/18 02:57 PM

Also, we are having financial and travel conflict again. She wanted to come with me on a work trip outside the country in June. She also wants to do a 2 week road trip with DD to help DD get her car to her summer internship. I told her we cannot do both and I would prefer she do the road trip with DD because DD needs help moving the car, shipping the car costs $1700, and I want to focus on work during my work trip so the money is better spent on Mrs H and DD having a great time for 2 weeks rather than Mrs H tagging along with me and me being conflicted about her being there. She very reluctantly agreed not to join me on my trip.

Today she announced that a charge was denied on her credit card. I told her that maybe she had exceeded her credit limit, as we were carrying a very large balance. She said she thought I had transferred to balance to another card so the "juice" was freed up. I told her I had not done so because the fee to do a balance transfer was very high. I told her I was looking to get a better deal. She was very upset about not having the ability to use her card. Now I am torn. We need to move the balance to lower the interest rate, but then she will use the card to rack up more charges.

I am thinking of giving her one of my cards with a much lower maximum balance for the trip with DD. That will act as a ceiling on their spending. Or at least a ceiling on how much they can charge and expect me to repay. If Mrs H wants to use her earnings on the trip, good for her.
Posted By: Oblivious2678

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 04/12/18 03:12 PM

I like the idea of the card with the lower max balance or can't you put a spending cap on a card user for your account? I have done that with employees' cards at work.

I believe she is lashing out at all of you because of her health fears. Understandable, but not fun to live with.

The alpha/beta conversation sucks. Although hurtful, try to focus on the good times you have together. Maybe you two did settle in some areas with each other. I think we all have. We accept our significant other's vices that we are willing to live with. Compromise, right?
Posted By: TC_Manhattan

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 04/12/18 03:55 PM

Here is a thought..
When you do eventually transfer the balance on her card to a lower rate account, get the bank to set the credit limit lower to what you might consider a more reasonable ceiling considering the circumstances and her history. Tell her the transfer is/was conditional on having the lower ceiling. Can't imagine the bank would not do this for you.

Lashing out is a sucky way of dealing with one's fear, but a long-learned behavior.
A lot of it going around in the White House on an hourly basis. devil
Posted By: mgellan

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 04/12/18 04:14 PM

We struggled a bit with debt and when we consolidated it, I purposely asked for a loan with a set repayment schedule and cancelled the credit card because I knew if we still had it (along with others) we would run up the balance again. So I would strongly suggest against a balance transfer to a new card or a line of credit - getting rid of it and giving her the lower credit limit card would seem to be the best approach to getting out from under the debt. Each credit card you have lowers your credit score so having as few as possible and focusing on paying it off every month is a discipline that helped me get debt under control. If I can't pay it off, I take it out of savings. So if our savings is going down we know we need to get spending under control. Works for me!

Mg
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 04/12/18 06:31 PM

Originally Posted by mgellan
Each credit card you have lowers your credit score so having as few as possible and focusing on paying it off every month is a discipline that helped me get debt under control. If I can't pay it off, I take it out of savings. So if our savings is going down we know we need to get spending under control. Works for me!


Yes, that is a very good approach.

Problem is that she spent all our savings 15 years ago during her first spending fiasco. We have zero savings outside of 401(k) plans. So if I can't pay it off out of current income, it carries over. I will give her the lower balance card and take away the one with the high limit. Then I can roll the balance to a lower rate and work on paying it down. We paid off $15,000 of credit card debt last year. I would like to pay down a similar amount this year. Hence not spending $1800 on a plane ticket for her to join me on the business trip, plus the hundreds for the side jaunt she wanted, plus all the tours she would want to go on while I am at the conference and related business meetings. No way her going on the trip would cost me less than $4,000 and could easily become 5 or 6. That is a huge chunk of what I hope to use to pay down debt this year. Not worth it to me.

I wish I had a life and a marriage where is WAS worth $5,000 for me to have my wife with me on vacation for a week. I wish that her being with me added to my enjoyment of the trip, energized me, calmed my nerves and made me more successful at business meetings. But in reality her being along would cause me huge stress and anxiety, distract me (not in a good way) and cause me to be less effective during my business meetings. I see no reason to spend thousands to obtain that outcome.
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 04/12/18 10:32 PM

Maybe just have your wife use a debit card linked to only one account instead. That way when she hits the limit, she can't use it anymore.

Your wife is got to get her spending under control. She doesn't get to have you bail her out because she continues to overspend.
Posted By: josie

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 04/13/18 03:35 AM

Originally Posted by holdingontoit
Also, we are having financial and travel conflict again. She wanted to come with me on a work trip outside the country in June. She also wants to do a 2 week road trip with DD to help DD get her car to her summer internship. I told her we cannot do both and I would prefer she do the road trip with DD because DD needs help moving the car, shipping the car costs $1700, and I want to focus on work during my work trip so the money is better spent on Mrs H and DD having a great time for 2 weeks rather than Mrs H tagging along with me and me being conflicted about her being there. She very reluctantly agreed not to join me on my trip.


I'm baffled why a woman in her twenties needs help moving a car. If by "moving" a car, you mean driving it. Surely your daughter knows how to drive, since you bought her a car? So what is stopping her from simply driving where she needs to go, on her own, like an adult?

Everyone I know, when they need to "move" a car, simply drives it from point A to point B. I know from experience that you can leave San Francisco on Friday and make it to NYC by Tuesday. Now, I wouldn't recommend going quite that fast, but there's no need to make a big production out of driving anywhere in the contiguous United States. So why does your daughter need "help"?
Posted By: kerala

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 04/13/18 11:08 AM

Originally Posted by josie
Originally Posted by holdingontoit
Also, we are having financial and travel conflict again. She wanted to come with me on a work trip outside the country in June. She also wants to do a 2 week road trip with DD to help DD get her car to her summer internship. I told her we cannot do both and I would prefer she do the road trip with DD because DD needs help moving the car, shipping the car costs $1700, and I want to focus on work during my work trip so the money is better spent on Mrs H and DD having a great time for 2 weeks rather than Mrs H tagging along with me and me being conflicted about her being there. She very reluctantly agreed not to join me on my trip.


I'm baffled why a woman in her twenties needs help moving a car. If by "moving" a car, you mean driving it. Surely your daughter knows how to drive, since you bought her a car? So what is stopping her from simply driving where she needs to go, on her own, like an adult?

Everyone I know, when they need to "move" a car, simply drives it from point A to point B. I know from experience that you can leave San Francisco on Friday and make it to NYC by Tuesday. Now, I wouldn't recommend going quite that fast, but there's no need to make a big production out of driving anywhere in the contiguous United States. So why does your daughter need "help"?


I assume because his daughter would prefer not to take a long car trip alone.

Like many, many people.

In any event, it appears everyone involved wants the wife to accompany the daughter so, really, this is neither here nor there.
Posted By: mgellan

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 04/13/18 02:33 PM

Originally Posted by holdingontoit
Problem is that she spent all our savings 15 years ago during her first spending fiasco. We have zero savings outside of 401(k) plans. So if I can't pay it off out of current income, it carries over. I will give her the lower balance card and take away the one with the high limit.

Good plan! Dunno if the timing works for you but we ended up consolidating all debt on our mortgage so we are financing it at like 2.79% - you have to have equity in your home and the timing has to be right but suddenly having no debt except your usual mortgage payment is magical!

Originally Posted by holdingontoit
I wish I had a life and a marriage where is WAS worth $5,000 for me to have my wife with me on vacation for a week. I wish that her being with me added to my enjoyment of the trip, energized me, calmed my nerves and made me more successful at business meetings. But in reality her being along would cause me huge stress and anxiety, distract me (not in a good way) and cause me to be less effective during my business meetings. I see no reason to spend thousands to obtain that outcome.

Absolutely reasonable. Sounds like our wives have similar financial issues, mine wanted to do a "bucket list" trip to Mexico on Spring Break WITH the kids that would have cost $5k. I told her "Renovations or vacations, not both!"

Mg
Posted By: josie

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 04/13/18 02:41 PM

Originally Posted by kerala
Originally Posted by josie
Originally Posted by holdingontoit
Also, we are having financial and travel conflict again. She wanted to come with me on a work trip outside the country in June. She also wants to do a 2 week road trip with DD to help DD get her car to her summer internship. I told her we cannot do both and I would prefer she do the road trip with DD because DD needs help moving the car, shipping the car costs $1700, and I want to focus on work during my work trip so the money is better spent on Mrs H and DD having a great time for 2 weeks rather than Mrs H tagging along with me and me being conflicted about her being there. She very reluctantly agreed not to join me on my trip.


I'm baffled why a woman in her twenties needs help moving a car. If by "moving" a car, you mean driving it. Surely your daughter knows how to drive, since you bought her a car? So what is stopping her from simply driving where she needs to go, on her own, like an adult?

Everyone I know, when they need to "move" a car, simply drives it from point A to point B. I know from experience that you can leave San Francisco on Friday and make it to NYC by Tuesday. Now, I wouldn't recommend going quite that fast, but there's no need to make a big production out of driving anywhere in the contiguous United States. So why does your daughter need "help"?


I assume because his daughter would prefer not to take a long car trip alone.

Like many, many people.

In any event, it appears everyone involved wants the wife to accompany the daughter so, really, this is neither here nor there.


Oh, I thought the choice was to finance the domestic car trip or the overseas trip, but not both. I must have misunderstood.

I live on the West coast and have relatives in a handful of Western states where distances are great and long car trips are the norm. Here, doing a long car trip alone is not a big deal. I didn't realize it was a big deal to many other people. Maybe not Westerners?
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 04/13/18 03:11 PM

Originally Posted by mgellan
Originally Posted by holdingontoit
Problem is that she spent all our savings 15 years ago during her first spending fiasco. We have zero savings outside of 401(k) plans. So if I can't pay it off out of current income, it carries over. I will give her the lower balance card and take away the one with the high limit.

Good plan! Dunno if the timing works for you but we ended up consolidating all debt on our mortgage so we are financing it at like 2.79% - you have to have equity in your home and the timing has to be right but suddenly having no debt except your usual mortgage payment is magical!

Originally Posted by holdingontoit
I wish I had a life and a marriage where is WAS worth $5,000 for me to have my wife with me on vacation for a week. I wish that her being with me added to my enjoyment of the trip, energized me, calmed my nerves and made me more successful at business meetings. But in reality her being along would cause me huge stress and anxiety, distract me (not in a good way) and cause me to be less effective during my business meetings. I see no reason to spend thousands to obtain that outcome.

Absolutely reasonable. Sounds like our wives have similar financial issues, mine wanted to do a "bucket list" trip to Mexico on Spring Break WITH the kids that would have cost $5k. I told her "Renovations or vacations, not both!"

Mg


Rolling debt into your mortgage which I assume is a minimum of 15 year note isn't smart. Even at 2.7 % that adds up over a long term note.
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 04/13/18 03:17 PM

Originally Posted by kerala
Originally Posted by josie
Originally Posted by holdingontoit
Also, we are having financial and travel conflict again. She wanted to come with me on a work trip outside the country in June. She also wants to do a 2 week road trip with DD to help DD get her car to her summer internship. I told her we cannot do both and I would prefer she do the road trip with DD because DD needs help moving the car, shipping the car costs $1700, and I want to focus on work during my work trip so the money is better spent on Mrs H and DD having a great time for 2 weeks rather than Mrs H tagging along with me and me being conflicted about her being there. She very reluctantly agreed not to join me on my trip.


I'm baffled why a woman in her twenties needs help moving a car. If by "moving" a car, you mean driving it. Surely your daughter knows how to drive, since you bought her a car? So what is stopping her from simply driving where she needs to go, on her own, like an adult?

Everyone I know, when they need to "move" a car, simply drives it from point A to point B. I know from experience that you can leave San Francisco on Friday and make it to NYC by Tuesday. Now, I wouldn't recommend going quite that fast, but there's no need to make a big production out of driving anywhere in the contiguous United States. So why does your daughter need "help"?


I assume because his daughter would prefer not to take a long car trip alone.

Like many, many people.

In any event, it appears everyone involved wants the wife to accompany the daughter so, really, this is neither here nor there.


Well, what people want to do and what they can do are different things. If she is old enough and educated enough to have received an internship across country she is certainly old enough and educated enough to travel across country in her newish car on her parents dime.

However she has been raised to expect a certain series of events to happen in certain situations. Mrs Hold has the same expectation. Entitlement, but Hold has a part in that mindset in them....I think this is just a rite of passage for the Hold family......helping the adult kids move across country for their jobs. Which is fine. I say foolish since they are so deeply in debt....but I also say it was foolish to spend so much on this daughters education.....Hold is a very very intelligent man. I can't tell him anything new in personal finance. He has chosen this path though and only he can get off the crazy train.
Posted By: NewEveryDay

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 04/13/18 05:52 PM

Hold, do all y'all make these decisions as a family? Sometimes my kids do have big requests, which their dad and I split in half, and their dad is getting ready to retire. So I just tell them, as long as you're prepared to give your Dad a room in your house that much earlier. They laugh, because he'll probably be fine, but it is their inheritance they're spending so they should weigh in too wink

B has been busy planning on taking OD up to her internship if she gets the offer, so I totally understand the appeal.
Posted By: Miranda

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 04/13/18 05:58 PM

As your kids grow up, you realize that nothing will replace the time you spend with them, making memories. The second chance will never come. You get one chance at some things, and then they're going to get too busy and too grown up to spend a long time with you all at once.

I "get" Mrs Hold wanting to spend that time driving across the country with her daughter. Both for safety, and for the time spent. I'd do it in a heartbeat with either of my boys (or their ladies, now that they've paired up with such wonderful young women) if the opportunity presented itself and I could get the time. And my guys are fully grown and totally launched.

So do with that information what you will.
Posted By: mgellan

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 04/13/18 06:11 PM

Originally Posted by SmilingWife
Rolling debt into your mortgage which I assume is a minimum of 15 year note isn't smart. Even at 2.7 % that adds up over a long term note.

The assumption here is we're rolling all of the savings we accrue through not paying 19-25% interest on cards into the mortgage since we can make lump sum extra payments annually. So the extra debt isn't in the mix for the term of the mortgage...

Mg
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 04/13/18 06:24 PM

I am responsible for creating the expectation of entitlement in Mrs H. I view it as unavoidable if I am to succeed in my goal of convincing her to remain married to me. It is a constant struggle and burden, but one that I have chosen to shoulder. The most I can hope to do is to manage it, not eliminate it.

Fortunately, my kids are very level headed and inherited my attention to price rather than their mother's penchant for excess. I am pleased and relieved that they are not as profligate as I feared they might become.
Posted By: kerala

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 04/13/18 07:28 PM

I dunno, man. When I worked in New Brunswick and my husband lived in Toronto, he would accompany me on the 14 hour car trip between the two at the end and beginning of every school year.

Could I have done it myself? Sure. Would I have felt completely comfortable? No.

I'd feel even less so today. World just seems....less safe.

Admittedly, I am assuming that was part of the equation. It may not at all be a concern for Hold and family.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 04/16/18 02:20 PM

Kerala: Yes, personal safety did factor into our decision about sending a 21 year old girl on a 2000 mile drive by herself. OK, so we are sexist and over-protective. Guilty as charged. Hey, we didn't like it the one time our son drove home from school by himself. We pushed him to have a buddy along too. And he did 6 of the 7 times he made the drive. And that was only 1000 miles.

With one kid living 2000 miles from us and the other living 3000 miles away, both in apartments with no roommates, can't see how our being protective caused them to be fearful of going to new places and trying new experiences all by themselves.
Posted By: Miranda

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 04/16/18 02:43 PM

It's also a "coastal" mentality. Easterners are much more likely to be like this. People from the mid-west, and west think nothing of driving for days on end alone. But people from the east coast seem to get twitchy about it. I don't know why this is, but it is. I've seen it many times (half my family is east coasters)
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 04/16/18 02:50 PM

Mrs H tried to make my birthday special. I was having none of it. Quite depressed. We went to a movie. After the movie, she asked if I wanted to go out to dinner. I said I wanted to go home and eat leftovers. So we did. I went to IHOP for birthday breakfast. I did not ask for the free birthday meal because I did not feel I deserved it. Tried something promotional on their menu. Didn't like it. Would have enjoyed plain pancakes more. But you don't know if you don't try. IRS rejected my son's e-filed tax return. Apparently SSA does not think his birthday is his birthday. Oh joy, now I get to fight with a government agency to prove that we are correct and they are wrong about his birthday. I hope they will accept copies of his birth certificate, passport, etc. but I fear they will want an original birth certificate so we will have to write to the hall of records in the state and city where he was born. All first world problems. He earns a high salary for a kid so he can afford to wit for his refund.

Mrs H offered a lot of birthday hugs but they just don't provide the emotional payoff that they did years ago. Now that I can get them, they do nothing for me emotionally. Likely how Mrs H feels about sex. Easy to see why she never wanted to do it. Intellectually I enjoy that she offers and see that as a good sign. So I don't push her away. Any time she reaches out for a hug she gets a hug. Which is very different than the way she treated my trying to have sex with her. But sex is much more intrusive than a hug. She felt cold when we got back home yesterday. I lay down on top of her to warm her up. She could tell I was holding my weight off her on my elbows. She said that I could let go and lean my weight on her. I told her that my job was to be a blanket, not a weight.

I think I feel now exactly how she felt early in our marriage. Back then, she never gave me credit for anything I did because she felt if I earned any "points" with her then I would try to trade them for sex. No points for good deeds meant I had nothing to cash in. These days, I do not want her to get any "points" for being nice to me. I want her to feel that she gets the better deal in our marriage. That she does not make me happy the way that I make her happy. I want to be in the power position in our marriage that she held for so many years by controlling the spigot to sex. I want that much much more than I want to be happy. What a sorry state of mind.
Posted By: Miranda

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 04/16/18 03:00 PM

I'm SO sorry that we missed the fact that it was your birthday, Hold!

And I'm sorry you didn't have a celebration you could enjoy. But I know what you mean about wanting to be in power more than you want to be happy. I feel that way a lot of the time too. I'm trying to let it go. I know I can "keep myself safe", without all that illusion of power. But I still don't really want to be vulnerable either.

I'm wishing you enough birthdays to come that you can find a way to have joyful ones. The ones where the peace rolls over you at the end of the day. Sending you love and hopes that day comes soon, my friend
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 04/16/18 03:40 PM

I got the celebration I wanted. Wife wanted to do more. I thwarted her. She was a good sport and did not fight me about it.

Sunday was rainy and cold. Saturday was sunny and warm and we went on a hike and had lunch at a nice barbecue joint and I brought home a box of yummy leftovers. I am away from home until Thursday so if I hadn't eaten the leftovers last night, I might not have eaten them at all. I actually got the good fun day I wanted on Saturday. After our hike Mrs H went home and took a bath and i went to a state park and bushwacked up the side of a hill to capture an Ingress portal (virtual reality phone game) away from my arch enemy. Then I went to the dairy farm and got a big ice cream cone. Mrs H would not have wanted ice cream on the same day as barbecue, so she let me do my thing for a couple of hours.

Sunday was tax day and set up the new printer day and get my car oil change day. Would have been put the new oil and filters and blades on the riding mower day but the rain and my car's check engine light got in the way of that. I chose to "play" on the sunny day and "work" on my birthday. My parents (blessed to still have them) and aunt and uncle (also a blessing) and cousin and sister and kids all called or texted. So I was not forgotten or unloved. Except by myself. Which is how I l am most comfortable.
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 04/16/18 09:30 PM

Happy Belated Birthday Hold!!!
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 04/17/18 12:59 PM

Thank you.
Posted By: SFB

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 04/23/18 02:02 PM

Hold:

Late to the party...

Just paper file your son's return. The IRS does not care about his birthday, except for education credits.

You have to change the birthdate thru the SSA not the IRS. And the IRS does not move till the SSA does. And that can just be simple clerical mistake. I had a client that happened to in the past. He was born in 1951, but SSA put it in as 1957. And on his birth certificate, it looked like a 7...

Glad you enjoyed your birthday...

SFB
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 04/23/18 07:55 PM

Yes, paper filed. Luckily I had both kids sign papers returns when they flew east for my Mom's birthday "just in case". Sometimes being a boy scout works out well.

Yes, must file new SS-5 for son. We are waiting to get a birth certificate from the town where he was born. SSA wants an original. Not the end of the world, just annoying.

Went to doctor with Mrs H on Friday. So frustrating. No one knows exactly what is wrong with her, and she is being ping ponged from the opthamologist to the endocrinologist and back again. Not sure if either of them is going to do anything to treat the root cause. She might have to go on steroids, but we prefer not to have to do that as a long term strategy. So for now they tweaked her thyroid meds and are sending her for more tests. Meanwhile she has bulging eyes that get dry and scratchy and a sore throat and pain in her shoulder and elbow and we don't know if any of it is related or just age wearing her down. I think they offered to change her schedule so she only works 6 days a week instead of 7, and I think she is going to listen to me and make the change. So maybe having one day a week she can sleep late and recharge will help her deal with her various ailments.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 05/01/18 01:32 AM

Mrs H had ultrasound on her thyroid today. This doctor agrees there is no sign of cancer. But 5 doctors later still no definitive diagnosis or treatment plan for what is causing all the thyroid antibodies in her blood.

Separately, we were visiting DD21 this past weekend. During the trip Mrs H complimented me in front of DD21 and Mrs H's Mom. I was surprised. DD21 even commented "wow, Mom said that out loud in front of you. She compliments you to me all the time when we are alone together, but I never heard her say anything like that when you were here before today". So progress is being made inside Mrs H. But is it too little too late? I know how I should react. Finding it hard to do the "right thing". And yes, I know it is the right thing for MY happiness, not hers. She already found hers. Hard to stop being Eeyore.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 05/02/18 11:00 AM

They took 6 vials of blood from her yesterday to run tests. Hopefully they will discover what exactly is wrong.
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 05/02/18 11:39 AM

Wow, Hold so weird they can't figure it out.

I think it is cool Mrs Hold has always compliments you to others.

What is so ridiculous about you two is you both fear the other one is going to divorce. Reality is it is never going to happen. Which is good. I am glad you have stayed together. I wish you could both be happier, but I am not convinced being a part would make that possible.
Posted By: Oblivious2678

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 05/02/18 12:44 PM

Continuing to have fingers crossed that they find out what's going on.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 05/02/18 01:55 PM

Originally Posted by SmilingWife
I am glad you have stayed together. I wish you could both be happier, but I am not convinced being a part would make that possible.


We are both as happy as we are capable of being. She is quite happy. I am what I am. She thanks me for working to provide a nice lifestyle for her. Allowing her to work a "hobby job" that permits her to take huge amounts of time off to travel and visit the children whenever she wants. The meds they give her to cope with the chemo reduces her anxiety. She is much more pleasant to be around these days.

These days, I am the obstacle to our having a more loving and connected relationship. I choose to hold myself back and close my heart to her. As always, I am reaping exactly what I have chosen to sow. Staying has worked out as well as I could have hoped for. But she is using sandpaper to try and wear down a boulder of resentment. Which is the only tool I allow her to wield. At this rate, it will never reduce the boulder to a size we can pick up and move out of the way. Which is what I insist on (that the boulder stay in place).

My doctor put me on A-D meds after my annual physical. Within the first week I was anorgasmic. I have masturbated pretty much every day since I was 12. It is strange to no longer be able to bring myself to orgasm. And strange to have such small desire to even try. I am physically diminished. So is she. We fit together better this way.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 05/04/18 08:21 PM

DD was complaining of anxiety and negative thoughts in advance of her internship this summer. She talked to someone at health services today and liked the person very much. Luckily, the person is licensed in the state where DD is working this summer, so they can do sessions by phone. It hurts that DD is hurting, but good that she is getting help. Guess with all my craziness it was inevitable that she would have issues.
Posted By: NewEveryDay

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 05/04/18 08:30 PM

I don’t think anyone in this generation gets out unscathed, I don’t know what it is.
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 05/04/18 09:01 PM

Originally Posted by NewEveryDay
I don’t think anyone in this generation gets out unscathed, I don’t know what it is.



I agree. There is a ton of pressure on everyone.
Posted By: NewEveryDay

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 05/04/18 09:04 PM

I don't say that hold to minimize what your daughter is going through, and I'm grateful she's getting the help she needs, and that she knows when to reach out for help, and has enough self-esteem and is realistic enough to know that. Just pointing it out so maybe you won't blame yourself as much.
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 05/05/18 12:25 AM

Originally Posted by NewEveryDay
Just pointing it out so maybe you won't blame yourself as much.


^^^ This! Just love your kids and offer your support. DD will grow more and learn to accept herself for who she is in all her unique abilities. You may need to point out her gifts to her occasionally.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 05/07/18 02:06 PM

Yes. Whenever she does well at school I tell her "the big DD brain strikes again!" And I compliment her when she is generous or gracious or wise in her interactions with her friends and classmates. She is a lot like me. I try to give her the insights I have learned at great cost. Many people who meet her like her. But she does not feel it. She has self-doubt. I validate her feelings, then encourage her to reach out because most of the interactions do turn out to be positive. But I definitely believe there is a biochemical aspect that needs to be addressed. She is now on meds. So am I. We are making this journey together. We have a very special bond.
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 05/08/18 12:14 AM

I like your perspective about making the journey together.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 05/09/18 01:35 PM

Interesting conversation this morning with Mrs H.

Me: Do you masturbate?
Her: No, why do you ask?
Me: The new A-D meds make it really difficult for me to reach orgasm.
Her: Well, I would say that I can do a better job than your hand, but I am guessing I can't.
Me: No, thanks, but I think I would have a heart attack if we tried.
Her: Well we don't want that.

As I have frequently said, she is not totally in the dark about sex with me. We just don't have a solution to the obstacles that keep us apart. And nice to hear that she wants me around more than she wants the insurance money!
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 05/09/18 03:30 PM

Originally Posted by holdingontoit
Interesting conversation this morning with Mrs H.

Me: Do you masturbate?
Her: No, why do you ask?
Me: The new A-D meds make it really difficult for me to reach orgasm.
Her: Well, I would say that I can do a better job than your hand, but I am guessing I can't.
Me: No, thanks, but I think I would have a heart attack if we tried.
Her: Well we don't want that.

As I have frequently said, she is not totally in the dark about sex with me. We just don't have a solution to the obstacles that keep us apart. And nice to hear that she wants me around more than she wants the insurance money!



You two crack me up. I mean seriously sometimes I just LOL at your conversations.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 05/14/18 12:19 PM

Very nice Mother's Day lunch with Mrs H. She was quite affectionate. Then I spent hours and hours driving her to the airport to start the road trip with DD. She appreciated my wanting to be with her until the last possible minute.

I hope all the mothers and their loved ones had an excellent day.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 05/15/18 12:53 PM

Seems DD got all As this semester. She got a 3.93 last spring. So she is rocking her classes. Now on to her summer internship. She and Mrs H are heading out on the road to CA today. They are going to have a great time. DD earned it.

I am feeling better about my marriage than literally any point since our wedding. I guess being older and not as horny and not being able to orgasm while on the AD meds has softened my feelings toward not having sex. And Mrs H has been much more affectionate. Much. I finally feel like I have a girlfriend. She is happy to hold hands and kiss me. She smiles when I lean in for a kiss instead of frowning and pulling away. She displays much more Admiration. All in all a much better marriage for me emotionally than it was before her cancer. Sorry it took cancer to bring us together but glad we got to experience this.
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 05/15/18 01:31 PM

Originally Posted by holdingontoit
Seems DD got all As this semester. She got a 3.93 last spring. So she is rocking her classes. Now on to her summer internship. She and Mrs H are heading out on the road to CA today. They are going to have a great time. DD earned it.

I am feeling better about my marriage than literally any point since our wedding. I guess being older and not as horny and not being able to orgasm while on the AD meds has softened my feelings toward not having sex. And Mrs H has been much more affectionate. Much. I finally feel like I have a girlfriend. She is happy to hold hands and kiss me. She smiles when I lean in for a kiss instead of frowning and pulling away. She displays much more Admiration. All in all a much better marriage for me emotionally than it was before her cancer. Sorry it took cancer to bring us together but glad we got to experience this.


I am glad Hold. It warms my heart to hear you feeling happyish. wink
Posted By: Miranda

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 05/15/18 02:39 PM

Hold

That’s amazing about your daughter and her grades! Wow. Very impressed.

Also pretty amazing about your relationship. Enjoy your alone time while the ladies have mother daughter time and then enjoy your reunion when your wife gets home!

It does my heart good to read this update
Posted By: mgellan

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 05/15/18 02:59 PM

Wow Hold eeyore sounds like tigger today! Very very glad for you!

Mg
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 05/15/18 05:30 PM

Thanks everyone. The people here have helped me immensely to get from where I was in 2002 to where I am today. So grateful to those who took the leap and created this place.
Posted By: Oblivious2678

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 05/15/18 05:39 PM

Indeed! Great to hear you are in a good place. Keep swimming my friend.
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 05/15/18 10:22 PM

Your DD is amazing! She's doing a fantastic job with her grades. I'm sure she will do well at her internship also.

I'm glad to hear you are in a good place. And you help the rest of us too, you know.
Posted By: Rich57

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 05/16/18 12:16 PM

Seems like a classic pursuit and distance situation, you stop pursuing her and now she pursues you.

Actually makes perfect sense to me now that I am so well educated on these matters.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 05/16/18 03:12 PM

Yes Rich, it does seem that as I have pulled away, she has started to pursue.

I think the kids being out of the house also plays a part. It is crystal clear with them gone that her primary relationship going forward is with me. And that relationship needed attention. After years of counselling together, she knew exactly what I needed and wasn't getting. And now she is far more motivated to provide it.

And the cancer played a role. She doesn't have the same body she had. Not just her boobs being cut off but she has scars and aches and pains and gets tired and isn't fit and has some type of thyroid condition. She feels frail now.

And her father dying. She sees what it is like for her mother. She doesn't want to be alone any sooner than she has to be. She is constantly nagging me about taking my medications and eating right and exercising because she wants me to be around for a long time. And she wants me to be a pleasant companion and reasonably content to interact with her during that time. She realizes that she actually does want something from me besides money. Now I am more to her than an ATM.

Yes, my pulling away helped and was necessary. But without all the other components I do not think it would have produced the same effect. This solution was simply unavailable years ago when the kids were home and her Dad was alive and she was healthy and fit and hitting the gym every day and figured I could easily be replaced. Now she knows that it isn't so easy to find someone who will pour the fluid out of the drains in your belly and clean the drain holes every few hours. And go with you to doctor appointments. And not complain that you aren't able to hike and kayak and do the outdoor activities he enjoys.
Posted By: LivingWell

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 05/17/18 07:27 PM

So nice to see that you're adjusting to progress in the relationship. It's not always easy even if it's what is wanted.

I agree with you that it took a lot of circumstances to make this stage of your relationship possible. But don't sell yourself short, Hold. What you did/do with the circumstances matters a lot in where it leads.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 05/24/18 12:52 PM

Mrs H and DD are having a great time on their trip. DD seems in a very good place mentally - which is not always the case. Good frame of mind to start her internship. They call me every night to tell me what they did and how much they are enjoying themselves.

She spoke to her roommates. They seem friendly and relaxed about sharing expenses, sharing silverware and condiments, etc. Not a big deal but does make things less stressful in the living space.

DS is doing a work trip to San Francisco tomorrow so he offered to come to visit Mrs H and DD at DD's apartment this weekend. Help her move in, assemble furniture, etc. What a great son, brother and young man he is. She is 100 miles away and he could easily have not mentioned the work trip or said he can't afford to go so far out of his way since he lives 400 miles away. But it was his idea to offer to help. He is taking a train to get to them and then back to SF for his flight home. I am guessing he had no plans for Memorial Day weekend and this gives him something to do. But still, the fact that he wants to be with his Mom and younger sister says much about him. And DD is over the moon that her adored big brother wants to come see her.
Posted By: mgellan

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 05/24/18 02:57 PM

Fantastic to see such joy in your family! Mrs. Hold will be in such a good mood when she gets back! thumbsup

Mg
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 05/25/18 02:34 AM

Your DS is such a good brother and as good son. Glad DD is looking forward to this new opportunity also.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 05/25/18 12:40 PM

As I have said many many times here, I have gotten the best possible outcome I could have hoped for when I chose to stay all those years ago. It is up to me to let go of the resentment.

But it is such a shiny ball and I polished it to such a smoothness. It gleams. It sparkles.

And yet I must dispose of it. It is like an addiction. I need to get clean.
Posted By: mgellan

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 05/25/18 03:39 PM

Oh god does it sparkle lol. And mine is much newer! But time to ditch it pal smile

Mg
Posted By: Oblivious2678

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 05/25/18 03:45 PM

Originally Posted by holdingontoit
As I have said many many times here, I have gotten the best possible outcome I could have hoped for when I chose to stay all those years ago. It is up to me to let go of the resentment.

But it is such a shiny ball and I polished it to such a smoothness. It gleams. It sparkles.

And yet I must dispose of it. It is like an addiction. I need to get clean.


And you can do it.

Hold, you have come a LONG way. The fact that you are at this point mentally is a huge win from my perspective. I am ecstatic for you! I am excited for you! You are on your way to happiness my friend. Embrace it and continue on this path. It looks good on you.
Posted By: Chrysalis

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 05/26/18 02:11 AM

Hold, you remind me of that passage in The Velveteen Rabbit about what it takes to become real. I think you and Mrs. Hold are on the way to being real. I think that about myself and my H as well. Awful times, stuck it out, and now caring for each other in ways we didn't expect when we were young. Our fur has been rubbed off and we had a stitched up limb or 2 and maybe the eyes are falling off, but we are cared for.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 05/29/18 02:03 PM

Thanks Chrys.

Becoming real is very painful. Yesterday we were snuggling and I could tell she was open to me making a move and I just could not bring myself to do it. And she promised DD that I would do something with DD in August that I would prefer not to do. But now that Mrs H promised on my behalf, I feel obliged and stuck. Mrs H thought she was helping me by prodding me to do something she would want to do and would enjoy. She felt she as helping me overcome my negativity. I feel pressured and taken advantage of yet again. We both have good intentions. We don't know how to behave to make the other person happy. And we are terrible at communicating.
Posted By: TC_Manhattan

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 05/29/18 02:55 PM

Originally Posted by holdingontoit
We both have good intentions. We don't know how to behave to make the other person happy. And we are terrible at communicating.


Why not just work on that (the communicating thing)...
Posted By: mgellan

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 05/29/18 03:03 PM

Have you read The Anatomy of Peace lately? You seem really ready to get out of the Heart at War box and to start consciously trying to bring peace into your relationship.

[Linked Image]

Mg
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 05/29/18 03:38 PM

Originally Posted by TC_Manhattan
[quote=holdingontoit]Why not just work on that (the communicating thing)...


More communicating leads to pain and withdrawal. Things will get worse before they get better. Mrs H takes offense easily. Shuts down easily. I used to be open but now I shut down too, mostly to not trigger her.

Like on the drive back from the Renn Faire this weekend. Mrs Hold called me. I was in the parking lot in costume desperate to get out of my leather suit on an 80 degree day. I told her I would call her back as soon as I changed into street clothes. I changed, got in the car, and called her. But I was coming back from someplace I had never been before, and took the wrong entrance to the highway. I told her to please let me have a minute to orient myself, and then I would rejoin the conversation. she said "you obviously have something more important to do, I'll let you go." I said (admittedly with a touch of irritation in my voice) there is nothing more important than you and DD, but I am lost and I just need a minute to figure out how to turn around and head home." She got more annoyed with me and hung up.

Or the physical stuff. I don't see any way to discuss it without causing us both lots of pain. Causing one or both of us to feel even more inadequate. We don't do sex well. We don't do snuggling well. We don't have pretty much any physical interaction lying down in bed that we both enjoy. Clothes on. Clothes off. It is all a disaster. She refuses to share the truth. Not sure whether it is more to protect me or more to protect herself. Either way, I am not anxious to push through her resistance. She doesn't want to talk at all. She needs to be with someone who is comfortable "just going for it". And comfortable getting rejected but coming back for another shot later. I am not that guy.

I don't want to go through conflict to get to agreement. I just want to clam up and eat my feelings and be frustrated and resentful. I am used to that. I am comfortable with that. As usual, I am not willing to pay the price to get to a better place.
Posted By: catperson

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 05/30/18 12:23 AM

IMO, there was NO reason for her to get all pissy with you over you saying you're lost and need to focus on that.
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 05/30/18 02:26 AM

Standard rule when I am driving that my kids know to not talk to me sometimes so I can focus (like parking lots or unusual exits off the 405). if they forget, I simply remind them and ask them to wait.

I think your wife was hurt and offended that you weren't listening to her. Although I think Cat is right that your wife should not have needed to unload her hurt on to you.

I do think both of you can get to a better point in your relationship where there is safety, honesty, fulfillment, love, satisfaction, and trust. But that will take time and work. Even so, I think it can be a better place for both of you.
Posted By: catperson

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 05/30/18 04:32 AM

As the wife of a narcissist who is INCAPABLE of putting down the phone in his car, and the mother of a daughter who now refuses to ride in the car with him when he drives because he is incapable of NOT using phone messaging while driving...

there's a reason for having rules about phones and driving.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 05/30/18 01:21 PM

Maybe it is possible to get there, but my refusal to invest reduces the chances of it actually happening. There are certain conversations we do not wish to have because I am a black and white thinker and my wife understandably fears that if she admits certain truths out loud, I will shut down. And she is correct. There are areas where the amount of work required to get to a better place is more work than I am willing to do. It seems better (to both of us, as far as I can tell) to avoid ever having those conversations. Because avoidance leaves room for doubt and possibility and her to have hope. Whereas if we communicate openly and I say "that is never going to happen" then there is no hope or possibility. Because she will believe me.

Whereas, back when we did MC and she said "I don't think I will ever be the sex partner you wish you had", I did not believe her. And a good thing. Because my foolishly believing it might get better some day enabled me to stay. So I choose NOT to have conversations that would likely lead to dead ends so that Mrs H can keep alive the hope that some day she may get me to change my mind in areas where she is not happy with my current behavior. I allow her to keep hope alive. I allow her to live with the illusion that I am less angry and frustrated and resentful than I am. That I love her more than I do. Not that I don't love her. But I know how much less I love her than I did at the beginning of our marriage. And for her I think it is the opposite. And I think she would be very sad to know for sure what it is like for me. So I don't tell her. Because I don't think the truth would help us work toward greater love and a better marriage. I think the truth would just crush our good feelings without providing any benefit.
Posted By: TC_Manhattan

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 05/30/18 11:44 PM

Therein lay your difficulties, Hold.

It is equally as difficult and emotionally exhausting to live your life as a lie.

My thoughts..
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 05/31/18 01:38 PM

Originally Posted by TC_Manhattan
Therein lay your difficulties, Hold.

It is equally as difficult and emotionally exhausting to live your life as a lie.


Oh, absolutely correct and relevant. But just because hiding the truth is exhausting does not mean that sharing the truth would be better. Both kids are doing well. Mrs H is very pleased with me lately. She likes being married to this version of me. The one who is not a puppy dog yapping at her heels. The one who is not much affected by her moods. The one who does not expect anything physical from her but welcomes whatever physicality she wishes to share.

I don't see any good reason to rock the boat when so many things are going well. As I have said many times before, I don't do happy. I am not blowing things up to see if I can build something better. I am going to keep putting buckets on the places where the roof leaks so the floor stays dry. They have been doing that in the walkway of the train station in New York for decades. Looks ugly but so far every time I take the train I can walk through the tunnel and my shoes stay dry despite all the leaks in the ceiling.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 06/06/18 02:02 PM

Mrs Hold is in pain. Shoulder. Elbow. Most especially a big know at the top of her left thigh. Last night I tried to work the knot out and put some lotion on it that the naturopath doctor gave her. Got up to wash my hands, then came back to the room. As I walked across the foot of the bed, she cringed back, turned her head to the side, threw her hands out in front of herself with the palms to ward me off. I wasn't even near her. I was going to put something back onto her night table.

So I turned and left the room. She said "I didn't mean to chase you away". I said "this is the age of #metoo. If you throw up your hands to ward me off and cringe as I approach, I am not going to see if no really means yes. I am just going to leave." I know she cringed because any movement causes her pain and she thought I was coming to give her a hug. Still, knowing why she did it doesn't make it not hurt.

This morning on the way out the door I wished her a nice day and she walked over. I leaned in to kiss her. She turned her head and offered me her cheek. I know she meant nothing by it. She probably had not brushed her teeth yet so she wanted to keep her mouth closed. She hates how she tastes in the morning. I hate how I am unable to find a way to relate to her that works for both of us. And unwilling to express my dissatisfaction. But not dissatisfied enough to say anything to her.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 06/08/18 03:28 PM

Such a roller coaster. I swing so far, so fast.

Mrs H has been complaining about a pulled muscle in her thigh. Turns out it may be a hernia, not a pulled muscle. In that case she would need surgery to fix it. Unfortunately, I have work trips out of town planned the next 2 weeks. I offered to cancel the trips, which have been planned for months. She told me not to cancel the trips as they are major parts of my marketing for the coming year. So I said "look, if you can hang on until the 25th (she has been complaining for months), then I could take care of you when I get back and work from home for a week or two."

Today she told me she is trying not to feel very hurt and rejected by my suggestion that she move the date of her surgery. I told her that I feel I cannot win. My first reaction was to cancel the trips. She told me not to. So I suggested she schedule the surgery the Monday after I get back on Saturday, so I can be here to care for her. She tells me this displays lack of regard for the pain she is in. Argh. Pain stinks. No wonder so many become addicted to opiates. I know it is tough for her. She used to go to the gym every day. Now her body is breaking down and she feels awful both physically and emotionally. She apologized for dragging me through this process. She said I did not sign up for this. I told her this is exactly what I signed up for. For better and for worse, in sickness and in health.
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 06/08/18 03:52 PM

Originally Posted by holdingontoit
Such a roller coaster. I swing so far, so fast.

Mrs H has been complaining about a pulled muscle in her thigh. Turns out it may be a hernia, not a pulled muscle. In that case she would need surgery to fix it. Unfortunately, I have work trips out of town planned the next 2 weeks. I offered to cancel the trips, which have been planned for months. She told me not to cancel the trips as they are major parts of my marketing for the coming year. So I said "look, if you can hang on until the 25th (she has been complaining for months), then I could take care of you when I get back and work from home for a week or two."

Today she told me she is trying not to feel very hurt and rejected by my suggestion that she move the date of her surgery. I told her that I feel I cannot win. My first reaction was to cancel the trips. She told me not to. So I suggested she schedule the surgery the Monday after I get back on Saturday, so I can be here to care for her. She tells me this displays lack of regard for the pain she is in. Argh. Pain stinks. No wonder so many become addicted to opiates. I know it is tough for her. She used to go to the gym every day. Now her body is breaking down and she feels awful both physically and emotionally. She apologized for dragging me through this process. She said I did not sign up for this. I told her this is exactly what I signed up for. For better and for worse, in sickness and in health.


Hold your suggestion was totally reasonable and her response was once again her emotional child talking. She does this a lot (being snippy because you needed to call her back when you were in traffic and trying to find your way).
Posted By: catperson

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 06/09/18 01:39 AM

His suggestion was unreasonable?
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 06/09/18 01:43 AM

Originally Posted by catperson
His suggestion was unreasonable?



Um no. Not what I meant!!! Yikes, going to edit now. His suggestion was totally REASONABLE!
Posted By: catperson

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 06/09/18 01:56 AM

lol, I figured you meant that.
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 06/09/18 02:21 AM

Hernias can be life-threatening or lead to intestinal infections. Your wife needs to know if it is really a hernia or something else.

And, until she knows what is going on, she shouldn't throw a temper tantrum about "what if's."
Posted By: TC_Manhattan

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 06/09/18 12:43 PM

Originally Posted by Blair
Hernias can be life-threatening or lead to intestinal infections. Your wife needs to know if it is really a hernia or something else.

And, until she knows what is going on, she shouldn't throw a temper tantrum about "what if's."


One would reasonably assume that, if she'd already tentatively scheduled the surgery, that the problem had already been
thoroughly evaluated by the surgeon with whom she had consulted. My thought..
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 06/09/18 02:47 PM

Originally Posted by holdingontoit
Turns out it may be a hernia, not a pulled muscle.


I was simply responding to this statement.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 06/11/18 12:38 PM

She goes to the doctor today to find out if it is or is not a hernia. No conclusive diagnosis yet. She went to physical therapy last week and the guy said "I am not going to touch you or work you out until you go to a doctor and make sure it is not a hernia". The surgeon we had dinner with Saturday night said hernia is not life threatening unless the intestine becomes blocked. So as long as she is still having bowel movements, nothing to get too worried about.

Got the bills for the Mrs H and DD road trip. I told Mrs H her budget was to max out the card I gave her. She did that. And then talked DD into putting thousands on the card I gave DD at college "for emergencies". Not shocking to me. Half expected it. Glad Mrs H and DD had a good time. Glad Mrs H is not coming with me on my work trip next week.
Posted By: catperson

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 06/11/18 01:44 PM

Are you giving her your daughter's bill?
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 06/11/18 08:16 PM

She went to doctor. He could not tell if she has a hernia. He wants to do a MRI. She just did 3 MRIs when we did not know why her eye was bulging. He will look at her medical records to see if any of them covered the area he needs to see. Otherwise she needs to do another scan tomorrow. Yet another doctor visit without a confirmed diagnosis. It is wearing her down to remain in limbo.

The money will never be resolved. I am not willing to push hard enough to resolve it. I am content that it cost her the trip with me to take the road trip with DD. If Mrs H were frugal enough, she could have done both. If she prefers one lavish trip with DD to one frugal trip with DD and one frugal trip with me, I can live with that. Her missing out on the trip with me bothers her much more than it bothers me.
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 06/12/18 04:37 AM

How does DD handle knowing her mom uses her emergency card so freely?
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 06/12/18 06:25 PM

DD is pretty good about not abusing it while at school. But I cannot expect her to say no to her Mom while they are travelling together. Not going to put DD in the middle.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 06/12/18 06:39 PM

With the Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain suicides, I called both my kids, each of whom tends toward depression. I told them that I cannot lie to them and tell them the pain and dark thoughts will ever end. They might not. They have not for me. But we are the Holds. We do not give in. We SUFFER. They each laughed. I told them that I promised my Mom not to kill myself while she was alive, and I expected them to wait until their Mom was gone before they had permission to give up. DS said "but by then, I'll probably be married and have kids and feel obliged not to kill myself." I replied "that is the idea". He said I play dirty and he does not like this. I was laughing and he was laughing. He asked why I was laughing since this was deadly serious. I said I have to laugh so I don't cry to hear how much pain he is in. That I would take it away from him if I could.

I told him not to hold himself to impossibly high standards. Not to feel he has to be anything close to perfect. That he should get help if he needs it and not try to overcome it alone. That there is no shame in needing help and much bravery in admitting that openly. I told him to get meds and keep trying different ones until he finds something that makes it better (maybe not painless, but better) without intolerable side effects. And that he can always come to me with his doubts and fears and that I will do my best to help him without judgment. That I love him all the time no matter what and there is nothing he can do or say to change that.
Posted By: NewEveryDay

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 06/12/18 07:21 PM

Hold, I'm so sorry, you've mentioned being depressed for years but I had no idea it was so bad. I'm very proud of you for hanging in there through all of it. And very proud of you for being such a rock for your kids. And for Mrs. H when the health stuff was so scary and bad for so long. It all clicks and makes sense. What's the point of fussing over the credit card balance when you're fighting for your life. You do what you need to do Hold, it's worked so far.

My kids struggle like this, too. It's been difficult to get them lasting help, and the depression tells them they should be able to manage it without the medicines they had been prescribed. I just tell them I'm here if they want to brainstorm, and to let me know how I can help, because they don't follow through when I make them appointments. And I feel guilty, because I have to work, but I have been unsuccessful finding therapists they can see on weekends when I can take them. The whole thing has been so discouraging.

Hold you inspired me today with your talks with your kids. My brother has gotten good lasting help with a hospital here, I'm going to call and see if they can help.
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 06/12/18 07:23 PM

Hold you are amazing. Your kids are so fortunate to have you as a dad.
Posted By: kerala

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 06/12/18 08:54 PM

Agreed with everyone - your kids are so lucky to have you.
Posted By: mgellan

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 06/12/18 09:05 PM

Your kids are lucky to have a Dad they can have that kind of conversation with too!

Mg
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 06/13/18 12:52 AM

So great that you can be open and so honest with your kids. They need you.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 06/15/18 03:16 PM

Thanks everyone. Not easy to be open about this stuff.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 06/26/18 12:30 PM

First work anniversary for DS. He was feeling down because he did not finish his biggest project and he felt that his depression prevented him from accomplishing more. I told him that might be true but spiraling downward doesn't help. To resist the pull. And we discussed coping techniques. I suggested a med that my cousin the psychiatrist says may be effective for the brain chemical imbalance that our family tends to have. And I gave him hints for how to cope at work. And chided him for not asking for help from colleagues. He refrained from asking for help out of pride. I told him pride will be his downfall. He needs a team. He needs medical help. He needs people at work to assist him. And in turn his success will benefit his entire department. The more people he solicits for help, the less each person is asked to contribute and the more willing each will be to participate. When his project works and the department gets more funding, no one will care that he needed their help.

I told him to frame his self-evaluation for the first year as one of growth and learning. That is what the first year on the job is for. He liked that perspective.

He sounded much more positive after the call.
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 06/26/18 01:24 PM

Originally Posted by holdingontoit
First work anniversary for DS. He was feeling down because he did not finish his biggest project and he felt that his depression prevented him from accomplishing more. I told him that might be true but spiraling downward doesn't help. To resist the pull. And we discussed coping techniques. I suggested a med that my cousin the psychiatrist says may be effective for the brain chemical imbalance that our family tends to have. And I gave him hints for how to cope at work. And chided him for not asking for help from colleagues. He refrained from asking for help out of pride. I told him pride will be his downfall. He needs a team. He needs medical help. He needs people at work to assist him. And in turn his success will benefit his entire department. The more people he solicits for help, the less each person is asked to contribute and the more willing each will be to participate. When his project works and the department gets more funding, no one will care that he needed their help.

I told him to frame his self-evaluation for the first year as one of growth and learning. That is what the first year on the job is for. He liked that perspective.

He sounded much more positive after the call.



You are a great dad Hold.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 06/26/18 02:26 PM

Thanks SW. Mrs Hold sat listening. She had tears in her eyes. Pain for DS. Gratitude for my ability to help him. She gave me a big hug after. She agrees I am a good Dad.

I told DS that I am always available to chat with him. And that, when he hears a dark or negative voice in his head, he should call me or his Mom or his sister and we will be the voice of light and hope. And that if he needs more help, he should get a professional. I analogized to a sports team. Some players come from the draft or the farm team. But sometimes you have to sign a high priced free agent to fill in the missing piece. And he should use all available resources. He said "yeah, I am earning good money so I shouldn't be afraid to pay for help". I agreed and told him he is fortunate to have a good job and insurance coverage and he should take advantage of the resources he has. Not everyone does.
Posted By: Miranda

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 06/26/18 03:17 PM

Hold you did great. You should also remind your son that the ability to “build teams” is highly prized and sought after in the workplace. And every time he seeks help and then shares his victories with those who assist him? He builds teams. It pay dividends he cannot begin to imagine! Bigger dividends than being hugely successful at the task by himself would, in fact!

I learned this by trial and error. But it was a fantastic lesson
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 06/27/18 12:11 AM

You are really good at being a father. Good pep talk for your DS. Miranda is right about teamwork too.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 06/27/18 12:54 PM

Thanks all.

The kids are both on the West Coast this summer and getting together next weekend. Heart warming to see them get along.

DD has always adored her older brother. Every picture we have of them together, she has her arms around him. DS used to find it annoying. Understandable. But I think now that he is on his own and far from friends and family, and a little bit shaken about how he is going to navigate adulthood, the idea of a visit from someone who will just throw her arms around him and love him unconditionally is welcome. And the thought that DS seems to welcome her visit has DD over the moon with excitement.
Posted By: mgellan

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 06/27/18 01:49 PM

You're inspiring to us Dads who will be having the same conversations / situations in the near future Hold! Glad the dynamic between your kids is so positive!

Mg
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 06/28/18 02:40 PM

DS thinks his work review went well. The most senior executive present seemed to smile and have good body language.

Mrs H was very sweet this morning. I gave her my usual compliments as she was getting dressed for work. She smiled and once she got dressed she came over and gave me a hug. Older and physically diminished, she appreciates the compliments in ways she did not when she was young and a total bombshell.

She got the results of her food testing back. She is allergic to lots more than the shellfish she knew about. Milk. Eggs. Wheat. Yeast. Citrus fruit. So she needs to go on a more restricted diet. Hopefully this will help with her thyroid problems. And her muscle weakness and joint pain. I told her I am happy to keep all "bad" foods out of the house so she is not tempted to cheat. She thanked me for being supportive. She is a better wife than ever before. Too bad I am not willing to open the gate and let her back into my heart.

I say and do all the right things. I brought her back a thoughtful gift from my latest work trip. She liked and appreciated it. She was touched. I will never let her touch my heart. I will never give her back that power. I will never allow myself to be that vulnerable. I like being the one with more power and control over the relationship because I am the one who cares less. I am never giving that up. I now feel exactly the way she felt all those years after the rapes left her terrified. The only thing that matters is power and control. Not love. Not joy. Not happiness. Power and control. I have put the Rod of Power in my box of precious treasures next to the Pearl of Resentment. They make a beautiful set.
Posted By: TC_Manhattan

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 06/28/18 03:20 PM


Hold, that is almost poetic..
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 06/28/18 05:13 PM

Yes he has a way with words.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 06/28/18 06:17 PM

The Pearl of Resentment:

[Linked Image]

The Rod of Power:

[Linked Image]
Posted By: TC_Manhattan

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 06/28/18 07:58 PM

Where did you find those?

From WUD's Etsy store?
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 06/28/18 08:17 PM

British Crown Jewels. The Orb and the Scepter. Part of the coronation regalia.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 06/29/18 01:36 PM

Mrs H wants to cut back on her working. She is going to stop working on Sunday mornings. I think she was partly motivated by her ongoing health problems and partly by a desire to have a weekend morning she can spend with me.

Feels so weird. In the past I would have been thrilled that she wanted to spend a weekend morning with me. Today I am very conflicted.

I hope she does not imagine we will have relations. Doesn't she realize that I intend to remain the biggest martyr in the marriage? I will not allow her to gain the upper hand in the martyrdom contest by providing sex. I think she feels guilty that I bring more to the marriage these days. She should relax. I may bring more supportiveness, but I also bring more frustration and resentment. So we are nice and balanced, just as I like it.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 07/03/18 05:38 PM

Tomorrow is our 26th anniversary. Such mixed emotions. We will spend the day together but we have no plans. It is so hot that we may just go to the movies. She will get cards and flowers and fancy chocolates.

Our marriage is as good as it has ever been. I wish that felt better than it does. But it is my choice to keep her at arms length. So I have no one to blame but myself for not feeling more connected.

I do get a bizarre and warped sense of pride from being able to maintain the facade. I do think she loves me. Truly and deeply. In a way that she did not when we first got married. I see her inner struggle, wanting to reach out to me but unable to overcome her internal barriers. I have excused her from any duty to reach out to me. Not to spare her the discomfort. But to give myself the "points" for making the greater sacrifice. Sick and twisted and exactly what I strive to maintain.

Happy Fourth of July to all my fellow Americans.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 07/05/18 01:26 PM

Anniversary went exactly as expected. Very hot and she did not feel like going out. So we binged watched Bosch. I mowed the lawn and cleaned up the front walk. Then for dinner I grilled steaks I had gotten Tuesday in case we did not feel like going anywhere. Dinner was simple and delicious. Steak, corn and veggie kabobs. Perfect for July 4th. Then we watched the Macy's fireworks on tv.

She was very affectionate. She offered to provide sexual outlet within what she can physically accomplish (no intercourse). I told her that if she never gets anything out of it, then I am not comfortable allowing her to service me. She frowned, because she does not feel there is any way for her to get anything out of sexual contact. She fears the impact of long term sexlessness on our relationship. Silly woman, that impact has already happened. I am staying despite the impact.

I told her that I believe, at this time, she would offer me everything she has to give. I don't think she is holding anything back. I also told her that I wish she had gotten to this point sooner. She nodded that she understood.

I wrote her very intimate and loving notes on the anniversary cards. As I always do. She cried when she read them. Not something she did during the early years of our marriage. I post about these changes and conversations to force myself to acknowledge that she has changed, and that I could change if I chose to do so.
Posted By: mgellan

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 07/05/18 02:53 PM

Originally Posted by holdingontoit
I could change if I chose to do so.

I'm having a bit of trouble understanding how a loving gesture like she offered is not something that she will get something out of. She will get the satisfaction of providing the loving gesture. And perhaps if it is accepted and creates a new level of intimacy you can reciprocate...

Just being dense I suppose smile

Mg
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 07/05/18 03:24 PM

Mgellan: Excellent question and I understand your confusion.

Earlier in our marriage I would have gladly accepted any offer on her part to provide sexual services. Back then I begged and pleaded for sex (bad moves on my part) and she told me to pound sand. Years later she is finally willing to offer what I previously craved. The problem is, I no longer enjoy having sex with her. It leaves me feeling dirty. Like I have violated her despite her clearly giving consent (or even initiating). These days I enjoy denying her and causing her to feel guilty more than I enjoy sex with her. I don't want to give her the satisfaction of making a sacrifice on my behalf. If anyone is going to make a sacrifice in our marriage, it is me. I am not aiming for happiness. I am aiming to be the bigger martyr. So far, I am winning. Even though we both are losing out.
Posted By: NewEveryDay

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 07/05/18 04:10 PM

Hold I totally understand. When the kind of love and acceptance and respect I needed was missing in my marriages I sought out sex instead because it felt close enough for the moment. But long term I did have to make a decision to stop accepting sex when what I wanted was love. Intent is important too.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 07/05/18 05:56 PM

NED: Thanks, but I am not suggesting this is a good attitude on my part. It is a coping strategy. If I were braver I would seek a cure. If I were braver I would seek to discuss with her whether she takes pleasure in giving me pleasure, or if she just wants to relieve herself of guilt. Will she feel put upon, violated and forced to do something she doesn't want to do? Or will she feel proud of herself for overcoming her resistance? In other words, is she choosing something she sees as a good thing in itself, or just the lesser of two evils? If (as I suspect) she is choosing the lesser of two evils, then I would rather that I be the person who makes the sacrifice.
Posted By: mgellan

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 07/05/18 06:29 PM

Sounds like a simple conversation to have, and you might be surprised at what the answer is these days?

Mg
Posted By: TC_Manhattan

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 07/05/18 09:45 PM

Who was it that said revenge is a dish best served cold... ninja
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 07/06/18 12:25 PM

Ricardo Montalban as Khan in Star Trek: Wrath of Khan.
And it is very cold in space.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 07/09/18 01:50 PM

Interesting conversation with Mrs H on the way back from visiting my parents yesterday.

She warned me not to cheat. I asked her if she thought I would enjoy a one night stand. She said "yes, I think you would find it very validating". I told her that shows how little she knows about me. I have had one night stands and I felt awful afterward. Dirty. I said what is validating is not to talk a woman into bed but for her to want to come back again. I said that only a long term affair would be validating for me. And that while I might well be able to hide a one night stand, I doubt I could hide a long term affair. And if she found out then my world would collapse. So she can be very sure that I will not cheat. Because I will never give her an excuse to divorce me that our kids would find acceptable. And a long term affair would be that kind of acceptable excuse.

She looked at me and said "that I believe, because you are a cynical guy and you do, within the confines of your weird mind, plot things out strategically."

I said "anyway, I told you I do not intend to ever allow a woman to see my penis erect, and I meant it". She said "that is a terrible thing to say, in that tone of voice. That you feel that way about your body. How would you react if I told you I felt that way about my body after the surgery?" I said "I would be sad for you. Have I given you any reason to think I no longer find your body attractive?" She replied "no, you have been great since the surgery. Do you really think I would marry and stay for 26 years with someone I do not find attractive?" I said "yes, actually, I don't think sex or sexual attractiveness was high on your list of priorities for a husband. So I do think you would marry someone you don't find particularly attractive." She said something like "I don't think you are as ugly as you think you are. You have a cute butt." I told her "your words ring hollow. Your behavior over 26 years is confirmation that you agree with the women who were rude enough to tell me to my face they think I am ugly, you are just too polite to say it out loud."

She said she feels like a crippled old lady (her hip is dislocated and she can barely walk) and she is sorry to put me through this. She said I (Hold) did not sign up for this. I told her "that is where you are wrong. This is exactly what I signed up for. In sickness and in health. Until death do us part". I told her our marriage is the best it has ever been for me. Which is true. She said it is for her as well. Not as bad a place to be as it could be.
Posted By: mgellan

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 07/09/18 01:57 PM

Man you have frank conversations!

Mg
Posted By: Miranda

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 07/09/18 02:12 PM

That kind of intimacy and kindness is rare. My husband and I don’t have anything remotely close to that.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 07/09/18 05:52 PM

Our marriage is a testament to the reality that communication does not resolve all marital problems. Each of us knows what the other would like more of (and less of) in our relationship. Neither of us is currently willing to change in the direction our spouse would prefer.

I did make one concession. I told her that, when she becomes physically capable of having relations, if it would help her feel less broken, I would be willing to allow her to service me sexually. I know, you are thinking "how is that a concession by Hold? Sounds like a concession by Mrs H to me." Well, we have had sex a handful of times in the past 3 years, and each time I felt bad about myself during and after. Whereas she felt good about herself after. She wants to feel able, as opposed to disabled. Not having me desire her and not being able to physically satisfy me pushes her toward feeling disabled. At this point with the SSRI meds I am not sure she can physically satisfy me even when her shoulder, elbow and hip are healed. But I am willing to take some Viagra and give it the old college try if that will help her feel like she is recovering from her various physical ailments.

What a great guy I am, huh? Not.
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 07/09/18 06:03 PM

Originally Posted by holdingontoit
Interesting conversation with Mrs H on the way back from visiting my parents yesterday.

She warned me not to cheat. I asked her if she thought I would enjoy a one night stand. She said "yes, I think you would find it very validating". I told her that shows how little she knows about me. I have had one night stands and I felt awful afterward. Dirty. I said what is validating is not to talk a woman into bed but for her to want to come back again. I said that only a long term affair would be validating for me. And that while I might well be able to hide a one night stand, I doubt I could hide a long term affair. And if she found out then my world would collapse. So she can be very sure that I will not cheat. Because I will never give her an excuse to divorce me that our kids would find acceptable. And a long term affair would be that kind of acceptable excuse.

She looked at me and said "that I believe, because you are a cynical guy and you do, within the confines of your weird mind, plot things out strategically."

I said "anyway, I told you I do not intend to ever allow a woman to see my penis erect, and I meant it". She said "that is a terrible thing to say, in that tone of voice. That you feel that way about your body. How would you react if I told you I felt that way about my body after the surgery?" I said "I would be sad for you. Have I given you any reason to think I no longer find your body attractive?" She replied "no, you have been great since the surgery. Do you really think I would marry and stay for 26 years with someone I do not find attractive?" I said "yes, actually, I don't think sex or sexual attractiveness was high on your list of priorities for a husband. So I do think you would marry someone you don't find particularly attractive." She said something like "I don't think you are as ugly as you think you are. You have a cute butt." I told her "your words ring hollow. Your behavior over 26 years is confirmation that you agree with the women who were rude enough to tell me to my face they think I am ugly, you are just too polite to say it out loud."

She said she feels like a crippled old lady (her hip is dislocated and she can barely walk) and she is sorry to put me through this. She said I (Hold) did not sign up for this. I told her "that is where you are wrong. This is exactly what I signed up for. In sickness and in health. Until death do us part". I told her our marriage is the best it has ever been for me. Which is true. She said it is for her as well. Not as bad a place to be as it could be.



The bolded made me laugh because while she is correct, that you 'plot things out strategically' I find it an admiral quality....if more men would think 'hey I better not cheat even when the times get tough because I don't want my kids to think badly of me.' the world would be a MUCH better place.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 07/09/18 07:20 PM

SW: I can assure you that, had the opportunity arisen earlier in our marriage, when I was younger and hornier, I probably would have given in to temptation. One of the few benefits of being a hideous troll is that I never had to face my moment of truth.. It is only now that I am old and tired and married 20+ years and would owe permanent (lifetime) alimony that I am confident I could resist temptation. I wasn't saying it to brag on myself. I was saying it to reassure Mrs H that of all the things she has to worry about, me cheating on her is not one of them.

And while she agreed that I probably wouldn't cheat, she also sees it for what it is: a lack of self-confidence and self-respect on my part.

She wants to think that she has a high value husband and that she married well. Hard to convince yourself that you have a high value husband when he sees himself as an ugly loser. But she recognizes that her behavior in rejecting me over the years outweighs any words she might say now regarding my attractiveness to her (or to other women). And she recognizes that even if her current (hopefully short term) physical ailments went away, she is not sure that she can sign up to behave in ways that would convince me that she does find me attractive. So she doesn't want to make promises that her PTSD and body won't let her back up. Which frustrates her, because she feels trapped. Which she is. Which is exactly what I have been working toward over these past 13 years. I am often amazed that I actually pulled this off. It is very satisfying, in a sick and twisted way.
Posted By: Fergie

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 07/12/18 03:24 PM

Originally Posted by holdingontoit
She wants to think that she has a high value husband and that she married well. Hard to convince yourself that you have a high value husband when he sees himself as an ugly loser. But she recognizes that her behavior in rejecting me over the years outweighs any words she might say now regarding my attractiveness to her (or to other women).

As long as she wrestling with reality, she can realize she contributed to making you that way by her actions.

I don't think you are cynical, I think you are refreshingly honest about the reality of the situation. You realize the cost/benefit ratio is way too high staying married to your wife, but it is even higher getting divorced. You've known that for years. You already realize you are stuck.

She is the one who now finally coming to grips with the reality that isn't going to be a line of higher value guys looking to sign up for what she has to offer. Most of it has to do with aging. All of the old widower men I know have zero problems dating. There are simply just fewer men around. The competition for them is fierce. A woman with as many sexual hangups as yours isn't in demand. Your wife wouldn't stand a chance.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 07/12/18 08:21 PM

Got a report back from the kids. Their weekend together went great. DS really went all out planning events they would both enjoy. Dinner out on Friday. Professional sports game on Saturday. Hike up a mountain on Sunday. They got along well. DD was thrilled that her big brother put so much effort into making the weekend enjoyable for her. He truly cares about her, which is fabulous for both of them.
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 07/12/18 11:27 PM

Originally Posted by holdingontoit
Got a report back from the kids. Their weekend together went great. DS really went all out planning events they would both enjoy. Dinner out on Friday. Professional sports game on Saturday. Hike up a mountain on Sunday. They got along well. DD was thrilled that her big brother put so much effort into making the weekend enjoyable for her. He truly cares about her, which is fabulous for both of them.


That is awesome Hold.
That is a true measure of successful parenting.....kids who love each other.
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 07/13/18 02:42 AM

Originally Posted by SmilingWife
That is a true measure of successful parenting.....kids who love each other.


Exactly!!!
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 07/13/18 05:50 PM

Well, the successful parenting is now out the window. DS's therapist thinks he is a sociopath and wants to commit him to the hospital. DS stayed out by signing a waiver so his therapist could talk to me and Mrs H to determine if DS is a threat to society. I don't think so, and I am far from a knee-jerk apologist for my kids when they behave poorly.

I told DS to see if they will let him try TMS or ECT. I told him to give it a shot now. He can afford to interrupt his life and get back to moving forward later if something goes wrong. I offered to help him financially if he needs help.

I also told him that he can be a sociopath and depressed and yet life is, to me, still worth living. That I have had suicidal thoughts since I was in middle school and I managed to hold down a job, marry and raise kids. And I think he could too. The doctors are worried because they don't think he can hold down a job if he is depressed and sociopathic. and they worry that he will go ballistic when he fails. I told him that maybe they are correct that most depressed sociopaths can't, but he isn't most depressed sociopaths. He got perfect ACT scores without prep. He got good grades in a tough engineering program while being in a frat, partying hard on weekends and scoring with girls. Unlike many of his peers who spent every waking moment studying, he does not need to operate at 110% of his max capacity to function in society. A blessing and a curse.

Mrs H is understandably distraught. We knew he was not feeling well when he was so friendly toward his sister visiting. We did not realize it was this serious. Thank goodness he took our advice and started getting professional help. Thank goodness I called after Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade and put this issues on the table. At least it is now out in the open. DS and I talked for almost an hour last night. I thanked him for being open with me. I told him that I could never have had such a conversation with my Dad, and that I was honored he would share with me. He said that he imagines I must have been very lonely when I was his age. That he feels lonely where he is living now but at least he has me and his Mom to talk to about this stuff.

Well, I guess God gave me the life I have lived so that I would be here for DS in this moment. If we can get him through this, it will all have been worth it.
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 07/13/18 06:10 PM

Originally Posted by holdingontoit
Well, the successful parenting is now out the window. DS's therapist thinks he is a sociopath and wants to commit him to the hospital. DS stayed out by signing a waiver so his therapist could talk to me and Mrs H to determine if DS is a threat to society. I don't think so, and I am far from a knee-jerk apologist for my kids when they behave poorly.

I told DS to see if they will let him try TMS or ECT. I told him to give it a shot now. He can afford to interrupt his life and get back to moving forward later if something goes wrong. I offered to help him financially if he needs help.

I also told him that he can be a sociopath and depressed and yet life is, to me, still worth living. That I have had suicidal thoughts since I was in middle school and I managed to hold down a job, marry and raise kids. And I think he could too. The doctors are worried because they don't think he can hold down a job if he is depressed and sociopathic. and they worry that he will go ballistic when he fails. I told him that maybe they are correct that most depressed sociopaths can't, but he isn't most depressed sociopaths. He got perfect ACT scores without prep. He got good grades in a tough engineering program while being in a frat, partying hard on weekends and scoring with girls. Unlike many of his peers who spent every waking moment studying, he does not need to operate at 110% of his max capacity to function in society. A blessing and a curse.

Mrs H is understandably distraught. We knew he was not feeling well when he was so friendly toward his sister visiting. We did not realize it was this serious. Thank goodness he took our advice and started getting professional help. Thank goodness I called after Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade and put this issues on the table. At least it is now out in the open. DS and I talked for almost an hour last night. I thanked him for being open with me. I told him that I could never have had such a conversation with my Dad, and that I was honored he would share with me. He said that he imagines I must have been very lonely when I was his age. That he feels lonely where he is living now but at least he has me and his Mom to talk to about this stuff.

Well, I guess God gave me the life I have lived so that I would be here for DS in this moment. If we can get him through this, it will all have been worth it.


WTHeck! I don't understand how being depressed and suicidal means he is a sociopath! This is not making sense to me.
Do you think it would be better if he just came home for a while?
Posted By: NewEveryDay

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 07/13/18 06:12 PM

(((Hugs))) Hold I'm so sorry to hear this, when yesterday was such a good day. What happened that the therapist wants your son committed? How is your son a "threat to society"? Where is your daughter?

OD almost had a breakdown last summer when YD went to visit, and this year said she was better, but the day before YD's visit was over, OD called me early one morning to say she needs help. Is it that they can handle everything, but then the stress of one more person to care for sends them too close to the edge?

The one time my brother was committed, my parents took him to the hospital for care during a dinner at my house, when he started throwing ice at another brother because of things he thought he hear brother's GF saying. I don't understand how this works, I would think he would more comfortable surrounded by family like that.

Does your DS understand his triggers?
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 07/13/18 08:34 PM

I don't know all the details. Apparently his therapist thinks he is a sociopath because he doesn't have feelings and has no plans for the future. Heck, everyone here knows I haven't allowed myself to have feelings for other people or plans for the future since 2005.

And yes, I bet there are plenty of people here and at MB who, if I told them between 2002 and 2005 that Mrs H and I would still be married still be sexless in 2018, would have predicted that there is no way that could happen because I would have gone ballistic long before 2018 arrived. Heck, there were plenty of people who posted with me in 2002 who couldn't believe back in 2005 that I was still married to her and hadn't committed suicide.

The therapist is probably aiming to help DS become "normal". I hope that TMS or ECT or some other extreme treatment will work to end his torment. But I am not betting on that working. I am aiming to convince him that life is worth living and the pain is worth enduring even if none of the treatments work. He loves me. His sister loves me. Heck, his mother loves me more now than she did when we got married. And I have been empty and hollow inside (how his therapist described DS) since I became conscious. His therapist does not believe anyone can tolerate living this way. I hope DS does not have to. But I intend to convince him to do it and his therapist that he can.
Posted By: Chrysalis

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 07/13/18 09:45 PM

That sounds like severe depression, not sociopathy. Has he expressed rage or a desire to strike out?

Things I wish I'd insisted Jim try, and now regret having passively left him to arrange his own care (thinking that he was an adult):

ECT
TMS
Ketamine therapy
insisting on anti-anxiety medications for him
taking him to the hospital and not leaving until something was done

I don't know which CA city your boy is in, but if you have an emergency backup need in the LA area, please PM me for details. We can provide a spare room and a hot meal until you can get here should the need arise.
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 07/13/18 11:15 PM

Originally Posted by Chrysalis
That sounds like severe depression, not sociopathy. Has he expressed rage or a desire to strike out?

Things I wish I'd insisted Jim try, and now regret having passively left him to arrange his own care (thinking that he was an adult):

ECT
TMS
Ketamine therapy
insisting on anti-anxiety medications for him
taking him to the hospital and not leaving until something was done

I don't know which CA city your boy is in, but if you have an emergency backup need in the LA area, please PM me for details. We can provide a spare room and a hot meal until you can get here should the need arise.



That is awesome Chrysalis.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 07/14/18 01:40 AM

The boy is in Portland OR and as far as we can tell getting competent help.

As you say, I think it sounds more like depression than sociopathy but I am not a professional.

I am hoping that he will not do anything drastic. His mother made it very clear that she has NOT given him permission to end things. I made the same thing clear. We need him alive. We can deal with anything else together. I hope that is enough to dissuade him.
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 07/14/18 02:02 AM

Wow, Hold. That doesn't sound at all like a sociopath. Sounds a lot like full blown depression. How soon can you fly out to your son?

Sociopaths cannot he diagnosed without proper testing and meeting criteria. Can you do research on the therapist and see if similar issues have happened previously?
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 07/14/18 02:03 AM

Can you find someone of your faith to go visit your son and stay with him until you can get there?
Posted By: josie

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 07/14/18 05:26 AM

Originally Posted by holdingontoit
I don't know all the details. Apparently his therapist thinks he is a sociopath because he doesn't have feelings and has no plans for the future. Heck, everyone here knows I haven't allowed myself to have feelings for other people or plans for the future since 2005.


Some of us tried to warn you--eons ago--that the dysfunction which you were modeling in your marriage and in your life would affect your children adversely. You refused to take that into account. He has watched your behavior carefully all that time and grown in that direction.

Quote
And yes, I bet there are plenty of people here and at MB who, if I told them between 2002 and 2005 that Mrs H and I would still be married still be sexless in 2018, would have predicted that there is no way that could happen because I would have gone ballistic long before 2018 arrived. Heck, there were plenty of people who posted with me in 2002 who couldn't believe back in 2005 that I was still married to her and hadn't committed suicide.


We know why you've refused to change anything about your marriage or your life. You've explained to us umpteen times the sick game you are playing and how you are finally "winning" it. Your children have been watching the whole time and absorbing all the undercurrents of rage and resentment.

Quote
The therapist is probably aiming to help DS become "normal". I hope that TMS or ECT or some other extreme treatment will work to end his torment. But I am not betting on that working. I am aiming to convince him that life is worth living and the pain is worth enduring even if none of the treatments work. He loves me. His sister loves me. Heck, his mother loves me more now than she did when we got married. And I have been empty and hollow inside (how his therapist described DS) since I became conscious. His therapist does not believe anyone can tolerate living this way. I hope DS does not have to. But I intend to convince him to do it and his therapist that he can.


I hope his therapy works. But you've modeled your example for a lifetime. Your children can't help but be affected by what they've seen in their parents' lives and marriage. He is young though, so there is hope. Perhaps you could rush to him and turn over a new leaf (start showing him how to live an honest and authentic life). I think that would work better than telling him to white-knuckle through a lifetime of pain because you said so.
Posted By: LivingWell

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 07/14/18 04:02 PM

Hold, I have a different perspective that I would like to share with you. However, I recently ceased posting to another thread that also involved a topic that I am passionate about and have experience with because that passion came out in an offensive manner to others. So, I will think long and hard about how to say what I want to share with you and get back to you.

In the meantime, please don’t internalize everything to the point that another’s perspective and experience cannot be heard or considered.


ETA in case it takes awhile for me to get back to you: This is not something you caused. You have positioned yourself well so that your son has opportunity to deal with what could be genetic in ways that you didn’t have yourself. That can make a tremendous difference not just for his life but for the lives of his own children. Your role/job will change with grandchild(ren) but will be influential in important ways... ways that someone without your experience (and genetics) cannot provide.
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 07/14/18 05:47 PM

Hold is it most certainly not something you should be beating yourself up over. You have done the best you can with some bad cards and some good ones.
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 07/16/18 03:28 AM

How is your DS doing, Hold?
Posted By: mgellan

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 07/16/18 02:00 PM

I would get a second opinion, Hold, that's a diagnosis I wouldn't take just from one person...

Mg
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 07/16/18 03:24 PM

Thanks everyone for your concern.

We had a long talk yesterday. He is not in a great place.

He is considering various therapies. I told him not to allow cost to be a deterrent.

I also told him not to have the test of success or failure be whether he becomes "happy". That is, I don't want him to feel that, if his therapist runs out of new ideas to try to become "happy", that he ought to kill himself since life is not worth living if you cannot get to "happy". He agrees that happiness is not the goal. The goal is to reduce the pain and sense of hopelessness. To get to a place where the pressure of life is less of a burden.

I am actually hopeful that ketamine, TMS or ECT may help him. He has been approved for everything. He just needs to decide to spend the money and take the time off work. I have been encouraging him to do so while he is young and has few responsibilities and he can always go to grad school to get back onto the "treadmill" if he needs to take some time off. Not that he ever needs to get back on the treadmill if he doesn't want to. But I don't want him to think that doing ECT and needing time off to heal is fatal to his work prospects so that it feels "over" if it doesn't work. I want him to feel he has options no matter how the treatments work out. We shall see what he decides to try next.
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 07/17/18 01:26 AM

Sounds like there is hope for a brighter future. Thanks for updating us.

Is your son getting enough sleep? Is he eating right? Has he been tested for Vitamin D-3, B-12, and low thyroid issues? (Those deficiencies mimic depression too.)
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 07/17/18 03:16 PM

Thanks for the suggestions. We are waiting to be contacted by his psychiatrist. They made DS sign a HIPAA waiver as a condition of not being hospitalized. So we assume we will hear from his psychiatrist this week. If not, we will ask DS for permission to call his psychiatrist ourselves.
Posted By: Oblivious2678

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 07/20/18 03:11 AM

Hoping for the best for you and your DS. I’m confident that you will be the family rock that you’ve always been. Please continue to lean on us for strength.
Posted By: catperson

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 07/20/18 12:45 PM

I am a big believer in a person's innate need to be 'something.' Why I think this generation's in a lot of trouble. Why? Because 90% of what/who they are is superficial. They have nothing to back their 'value' on other than what people think of them. Why I think boot camps are good for kids run amok - they are forced to ACCOMPLISH something, even if they're not a willing participant. My guess is he believes his 'spot' on earth isn't being held by anyone worthy of taking up that space. Is there any way the two of you can take a week or two off this summer or this fall and just go somewhere? If you have some land, go there and build a shed. If you have access to a lake, go there and learn how to fly fish or something. If none of that, then just go hiking/camping from one major location to another. Help him ACCOMPLISH something, and that emptiness in his soul will start to be filled with stuff he knows he did, he's capable of, he accomplished.

I know a kid (back then) who my DD28 dated in high school; rich kid, snotty, never did anything of value but spend his dad's money. When they graduated, he bought a bicycle and supplies, and rode that back all the way from the Gulf Coast to Canada. He ended up disheveled, sick, and weak, but he made it. And had a LOT of solitary time to think about things. When he came home, he came out and started the journey to becoming a woman (who he now is).

I'm not trying to say that's your son's issue, of course. Just that him accomplishing something, bucking the norm, getting away from expectations, that allowed him to be honest with himself, and to figure out what really matters to him.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 07/20/18 05:02 PM

Thanks Cat. I think you have a good idea. Not sure what would help DS feel he accomplished something. I am guessing if I asked he would say there is nothing.

If you had asked me at his age, I would have said "have lots of sex with a woman I don't have to pay to do it". Not sure that doing it would have helped, but not doing it sure left me broken.

I think the problem is that there is nothing that DS wants to accomplish. I am the one who fears he can't. He has confidence he could if he tried, but he can't summon the energy to try because he doesn't care if he accomplishes anything or not. He made All-State academics in basketball his senior year, got into a top ten engineering school, graduated on time despite being in a fraternity and having more of a social life and more of a sex life than almost any other engineer, got a great job, moved himself to the other side of the country and got a great performance review after his first year working. If he does not feel that any of that was an accomplishment (and he doesn't - although maybe it just isn't what he finds important), I am not sure what I can suggest that would help. If he doesn't want to be an engineer, doesn't want to work in an office, and wants to be a farmer or a logger or a plumber or a woodworker, we are all for that. I will make sure he knows that.

But we have been telling him his whole life that we love him no matter what and he doesn't have to follow any particular path for us to love him. Still, something to raise in our next conversation. Thanks for giving me food for thought.
Posted By: catperson

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 07/20/18 08:08 PM

Well, that's why I suggested that you go get him and take him somewhere. Depressed people aren't very good at getting themselves out of it. They need help. Be his help.
Posted By: Chrysalis

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 07/21/18 01:17 AM

A beautiful, restful week would be down to Ashland to take in the Shakespeare Festival, on to the Redwoods and then to Redding, turn around and repeat. There's a cave tour somewhere along there.The forest is so healing. Conversely, it's less than a day up to the rain forest in Olympic National Park. There's a nice lodge at Lake Quinault and another at Kalaloch. Amazing hiking in the rain forest, and then a sandy beach with giant driftwood. That could be done in a long weekend.
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 07/21/18 03:44 AM

I would also suggest a weekend of activity, rock climbing, hiking, run a marathon, etc. Something to get him moving and be involved.

Does your son have life goals for 5 years, 10 years, and going forward? Where does he want to be then? Who does he want to be in 10 or 20 years?
Posted By: catperson

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 07/21/18 02:13 PM

Maybe getting him the book Total Money Makeover. It also is uplifting and talks about writing down goals.
Posted By: whatsupdoc?

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 07/22/18 09:35 AM

Originally Posted by holdingontoit

Well, I guess God gave me the life I have lived so that I would be here for DS in this moment. If we can get him through this, it will all have been worth it.


this. Not that you are responsible for his choices or actions, but your life experiences and fatherly love make you uniquely qualified to help him. If he will accept it.
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 07/23/18 03:01 AM

How is your son doing? And how are you, Hold?
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 07/23/18 01:16 PM

Originally Posted by Blair
Does your son have life goals for 5 years, 10 years, and going forward? Where does he want to be then? Who does he want to be in 10 or 20 years?


No. I am not sure he expects to still be around then. That is the issue. He doesn't see the point of trying to achieve an objective since life is empty no matter what you accomplish.

The current plan is for him to get TMS. Working on whether we can get insurance coverage. He already got approval for therapy sessions weekly until the end of 2019, which to me is a "bad" sign in that he must be seriously ill if insurance already approved sessions for such a long period of time. But maybe a "good" sign that insurance will think it is worth to pay for TMS for 4 - 6 weeks to hopefully avoid a year of weekly therapy sessions plus a year of meds. We shall see. If insurance does not cover it, he and I will split the cost. I told him not to allow cost to prevent him from signing up for what he needs.
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 07/24/18 02:17 AM

That sounds like a plan, for counseling and TMS. Is the counselor a life coach as well? Or can you find one that is specialized in both area of life management?
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 07/26/18 01:39 PM

DS going to his first meeting with the TMS doctor today. DS called us last night to warn us that if the TMS does not work, he plans to commit suicide. He has been researching methods. We are terrified. I wrote the TMS doctor to warn him. We need to get DS's psychiatrist to get us a copy of the HIPAA waiver. Yikes!
Posted By: Oblivious2678

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 07/26/18 02:38 PM

Wow. Thinking of you and hoping for progress today.
Posted By: TC_Manhattan

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 07/26/18 02:39 PM

This is so tough, Hold. I wish I had words of solace for you. Hearing this would be terrifying.

Does your DS feel any sense of obligation to you, his family? The heartbreak and self-recriminations such an act would inflict on those he loves most?

And the huge investment of his years of study and preparation, and the incumbent support you all provided so he could get this far?

In desperation, is guilt an option?

Gawd......
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 07/26/18 03:22 PM

Originally Posted by holdingontoit
DS going to his first meeting with the TMS doctor today. DS called us last night to warn us that if the TMS does not work, he plans to commit suicide. He has been researching methods. We are terrified. I wrote the TMS doctor to warn him. We need to get DS's psychiatrist to get us a copy of the HIPAA waiver. Yikes!


Hold have you though about getting on a plane and going out there. Perhaps attempt to talk him into coming home with you?
Posted By: whatsupdoc?

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 07/26/18 04:54 PM

I am not a professional, but it sounds like your poor son is in need of in house treatment.

He has thoughts
He has a history
He has a timeline
He is mapping out a plan.

That puts him at a very high risk. You can be supportive of his treatment and care, but you can not control, in person or at a distance, his actions and choices.
I really hope the treatment works for him.
Posted By: mgellan

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 07/26/18 05:34 PM

Seems to me you need to call and bring in the troops to intervene!

https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

Mg
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 07/26/18 06:56 PM

Yes, we are taking steps to contact his psychiatrist and see what is necessary to have him involuntarily committed. He may hate us for that but I would rather he hate us than have him be gone.

It is like responding to adultery. Marriage can survive anger but not ongoing adultery. Our relationship with him can survive his anger but not his suicide.
Posted By: Chrysalis

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 07/26/18 07:30 PM

Hold, it is a good thing that he is telling you what he is thinking and planning. My son talked around and hid what he was thinking. If you do have hi committed you need to make sure he stays hospitalized and that he is not discharged too soon. Insurance companies can be ruthless about cutting people off of mental health hospitalizations. If you don't have a highly recommended hospital from his therapist, you may want to take a look at the Neuropsyciatric Institute at UCLA.
Posted By: NewEveryDay

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 07/26/18 10:13 PM

Yes I’m grateful too hold he is comfortable to talk it through with you. I’m praying for you and your family.

hug
Posted By: MaidUpName

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 07/26/18 10:23 PM

Hold, I wish there was something I could say that might help but I know that there really isn't.

The best I can offer is heartfelt prayers from this side of the pond.

MUN
Posted By: catperson

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 07/27/18 02:07 AM

Can you not go there? Tonight?
Posted By: Chrysalis

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 07/27/18 05:24 AM

Hold, I'm with cat. I think this boy needs you there NOW and that you should get on the next plane and be there for as long as it takes to help him. This is an emergency and it is time to take FMLA time to save him if you can. There are so many things I wish I had done differently.
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 07/27/18 05:33 AM

Please take emergency family leave. The firm should allow for that when it is truly neded. And you need it. Your son needs you.

Hugs, Hold. Know that we are all thinking of you and your family and hoping for the best.
Posted By: Chrysalis

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 07/27/18 07:31 AM

Hold, my son didn’t make it. Yours might. Please get on that plane.
Posted By: Chrysalis

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 07/28/18 03:46 AM

Hold, worried about you and your boy. Please check in when you can.
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 07/28/18 05:27 AM

Yes me too. I have checked in 10 times today looking for an update.
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 07/28/18 08:17 PM

Yes, please...
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 07/30/18 01:17 PM

Hold has'nt logged on since last Thursday afternoon around 2:00. I am pretty worried. frown
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 07/30/18 01:52 PM

Sorry to make you guys wait and worry. DS did not respond to texts for a couple of days. TMS doctor did not respond to emails. Finally last night TMS doctor replied that DS gave him HIPAA waiver so he can talk to us. TMA doctor does not think DS is intending to commit suicide soon. TMS doctor realizes it is serious and will be on lookout for any change. DS texted last night. Apologized for the delay.

Mrs H is flying to DS this coming weekend. She and her Mom are going back a month from now. We will make sure one or the other of us visits monthly. We will develop our relationship with the TMS doctor. We are not ignoring this or wishing it away. We are praying. That the TMS works or that DS decides to live even if it doesn't. We keep stressing that medicine advances and something incurable today may be curable a year or 2 from now. We tell DS not to implement a permanent solution to what is likely to eventually be a temporary problem. Painful. Has been ongoing a long time. But should not be life threatening. Heck, he lives in Oregon. Pot is legal. No need for him to be stressed.

Thanks for all the support. Friday we drove to Boston and back to see a new eye doctor for Mrs H. Very professional and knowledgable. Seems there is nothing to be done to fix her eye except get her thyroid under control. even then, the symptoms may not go away. But if we get the thyroid levels under control, then Mrs H might be a candidate for cosmetic surgery in a year or two.

I am asking my PCP to go on a new AD med. My cousin suggested it as it worked for her. My buddy the psychiatrist also thought it worth trying if I have never taken a drug from this "family".

So we have lots of moving pieces in the Hold family but overall very blessed. I have a good job. DS has a good job. Mrs H loves her job and it gives her the flexibility to travel and see DS whenever she needs to. And DD is rocking her summer internship. So she will likely graduate on time with a good job too. She may move to Portland as the place she works this summer has an office there that houses part of her business unit. We think that would be excellent if DS decides to stay there. I told him to keep this job while he explores all this treatment. He has good benefits and if he needs a "break" he can go to grad school after the treatment is completed if he wants to shake things up or cover over a gap in employment. Starting a new job or moving cities seems a bad idea to me until we get his psych treatment under control.

Again, really appreciate all the concern.
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 07/30/18 02:02 PM

Thanks Hold. Glad everyone is ok.
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 07/30/18 11:13 PM

Thank you for checking in. It is good that you have a plan. Change takes time. smile
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 08/01/18 03:48 PM

I was very stressed this morning. Told Mrs H it had nothing to do with her behavior, just work issues and her health issues and DS's mental health issues etc. My cell phone died. My car needs to be repaired.
Was "funny" to watch all the looks run across her face. Then she just said "OK".
It is so much easier to navigate life and our marriage when I simply do not care as much about her reactions. And it isn't even any lonelier. It was far more lonely when I was trying to have sex and getting rejected. Trying to hold her hand and getting rejected. Now I don't ask for much and when I do ask for affection I rarely get rejected.
Posted By: TC_Manhattan

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 08/01/18 04:29 PM

Progress..
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 08/07/18 02:36 PM

Another incident that I think shows progress.

Mrs H returned late last night from visiting DS. I was asleep when she arrived. This morning she got up early to get ready for work and did not speak with me. Eventually I said "welcome home" in a lighthearted voice. She snapped angrily "I am very mad at you for how you treated me yesterday". eek dunno

Mentally trying to remember what I did that was so awful. I texted her several times during the day yesterday to ask about her flight details. She never replied. Finally she called my cell. I was busy with something important at work so I admit I was somewhat distracted. But I tried my best to pay attention to her. I asked her how DS was. She said they had a great weekend hiking and biking. I said "great, does that mean you and I could do some of those things when you get back?" She said that her hip was feeling much better since she got the cortisone injection, so yes she is now available for outdoor activities. I said "wonderful, because it doesn't feel good to be jealous of your son". Then she arrived at the supermarket to do some grocery shopping for DS and we hung up.

So now I am wondering what is bothering her. My being distracted when she calls me at work does annoy her, but not usually to the extent of sending me to the doghouse afterward. So I asked her what I did that was so terrible. She said that she could not believe I accused her of defecating on me. Me: What? Her: Yesterday you told me that you think I treat you like crap. Me: when? Her: When you complained that I don't hike with you. You accused me of horrible things. Now in my mind I am having a flashback to our years of MC. All the arguments over what actually happened and never agreeing. I am NEVER going back there.

I told her I love her and I don't enjoy when she is upset, but I am never having these pointless arguments over what happened in the past. We remember the conversation differently. She told me that what I said hurt her feelings. I repeated that I don't like causing her to feel bad, but I did not concede that I said what she accused me of saying. She got very upset and said she can't handle these negative emotions at the start of the day and got in her car and left for work.

Back in the MC days I would have been devastated by her leaving in a huff. Today I was partly angry and partly amused. These days I refuse to get sent to the doghouse. She may say "go there" but I no longer listen to her.

I dropped my car off at the repair shop. Walked toward the bus stop to go to work. Realized the bus stop is in front of the supermarket so I went inside and bought some fat free greek yogurt for breakfast. Mrs. H told me that a buttered bagel is not healthy and I need protein for breakfast. So I texted her that I got healthy yogurt for breakfast so I can stick around a long time to annoy her. She texted me back a cute emoji.

So I think that went well. Maybe she expected me to fold up my tent and crumble at her feet when she complained. Maybe she thinks that my asking to go on a hike means she is back in control and has the power in our relationship. Doesn't matter what she expected. What matters is that I stood up to her and remained true to myself in the face of her provocation. And she was fine afterward.
Posted By: catperson

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 08/07/18 10:23 PM

Nice improvement!
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 08/08/18 04:01 AM

That IS improvement! (And way to get a greek yogurt instead a chocolate-covered Bear Claw!)
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 08/08/18 01:47 PM

She was cold again last night and this morning. Maybe it is just stress over DS. Maybe it is fear that I am no longer subject to her emotional manipulation.

I was pleasant. Not because I want to earn back her favor. I am at core a pleasant person. No, I just don't allow her moods to affect me anymore.

She made the rules for this marriage. For 20 years I complained and fought to change the rules. Now I have accepted the rules. Now she is the one who doesn't appreciate when her unhappiness seems to be irrelevant to me. It is not irrelevant. I don't like it when she is upset. But she made clear that, in our marriage at least, neither spouse is responsible for trying to do what they can to improve their partner's emotional state. it is up to each of us to manage our emotional state on our own. So I am merely allowing her the privilege of living by the rules she insisted on. And yes, I do get a bit of schaudenfraude satisfaction that, now that the shoe is on the other foot and she is the one coming to me for support, she does not enjoy being on the receiving end of her own prescription.
Posted By: TC_Manhattan

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 08/08/18 03:03 PM

My guess is that Mrs. Hold is stressed about your DS.
Give her time and perhaps she will share her concerns, preferably sooner than later.

Anything you can say or do to encourage her sharing?

Hang in there, Hold..
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 08/08/18 03:33 PM

Yes, I think she is stressed about DS. I am as well.

Anything I can say or do to encourage her sharing? I will ask her what is on her mind. Not if anything is bothering her. Just what is on her mind. We shall see if she decides to open up.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 08/16/18 11:53 PM

Going away for over a week. Mrs H and I had dinner together which we rarely do on weeknights. Mrs H encouraged me to enjoy the time with DD. I intend to.

Things at work are rocky. I am even more seriously depressed than usual. Asking my doctor to change my meds.

No news on DS. He seems OK on the outside but he seemed OK all this time. No further news from the doctor. Apparently it takes a LONG time to get the procedure approved by insurance. Mrs H is going to visit him next month. I am visiting the month after. And then God willing we will be together for Thanksgiving.

Mrs H and I bicker more than ever. I think it bothers her that I am not under her thumb. When she is prickly to me I am prickly back instead of being submissive. She doesn't like that. Not my problem. Which is sad for the marriage, but that is where we are. A few nights ago she looked at me. Sad look. I asked her what was wrong. She said she did not know what to do. Toward me. I said "you just be you". She said OK but I could see she was disappointed. She knows that her being her will not endear her to me. But she can't bring herself to act differently. That is OK, neither can I. She is starting to see how difficult it is to live with disappointment day after day. She feels guilty for being part of my pain. She feels guilty for not being able to help DS with his pain. I think she even realizes that her not helping me with my pain made it harder for DS to deal with his pain. Sucks to be her. I have sympathy as an intellectual matter but not as an emotional matter.
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 08/17/18 12:00 AM

Originally Posted by holdingontoit
....... I have sympathy as an intellectual matter but not as an emotional matter.


Interesting observation. I can certainly relate.
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 08/17/18 12:02 AM

She probably has no idea what to do about how she feels.

I'm glad your DS haa stabilized for now. Stay on top of him with the communication. Insurance does take a ling time to approve things. You might have to call the doctor and insurance every 3-4 days.

Are you feeling overwhelmed and exhausted from handling all of the extra stress? Could that be contributing to your depression feelings?
Posted By: TC_Manhattan

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 08/17/18 01:47 PM

Keep on keeping on, Hold.

Much of your bickering is probably a stress response from all the stuff you've got at work and the stress from DS.

Usually, added external pressures tend to exacerbate old behavioral patterns.
Don't blame Mrs. Hold. Don't blame yourself.

Just ride the wave for now...

Oh, and sending my best hopes for an expedient positive resolution for your crises.
Posted By: Oblivious2678

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 08/17/18 07:20 PM

^^^What they both said.^^^

Hang in there brother. Weather the storm. It will pass.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 08/19/18 03:59 AM

Heard from the doctor yesterday. DS is not following up on getting the treatment procedure approved. So now we have to figure out how to nudge him in that direction without breaking the only connections that he says hold him back form committing suicide. I think this is on me because I fear Mrs H cannot address it with the necessary nuance and with a real time understanding of how her words might affect DS. She will be the first to say she often puts her foot in her mouth when discussing her feelings toward her loved ones. Her reflexive need to protect herself at all costs often kicks in and pushes her to say things she regrets. We cannot afford that here.
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 08/19/18 04:34 AM

You get to follow up with DS then. It won't be easy, but you will be able to do it.
Posted By: NewEveryDay

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 08/19/18 11:50 AM

Is it something that given the circumstances you can work with his insurance to get approved on his behalf? The identification information they ask before they talk to you, you’ll have. It may be an intimidating part that could scare him off.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 08/30/18 12:12 PM

DS is not following up on his treatments and not returning my calls. Argh! He spoke to Mrs H yesterday, but she does not discuss treatment. Hopefully just a bump in the road. I got this.
Posted By: catperson

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 08/30/18 05:13 PM

Do you have 'rights' to talk to his therapist?
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 08/31/18 12:00 AM

Yes, DS signed a HIPAA release and we have received emails from DS's therapist. That is how I know DS has not followed up with his treatment. Next step is to communicate with DS and find out why he has not moved forward.
Posted By: whatsupdoc?

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 09/01/18 01:24 AM


I'm so sorry this situation has not improved. You may have to start seeking out alternative steps. What does his therapist suggest as possible things that you can do? I know just being supportive is a big one.

I understand his depression may sit on him and be as painful as any physical malady.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 09/04/18 02:18 PM

Spoke to DS last night for the first time in several weeks. He had been ducking my call. I asked him about the treatment. Clear he has no intention of pursuing it. Mrs H going out there this weekend. I go out next month. Then we all converge on the grandparents for Thanksgiving.

I know we are showing our love but love is not enough. He wants to die notwithstanding our love. Not sure how to motivate him to try to reduce the pain. Not sure how I give him hope that reducing the pain is possible.

I wrote to my doctor and asked for a new med in a family of meds I have never tried before. I need to lead by example/
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 09/04/18 11:45 PM

It is a great idea to write for your doctor's advice also.
Posted By: Kayla

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 09/05/18 05:05 PM

Hold - how much extra-curricular reading/audible-books listening?

There are two books I would recommend in this order (they are both on Audible too):
The Hacking of the American Mind by Robert Lustig
The Mind Gut Connection by Emeran Mayer

The reason I'd suggest these, is how the diet and stress effect the mind through the gut. You might recall K-man's family has dealt with depression and gut problems for generations. My own family has it's own brand of crazy.

I'm appalled that a therapist would stick such a catastrophic label on a client on the first appointment without any testing. Fire that guy. That's reminiscent of what happened to K-man. I have no respect for that kind of so-called professional.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 09/05/18 05:57 PM

Kayla: Thanks for the suggestions. Mrs. H is a big reader and likes to send books. She has sent me 2 self-help books recently. I imagine she will like the idea of sending a couple of books to DS.
Posted By: Kayla

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 09/05/18 07:00 PM

The Mind Gut Connection is a pretty in-depth medical-type book about how the bacteria and habitat of the gut get damaged and that diseases that we used to think of as "in the brain" - like depression and anxiety are actually in the gut - the hormones that contribute to mental wellness that communicate with the brain. Fix the gut - heal the mind.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 09/05/18 09:40 PM

Worth trying.
The doctor agreed to give me a med from a new family. Older. More side effects. But one I have never tried before. And it worked for my cousin when she was treated in-patient.
Wish me luck.
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 09/06/18 04:17 AM

Fingers crossed, Hold. It's for your son.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 09/06/18 12:39 PM

Thanks Blair.
Posted By: catperson

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 09/07/18 04:06 PM

I'm proud of you for working to fix YOUR situation.
Posted By: whatsupdoc?

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 09/10/18 06:44 PM

http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/
https://www.crisistextline.org/
http://www.suicidehotlines.com/
https://www.befrienders.org
https://www.cnn.com/2018/09/10/health/suicide-call-center-trnd/index.html

If I could be so bold, I located these resources from the last article @ cnn.com published today. I know your son probably has had this information presented before.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 09/11/18 11:21 AM

Thanks WuD. Good to know. DS is resisting our encouragement to get help. He is not communicating with his doctor. Very frustrating. So good to have more options to offer to him.
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 09/12/18 01:21 AM

How are the new meds working for you?
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 09/12/18 01:31 PM

Blair, thanks for asking.

Label says fatigue and dry mouth are 2 most likely side effects. Felt lots of fatigue over the weekend when I first started taking it. Not so bad now, a week later. Dry mouth is noticeable but not debilitating. I work in an office with plenty of water fountains and coffee stations so keeping hydrated is not a problem.

No detectable impact on my mood, but they say it takes a couple of weeks at least to kick in. So we shall see. I appreciate the concern.
Posted By: Oblivious2678

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 09/13/18 01:40 AM

Glad you seem to have battled through the side effects. Hoping you now start seeing benefits with your mood.
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 09/13/18 04:12 AM

Thanks for the update. You're kind of in the "wait and see mode" for a few weeks. Hang in there.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 09/24/18 01:18 PM

Rollercoaster weekend with Mrs H.

Saturday night we went on a "date" to an ice hockey game (her idea). She was very warm and affectionate. Great evening.

Sunday morning we were getting ready to go have lunch with my parents. Just got my car back from the shop so I needed some time to get it ready. Halfway through she came outside and sat down in the passenger seat. I said "did I say I was ready?" Now, by way of background, last week we had an incident. She gave me 3 tasks to do simultaneously while we were rushing to get somewhere by a particular time. When we got near to leaving time, she came out and sat in the passenger seat. I told her that triggers me to be very anxious and rush through the tasks and make mistakes. So I asked her to stay inside and not get into the car until I said I was ready. Anyway, yesterday she got in a total huff over the tone with which I said "did I say I was ready?" She was distant and huffy the entire day. She said she expected an apology. I told her that I would try to modulate my tone in the future, but that an entire day of being huffy over one remark was disproportionate. That only got her more huffy.

She said she never speaks to me in that tone. I said "yes, you do, all the time". She asked why I didn't call her out on it. I told her that when I do, she gets all huffy for long periods, so it isn't worth it to me to complain. She said "oh, right, so it is all my fault." I said we both make mistakes. I own my part. She admits that she often "puts her foot in her mouth" and says things that are insulting. I told her that the difference between us is that I respond to her remarks by laughing, and she responds by going into a huff and trying to send me to the doghouse for extended periods. While I am willing to admit my mistakes and apologize for them, I am not willing to be sent to the doghouse.for extended periods over minor errors. The old me was willing to be subjected to that treatment but the new me is not so desperate and is just going to disengage. She told me that I have anger issues and needed to work on them. We then stopped for dinner on the way home. Very minimal small talk at the table, mostly about the food sitting in front of us. And no talking the rest of the evening. The way I see it, her loss.
Posted By: catperson

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 09/24/18 02:22 PM

Keep it up and she just might learn some things. wink
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 09/24/18 07:44 PM

Nah, these feelings and behaviors are pretty much set in stone at this point.

I said something like "this is just an area of mismatch between us and between our families. My family lets insults slide and doesn't take offense so quickly, but we are not so careful to control our shrugs, eye rolls, and tone of voice. You guys take offense more easily, and you tend to watch your own tone more consciously." She got all huffy and upset that I blamed this all on her and her family. I told her I never said the fault was on one side, or that one side was better or worse than the other. I just said that we are different and it was an area of mismatch on both sides.

Now, if I were more deeply and thoroughly in love with my wife, I might make Herculean efforts to control my natural tendency to be expressive. I have no poker face and she knows it. But maybe it would be worth it to me to build one if I desperately wanted to make sure I never offended her. As it is, that is not worth the effort to me. On the other hand, she has absolutely no intention of being more tolerant of any perceived slights or to reduce the period of "punishment" when they occur. Which is part of why I am not enthusiastic about expending immense effort to prevent any from occurring. It isn't going to produce enough of a payoff.
Posted By: catperson

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 09/24/18 08:26 PM

I know how you feel.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 09/26/18 01:21 PM

My car just came back from the shop. I feel it is on its last legs. No more repairs. And then last night Mrs H's car died. Two new cars at the same time. With little or no trade in value for our current cars. Oh well, first world problems. At least it is the end of the month so we should be able to get a decent deal on something.
Posted By: TC_Manhattan

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 09/26/18 02:36 PM

Have you considered a Certified Used car? Saves upfront cost as well as initial depreciation, and most manufacturers offer to extend the warranty beyond that of the same car brand new. Just a thought..

I am on my third one. The last two each made it past 200,000 mi. before I junked #1, and gave #2 to the neighbor girl who needed a car. She ended up with my Sebring convertible which she drove for 3 years before it died. She loved driving that ragtop.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 09/26/18 03:49 PM

Both of our cars are dying at about 130,000 miles. I was hoping for 150,000. I tried to convince Mrs H to accept one of the cars that is rated highest for reliability and long life, but she prioritizes other factors.

Yes, I only buy used cars. I bought my 2004 in 2011. Got 7 years of use with only 5 years of payments so not bad. Mrs H drives about 20,000 miles per year. We bought her 2011 in early 2013 with 17,000 miles so she got 113,000 miles out of it in less than 6 years. At least we finished paying for it last spring so we don't owe anything on it. But now we will have car payments on both our cars every month for the next 5 years. On a happier note, we are done paying for DS's car in November. So we will only have 4 car payments for 1 month. Then back down to 3 as we have been carrying for the past 7 years. And once DD has been working a year we will stop having any payments on her car and be down to just 2.

I just pray every day that I remain employed for the next 5 years.
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 09/27/18 12:35 AM

It's time to get vehicles that are functional and reliable over the cuteness factor.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 09/27/18 02:57 PM

Good news is that I got the car started last night and drove it home, but steam was coming out of the engine compartment by the time I got there. Went to Walmart in my car and got a bottle of radiator leak fluid. Put it into Mrs Hold's car and seems to have stopped the steam. So hopefully we can drive her car to the dealer on Saturday and trade it in for a newer car. Meanwhile I am back to taking the bus to work.

Bad news is that DS told us last night that it was sunny and warm where he lives, but there is never any sunshine in his life. And then he got off the phone quickly. So glad I am going out there soon.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/01/18 05:06 PM

Picked out a replacement car for Mrs H on Saturday. Today working on the financing and insurance. Should pick it up tomorrow. Trying to decide whether to trade in her old car with 130,00 miles or keep it for when my car with 130,000 miles needs service. We never had an "extra" car in my family.

Mrs H was considerate and agreed to get a car that cost a few thousand less than her old one. She wanted a smaller car since we don't have kids and teammates to drive around. So I can probably get the extended warranty added in and pay about the same per month as I paid last time. And she is happy because it is the highest trim level and comes with all the gadgets that they had back in 2016.
Posted By: NewEveryDay

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/01/18 05:28 PM

Sounds like a win-win hold. I think it would be cheaper to take an Uber when you need than to keep up insurance and maintenance on an extra car, and your kids probably have friends who would love to buy a well cared for older car. Also when I researched it last year it wasn’t worth it.

https://www.consumerreports.org/cro...uying-an-extended-car-warranty/index.htm

Her car you’re replacing sounds like it’s several years newer than yours, which one do you like better?
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/01/18 08:41 PM

My car has a functioning radio. Hers does not (and cannot be made functional for less than $1,250 - I tried buying a replacement radio on Ebay for $100 and the car kept thinking the replacement radio was stolen so it refused to work - even the dealer could not get it to work). Mine is a compact sedan and fun to drive. Hers is a 3-row SUV. Very useful when you have to haul a swim team and their gear to an away meet. Overkill for commuting to work.

I figure if I get another year or 2 out of mine, then I can get a newer sedan. And we won't have 2 car payments that start and end in the same year.

As for the extended warranty, we got it on my son's car. After 4 years it covered most of a $4,000 repair bill. For me it is insurance. If I spend $1,500 and nothing on the car breaks, then I am out $1,500. I can tolerate that hit paying over 60 months. If I don't get the warranty and I have to lay out $2,000 or $3,000 all at once to fix the car, that jacks up my unpaid credit card balance. Or I don't do all of the repairs because I don't want to lay out $3,000, so I drive with parts that need replacing. I can see not needing it if you are buying a new car. I am buying a used car that is 2 or 3 years old, and will be paying it off over 60 months. That means, if I don't buy the warranty, that I am hoping for no major repairs through the time that the car is 7 or 8 years old and has 130,000 miles on it (buying it with 27,000 miles and Mrs H drives about 20,000 miles per year). I think it is optimistic to expect we won't need to replace things like struts by that time. Struts on her car could be $1,500 all by themselves.
Posted By: Chrysalis

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/02/18 01:03 AM

I got an extended warranty through my car insurer for about half what the dealer charges.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/02/18 12:50 PM

Chrys: Thanks. Yes, I am shopping the price so I don't pay the dealer more than what I would pay on the outside. Shopping the financing with my credit union. Getting kbb data on value of our trade in. It is a bit of work not to get totally ripped off at the dealership. But so worth it.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/03/18 05:11 PM

Got the car. Came with financing approved from the credit union (had to call when they opened this morning to get that done) and NADA value for the trade in. Had my title with release of lien. Ended up that the same bank that loaned us the money for the old car offered the best rate for the new one. 0.1% less than the credit union. I am guessing that is their standard "beat the credit union" deal but if you can't show the credit union approval you may not get that rate. They also tried to talk me down far below NADA and KBB value but I just sat there and said "do you want to sell me your car, then you have to pay me what mine is worth". And after all that, they did not even try to sell me add-ons. Which shows you what a rip off those are - when you come in all prepared they feel you would be insulted if they tried to shaft you with that other stuff.

Then I had to go to our Town Hall to pay off this year's personal property tax on our cars (this past Monday was tax day) so they could register the new one. Busy morning but now Mrs H has a newer car with less mileage and a working radio. So she is happy.

And I am feeling very blessed and privileged because I had the money in my checking account to pay the property taxes in cash.
Posted By: NewEveryDay

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/03/18 05:16 PM

Congratulations Hold, enjoy! I’m glad you didn’t keep the spare car, I hear they add up!
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/19/18 01:53 PM

Interesting conversation during this weeks business trip / vacation with Mrs H. Shows how far into denial we both are. We went to dinner with the President of the client company. Mrs H sat next to him. They were locked in conversation. At one point I thought I overheard them talking about the role of sex in marriage. But then the sales manager asked me a question and I got distracted. When we got back to the hotel, Mrs H remarked. did you know the President was a virgin when he got married? He agrees with us that sex is not such a big deal." I looked at her like she had grown a second head. I said "do not include me in that we. I believe sex is a very important part of marriage. In our marriage, it has been a disastrously negative and painful part. But an important part nonetheless."

This conversation came 3 days after I turned her down when she offered to have sex the first morning at the hotel. Do you remember how much I yearned for vacation sex years ago? How crushed I was when we didn't have vacation sex? How much of an issue that was during MC? I guess she remembers too, because that first morning she rolled toward me and said "we are on vacation" and offered to have sex. I said "look I appreciate the offer, but you don't really want to and you don't get anything out of it so I would rather not." She replied "well, I wouldn't say that I don't want to, but on the not getting anything out of it, well, I don't have anything for you on that". What a mess.
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/19/18 02:21 PM

Originally Posted by holdingontoit
Interesting conversation during this weeks business trip / vacation with Mrs H. Shows how far into denial we both are. We went to dinner with the President of the client company. Mrs H sat next to him. They were locked in conversation. At one point I thought I overheard them talking about the role of sex in marriage. But then the sales manager asked me a question and I got distracted. When we got back to the hotel, Mrs H remarked. did you know the President was a virgin when he got married? He agrees with us that sex is not such a big deal." I looked at her like she had grown a second head. I said "do not include me in that we. I believe sex is a very important part of marriage. In our marriage, it has been a disastrously negative and painful part. But an important part nonetheless."

This conversation came 3 days after I turned her down when she offered to have sex the first morning at the hotel. Do you remember how much I yearned for vacation sex years ago? How crushed I was when we didn't have vacation sex? How much of an issue that was during MC? I guess she remembers too, because that first morning she rolled toward me and said "we are on vacation" and offered to have sex. I said "look I appreciate the offer, but you don't really want to and you don't get anything out of it so I would rather not." She replied "well, I wouldn't say that I don't want to, but on the not getting anything out of it, well, I don't have anything for you on that". What a mess.


I give her points for honesty to you and for your honesty to her.....as for her discussing sex with the client??????!!!!!!! That blows my mind. And yes....it is a mess.
Posted By: Fergie

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/19/18 02:42 PM

Originally Posted by holdingontoit
"He agrees with us that sex is not such a big deal."
So, if you can find more people to agree with you that sex *is* important in a marriage, then she must change her tune? Or will she say regardless of public opinion, it is a personal choice and she is sticking to it? My bet is on the later.

Then, I'd tell her maybe she shouldn't play that card.
Posted By: Fergie

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/19/18 02:46 PM

Originally Posted by holdingontoit
"He agrees with us that sex is not such a big deal."
"Oh good, honey. Then you wouldn't mind if I got it somewhere else?"
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/22/18 03:02 AM

I have no words. Four times a day was not enough for my XH. Just.... wow.....
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/22/18 01:51 PM

I am visiting DS this coming weekend on the back end of another business trip. Last night Mrs H kept insisting that I talk to him about his mental health issues. I said I would. She said that I absolutely MUST convince him to get more treatment. I said I would try my best (and I will). Still, I wanted to help her set her expectations. i said "honey, imagine if someone said to you - if you are ever going to enjoy life, then you have to learn to enjoy sex. Even if it were true, you might find it hard to take that advice." She replied "I can't believe you brought that up again. I was just getting over the last time. I do not want to go there.

I did not dare to say "yes, I am quite clear on your unwillingness to go there."

Look, she is dealing with health problems and there is no specific treatment for her symptoms. She is going to have to learn to live with it. No fun. So I am sympathetic. But I am not going to let her flog me for failure if I cannot convince DS to get treatment. I am doing the best I can. I went to the doctor today to get approval to increase the dosage of my AD meds. The doctor said I seem to have more emotions than during previous visits, and he agreed to increase the dosage. He remembered that I said last spring that if I get "better" it might cause friction with my wife. He said that was true and he was impressed I thought of it. But he wanted to up my dosage anyway.
Posted By: catperson

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/22/18 05:21 PM

I'm glad you're making progress on your own stuff. I think your wife simply can't see that, or how, anyone else has any thoughts or feelings different from her own. Just ignore her when she tells you that you don't/didn't do enough. It's all she knows.
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/23/18 03:36 AM

Don't beat yourself up for everyone else's challenges. Do what you can and hang in there.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/29/18 03:35 PM

Spent the weekend with DS. He is determined to avoid treatment. I gave him my thoughts: basically, he hasn't tried everything, and he is either arrogant or ignorant for saying he has.

I offered to give him a list of all the families of AD meds to make sure he tries new meds from different families of chemicals (SSRI, SSNI, tricyclic, MAOI) and also tries electro-magnetic therapies (TMS, ECT). I told him any short-term disability from the magnets or electricity could be overcome by going to grad school after he heals and getting a "do over" on his career - something that won't be as easily available later in life if he waits to start the "process of elimination".

I told him that he will never get my blessing to kill himself unless and until he tries everything on my list. Which means opening up all his medical records to me so I can monitor the various attempts.

He said he thinks nothing will work because he has lead a wonderful life and been miserable. I said "that is the depression talking. Your bad feelings in the face of good experiences is evidence that you have a chemical or electrical imbalance in your brain. Feeling bad is evidence that there is something organic wrong with your brain and that you need to seek treatment to overcome it." We discussed that he is an engineer, and that engineers have protocols for dealing with system failures. Is the protocol to give up after trying 1 or 2 solutions? He had to admit it was not.

Clear I did not convince him. But I get another shot at it over Thanksgiving. Maybe I planted a seed.
Posted By: NewEveryDay

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/29/18 06:18 PM

Hold I can’t imagine how difficult these discussions must be on you both. I’m so glad your son has you there on his side.
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/29/18 10:01 PM

Keep trying, Hold. I know it's difficult. But you can do it for your son. Hugs.
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/30/18 01:04 AM

Originally Posted by holdingontoit
......He said he thinks nothing will work because he has lead a wonderful life and been miserable. I said "that is the depression talking. Your bad feelings in the face of good experiences is evidence that you have a chemical or electrical imbalance in your brain. Feeling bad is evidence that there is something organic wrong with your brain and that you need to seek treatment to overcome it." We discussed that he is an engineer, and that engineers have protocols for dealing with system failures. Is the protocol to give up after trying 1 or 2 solutions? He had to admit it was not.

Clear I did not convince him. But I get another shot at it over Thanksgiving. Maybe I planted a seed.



Hold, I think you did give him material to consider and that is important.

RE: Sometimes those with challenges are not able to comprehend as quickly or as fully as those whose minds and hearts don't have the same personal challenges.

By that I mean the learning and accepting your information make take a bit longer to acknowledge and open to the suggestions provided. But your patience and care is evident and I hope the time to absorb and heal is still in play here.

Take care,
Orchid
Posted By: Chrysalis

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/30/18 01:56 AM

Hold, are you familiar with NAMI? (National Alliance for the Mentally Ill) The have a program called Family to Family. I have not been to it, but I have heard a lot of good things about it.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/30/18 01:34 PM

Thanks for the support and suggestions. Appreciate it very much. As you know, you guys are like family to me. So glad I have this place to share things.
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/30/18 01:41 PM

Your son is very interesting to me. He does understand that he has had a wonderful life and that is evidence in his mind that if he is still not happy he must be irreparably flawed.

I am not trying to dismiss traditional meds and therapy....but in conjunction se has he ver considered some sort of intense volunteer work?
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/30/18 01:53 PM

SW: great question? Volunteer work? Yes. Intense? No. I will suggest he consider that. Thank you.
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/30/18 02:41 PM

Originally Posted by SmilingWife
Your son is very interesting to me. He does understand that he has had a wonderful life and that is evidence in his mind that if he is still not happy he must be irreparably flawed.

I am not trying to dismiss traditional meds and therapy....but in conjunction with those has he ever considered some sort of intense volunteer work?
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/30/18 03:53 PM

Volunteering is a great way to gain a better perspective as well as help others. When my kids were young, they were at Childrens' hospitals. He could make "busy kits" or search for large-size puzzle pieces.

He could help serve the homeless Thanksgiving meals in November. Sometimes they spread out the days that different shelters do them.

He could take one afternoon off one a month/week/whatever and help kids learn to read. He could hang out at the YMCA or Boys and Girls clubs on some late afternoons, evenings, or weekends when they need volunteers.
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/30/18 04:05 PM

Exactly. I am not trying to diminish the seriousness of depression, but my mom always told me the best way to get your mind off your pain is to dive in to helping others.
Posted By: Chrysalis

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/31/18 07:16 AM

Hold, as you know, my son died when he ran or fell into moving traffic, while suffering from mental illnesss and addiction to alcohol. Nothing can bring him back. My belief is that his death was a suicide.
I’m crushed at your conversations with your son that seem to imply you’d someday be ok with his choice to end his life. You won’t, ever, even if that choice helps others in the family.
Please please please tell your son, directly and honestly that his suicide woul damag3 the family in ways far beyond his control. No one gets over this.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/31/18 01:04 PM

Chrysalis: You are correct. I am not OK with him committing suicide. Everyone in our family would be crushed.

Deep down I am sure he knows I would never actually give him my blessing to kill himself. But exhorting him to get help over the past many months has not worked. Each of us making a trip to visit him to remind him how much we love him has not worked.

My argument is aimed at 2 things.

First, I am talking to his dysfunction. If I ask DS to seek help, the dysfunction jumps up and says "you are trying to get rid of me" and prevent DS from seeking help. If I tell DS "if you seek help and it fails to work, you can suicide" the dysfunction says "bah, I can overcome any treatment, bring them on so I can vanquish them". This way his dysfunction, instead of opposing treatment, welcomes treatment.

Second, I am talking to DS. He thinks nothing will work so he doesn't want to even try. I am giving him a motivation to seek treatment even if he thinks it is a waste of time. I am giving him a "reward" for going that is separate from trying to find a cure.

I am praying that one of the treatments works. If not, I will have to admit I lied to him. That will be an unpleasant and dangerous conversation. You can be sure I will seek advice here and from trained professionals before having that chat with him.
Posted By: Chrysalis

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/31/18 04:48 PM

(((((Hold)))))
Posted By: at peace

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/31/18 06:57 PM

(((((Hold)))))
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 11/01/18 12:40 AM

One treatment will help. Keep trying. For him. For you. For your family. For his friends. Never give up.

Hugs, Hold.
Posted By: catperson

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 11/07/18 03:10 AM

Is there any way you can take a leave from work and just go be with him for a month or so? Help him see some alternatives for what he's feeling, volunteer somewhere with him with the holidays coming up?
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 11/07/18 02:25 PM

Mrs H could do it. I will ask her if she is interested in doing so. However, I don't think DS would go for it. I will ask him over Thanksgiving when we are together in person.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 11/19/18 04:36 PM

Today I went in and out of the house 6 times getting ready to go to work. And I still left both cell phones at home. Today is Mrs Hold's day off work, nevertheless she was nice enough to drive to my office and bring me the phones.

When I went to the elevator to meet her, 2 female co-workers were also standing there waiting. One asked me why I was smiling. I told her "I have a great wife. She did me a big favor and drove my phones to me".
They asked me "would you wife know that you think that about her?"
I replied "I hope so."
After I retrieved the phones and thanked her, I told Mrs Hold about the conversation. She smiled and blushed. Score one for marriage!
Posted By: Miranda

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 11/19/18 05:32 PM

Cute!
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 11/19/18 10:45 PM

Love it!
Posted By: whatsupdoc?

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 11/26/18 02:42 PM

"How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a weary world." - W.S.
Posted By: Hope4us

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 11/27/18 01:07 PM

Hold I thought what may be helpful for your son. When my son was born with a very rare condition, that effects his heart, he was put in ICU in a different city far away enough so that I couldn't be with him. They had volunteers, that would just sit with the newborns and hold them. I was very grateful for that, knowing that my little one was loved on, when I couldn't do that. I met one of the guys and he told me that it gives him a sense of being useful, needed and doing something good, being responsible for a new life. Maybe doing something like that, will help your son seeing a bit of light. Hope this helps. All the best for you
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 11/27/18 03:28 PM

Thanks for the support and suggestions.
Posted By: Miranda

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 11/27/18 05:04 PM

That is SUCH a good idea. Going to a NICU or animal shelter for hands on time is SO good for the soul
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 12/31/18 04:04 PM

Wishing everyone a safe, healthy, productive and satisfying New Year.
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 12/31/18 05:50 PM

How are your kids doing, Hold?
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 01/02/19 02:32 PM

They are doing well in the "building my resume" sense. Both still struggle with inner darkness. But they are both moving forward with their lives.

DD says if she and her boyfriend can stay together during their first year apart after graduation (neither was willing to turn down a job offer to "chase" their partner), then they will get engaged and she will move to be with him (her field is more geographically flexible). So we may have some really exciting news. Scary since she moved from "never kissed a boy" to talking about marriage within about 15 months, but she has a good head on her shoulders and good self-image so if she thinks he is good for her then I trust her judgment.

DS has an super-exciting opportunity to help create a new product for a large international company. He sees it as a bad thing, because he cannot imagine that a large company doesn't have someone better suited than him to work on this project. He is scared he will fail. I think it is amazing that he got to be in the right place at the right time with the right skillset to get drafted into this endeavor at its inception. We shall see how it works out. if it works then he will probably have a great job there for a decade or more. If he fails, he can always go to graduate school and then reboot his career. I see very little downside, which is pretty amazing for an eeyore like me. But he is inside the tornado and hard to have perspective.

Thanks for asking. How are things in your world? You do an amazing job of poking people for updates on their threads (many thanks for that, btw). How about you giving us an update?
Posted By: NewEveryDay

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 01/02/19 03:58 PM

Hold what a wonderful update, Happy New Year!
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 01/03/19 02:52 AM

I am so glad to hear that your kids are doing fantastic, really. Such growth and maturity for both of them. Keep reminding DS that he will do a brilliant job, and to have fun while working on the project.
Posted By: whatsupdoc?

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 01/04/19 04:53 AM

Happy New Year, Hold.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 01/09/19 02:11 PM

DD home for last long visit before graduation and job and being even farther away and seeing her even less frequently. Great to have her around. Will be much crying when she goes back to school.

Mrs H seems to be very much in love with me. Well, except for the time she yelled at me for not caring about her. Which DD shot down quite forcefully. Anyway, Mrs H has been thanking me for standing by her and offering hugs in the morning before I leave for work. Wish i could say it means more to me than it does. Very hard for me to cast aside my resentment. I don't trust her. The yelling at me is triggering. I fear that if I let my guard down and allow my feelings toward her to return, she will stomp on them. I know she has been having health issues and she is scared. I try to cut her slack. Which is much easier to do when I don't allow her to be as close to my heart as she used to be.

Plus, her health scares don't worry me as much as she thinks they ought to because I know God is never letting me out early. So, no matter what symptoms she has and no matter what the diagnosis, I know she will pull through. Of course, I can't keep saying that to her because it loses it humorous character if stated out loud too frequently. The good news is, as I predicted, she passed her recent colonoscopy with flying colors.

We are very blessed. All our problems are first world problems. The government workers being furloughed and the contractors and the local businesses losing revenue because government workers are not getting paid have real problems. We cannot justifiably complain given all our blessings. Case in point: we are having dinner on Friday with my cousin who has needed organ transplants. She will forever have a compromised immune system because they have to turn it down so she doesn't reject the transplanted organs. If she can be upbeat, then who am I to carp about such minutiae.

Wishing everyone good health and much joy.
Posted By: NewEveryDay

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 01/09/19 02:51 PM

Hold, it’s okay to tell your wife it’s time to eliminate the AOs. It’s okay for you to need that in your home, your marriage, your safe space.

I hear you, time with the kids goes so fast and is so precious. Congratulations to her on finding a job for after graduation!
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 01/10/19 12:33 AM

Totally agree with NED. Your wife needs to calm down and not take her issues out on you (her lack of self esteem and anger about her life choices).

Have you tried Grey Rock on her during Angry Time? I think part of the reason you are resentful is your wife will say she will change and nothing happens. Plus she is being disrespectful having AO's and then trying to "nice" you back without true meaningful change on her part. Actions and words are not matching.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 01/10/19 03:12 PM

I think we should all cut Mrs H some slack. She had a procedure done that day and she was upset that I did not search the whole house for her when I came home from work. Given all her health issues the past few years, I can understand how feeling unloved after a test would be triggering for her.

Have to decide if a talk is worth it. Things most of the time are quite pleasant. She acts in ways I wish she had acted when we were first married. I am not interested in risking this progress, which exceeds anything we accomplished during marriage counselling, in the hope of getting it to be "even better". I am not willing to invest more to get "even better". I am quite concerned that complaining will result in "it will never be enough for you, will it?" Which is a legitimate question since I tend to doubt it would ever be "enough" for me to reopen my heart. When I complained about our sex life, it got worse and never recovered. I feel I only have 1 way to communicate displeasure - if I don't like staying with her then I can leave. Talking just makes things worse.

Thanks for the congratulations on DD. She is amazing. She had a summer internship all 3 years of college. None of them were obtained through the school's placement office. My wife and I got her the first. She got the 2nd and 3rd all by herself. The last one by posting her resume on Indeed and then going through all the listings to find ones she wanted that seemed relevant to her field of study. She got it and now has an offer of full time employment after graduation. The school's placement office was very impressed. They were worried because they hadn't seen much of her in 3 years and wanted to know how her job search was going. When they found out her accomplishment, they highlighted her on the school's website. Fall semester they asked her to lead one of the orientation groups for new students so she could give them a pep talk about finding jobs even if you don't see anything you want on the school's interview list. You just need to take some initiative.
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 01/10/19 10:50 PM

Hold, your patience and perspective in understanding your wife is extremely valuable. Good job holding off and cutting her slack.
Posted By: whatsupdoc?

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 01/11/19 12:31 PM

Good for your DD! She did so much for herself is awesome.

Give me the students who don't give up, who show initiative. I think most staff feel this way.
Posted By: whatsupdoc?

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 01/11/19 12:31 PM

double post
Posted By: NewEveryDay

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 01/13/19 02:47 PM

Yes Hold that’s an amazing kid you have! I hope this weekend is more peaceful, you all deserve it.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 01/24/19 02:55 PM

Hope everyone is safe and warm. We lost power for a couple of days and had a water pipe burst from the cold (I turned off the supply from the well and opened all the faucets to drain the pipes, but I forgot one of the outside faucets in the back of the house). Mrs H said it was better to have a pipe freeze than for me to go into the back yard while all the tree branches were crashing down. It sounded like we were under artillery bombardment with so many branches cracking off the trees. And many whole trees down that took power lines with them. Still we are blessed to have a warm place to escape to and good neighbors who care and enough money to pay for the repairs.

I shoveled our driveway by hand. Garage door is broken so could not use my snow thrower. Was worried that the snow would freeze solid. Took 5.5 hours. With many stops to rest and re-hydrate. Mrs H was quite the mother hen. She kept saying that I was going to have a heart attack and she would never forgive me. I used a push shovel rather than a lifting shovel so easy on my back and not as strenuous cardio-wise. Still alot of work. And was nice to see Mrs H with so much actual concern. She has given me some very good hugs lately. Not just standing there and allowing me to hug her but holding onto me very tightly. I enjoy that. My heart is still closed but I can feel the ice around the lock melting.
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 01/24/19 11:53 PM

Oh my goodness! You've been busy. Hopefully you and Mrs. H are warm and well now.
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 01/25/19 02:39 AM

Wow Hold, that is crazy and yes I hear it is dangerous to shovel ❄️ for long periods.
Posted By: Rich57

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 01/25/19 04:01 PM

Originally Posted by holdingontoit
My heart is still closed but I can feel the ice around the lock melting.

Glad to hear that the ice is melting - you have nothing but TIME for that to happen.
Posted By: Miranda

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 01/27/19 03:36 PM

You don’t have as much time as think. Just saying
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 02/05/19 05:40 PM

Spent the weekend visiting my parents. Dad out of the hospital. Mom needed help with paperwork and moral support. Dad recovered reasonably but will likely need someone to help him with tasks of daily living, and that is too much for Mom to do all by herself as she is over 80 as well. So we got help lined up for a few hours during the day and then an overnight person so Mom can sleep without worry that Dad might have an episode without anyone to help him. Mom now coming to accept that she needs to take control of their finances. The good news is that he is not objecting. Still hard for her after being taken care of by father and then husband pretty much her entire life. But she is still sharp and is more willing to accept help and advice than he ever was so she got up to speed quickly.

Then flew early Monday to meet Mrs H at the out-of-state hospital for her latest set of tests and doctor appointment. We had a nice lunch together and stopped for ice cream on the way home at a creamery we had always meant to try. She got good news that the shadow on her scan was excess bone and not another tumor. Hence the celebratory ice cream.

She continues to be warm and affectionate. I am less and less angry at myself for staying with her.
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 02/06/19 12:18 AM

I'm glad that things are looking up. Savor the good experiences. Enjoy every moment of the good stuff.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 02/19/19 02:51 PM

We had a wonderful weekend. Crashed at my sister's apartment while she and BIL and nephew were away. Mrs H found several fun activities for us. She broke a cabinet in my sister's apartment but I fixed it so got to show off my handyman skills. Much holding hands while walking around. And she even managed to buy a pair of sneakers at the flagship Bloomingdale's store for less than they cost online! I was leery of walking through Bloomie's together as very triggering for me. But she did not push for anything except the sneakers she knew were on sale and between the sale and a coupon they were substantially less than on the manufacturer's web site. So she got to shop at a fancy store and ogle the fancy clothes and buy something without breaking the bank. Nice new reality.
Posted By: Miranda

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 02/19/19 02:56 PM

Sounds so nice, Hold!!

Treasure the little times.
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 02/19/19 05:25 PM

Very nice!!
Posted By: catperson

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 02/19/19 06:33 PM

I like this, hold.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 02/20/19 12:25 AM

Who knew they have a Home Depot in Manhattan now? Literally a block away from Bloomingdale's. So I bought tools and hardware (BIL is a lifelong NYC apartment resident who owns no tools). And since Mrs H was a "good sport" for accompanying me to Home Depot (after all, she is the one who broke the cabinet), I was a "good sport" by accompanying her through Bloomingdale's. After all, we were right there anyway.

I would have preferred to buy from a small local hardware store, but the part that broke was one of those "cams" from do-it-yourself furniture and after the first local store did not have the part I figured we should head to Home Depot that I know carried that kind of thing in the hardware aisle.
Posted By: whatsupdoc?

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 02/21/19 01:44 PM

I would rather cruise HD than Bloomies. I get into a lot of trouble there. Have not been to a mall for myself in ages.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 02/27/19 05:58 PM

Amusing anecdote.
Over the past few months, I have had occasion to be away from Mrs Hold several nights. Work related travel. Visiting my parents because my Dad is sick. Every time I am away, something in the house breaks. The microwave. The printer. The garage door. The electricity goes out. Seems every time I leave her home along, that is when she needs me to fix something.
It happened again Monday night. Last night when I got home she said I am not allowed to go away without her any more. She almost said "because I need you". But she bit back the words because tough inner city people like her family never want anyone to think they are vulnerable or needy. But guess what? This morning she forgot to put her filter in place, and blurted out "be sure to take your medicine, because I need you so you have to stick around". OMG. She said it out loud!
Posted By: catperson

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 02/28/19 01:39 PM

lol

I know it's bittersweet for you because you finally walked away from sex, but I see my own marriage so much in yours in that, if my husband would take it off the table, I'd almost certainly be all in because the stress over that would be gone.
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 02/28/19 10:33 PM

The mind and heart connection outlast the physical intimacy.

So when it becomes evident that physical intimacy is a mandate for a relationship but the mind and heart don't count at all or is enough, then a valuable R can't survive.

jmo,
Orchid
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/01/19 02:35 PM

Orchid, I am confused. Are you saying that my relationship is not valuable? I think it has much value even if it falls short of my ideal in certain areas.
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/01/19 07:57 PM

Hold,

Nope, quite the opposite actually. As we age through life, our priorities change. From an infant to a toddler, to a child, teenager, young adult, middle age, older, senior citizen, etc., we change in our priorities including how we relate in marriage. Sex may have played a bigger part of our relationships in our younger days, some even married for the sex but as we age, those physical activities may get reduced for a variety of reasons in some. What does that leave?

Well the one thing that generally lasts that is how we relate with our mind, when that goes, our heart and usually by then so do we. For those whose heart goes before the mind, life is a sad state.

For some of us whose mates have less of a heart now than when we initially married, it is a very sad life experience they leave us. To be so heartless as not to care, be empathetic, kind and decent to one's family is well, not something any of us should experience and yet, some of us have.

So if we were to choose to keep in tact only 1 out of the 3 things (sex, heart or mind), which one would it be? Regardless of our choices, our bodies determine what will be our reality. At the very least we can start preparing but grooming our personalities to be prepared.

Have you ever visited a nursing home and seen the variety of personalities? How about just hanging out with senior, senior citizens and listen to their stories? One's true personalities often come out at this stage of life because what else is left? It can be an educational experience.

Side note: One of my son's friends is working in the field of patient care and geriatrics. I find it commendable that at such a young age (right out of high school), he knew that was the field of work he wanted to be in. It isn't an easy field by any means but he has learned to combine his education with his talents and personality to be a contributing person to society. I find that admirable. One of my clients has a practice in this same field of work, I met one of them by accident at the same Starbucks and introduced them to each other. I had a meeting with my client and my son's friend just happened to be there. They are now in the process of developing a work agreement. I hope it works out. smile

jmo,
Orchid
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/02/19 04:15 AM

She does need you. She has always needed you. She seems to be noticing it more now, and she isn't afraid to voice it. You ARE important. smile
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/05/19 02:32 PM

My father is dying. He had a great run. Totally healthy and had his mental faculties until age 86 or 87. Able to live unassisted until 89. It is just his time. He has drastically cut down on eating and drinking despite entreaties from my mother and the nurses.

Mrs H has been very supportive since she has been through this before. Her father died a few years ago at a much younger age. She thinks I ought to be more upset. Maybe I will be when he is gone. But I don't like seeing him wither away and lose any ability to enjoy life. I am sure I will miss him. He has always been loving and supportive. I just want his suffering to end and I think this is the only way.
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/05/19 02:43 PM

Originally Posted by holdingontoit
My father is dying. He had a great run. Totally healthy and had his mental faculties until age 86 or 87. Able to live unassisted until 89. It is just his time. He has drastically cut down on eating and drinking despite entreaties from my mother and the nurses.

Mrs H has been very supportive since she has been through this before. Her father died a few years ago at a much younger age. She thinks I ought to be more upset. Maybe I will be when he is gone. But I don't like seeing him wither away and lose any ability to enjoy life. I am sure I will miss him. He has always been loving and supportive. I just want his suffering to end and I think this is the only way.


I am sorry Hold. (((Hold))) I don’t think it is wrong to hope the suffering will end.
Posted By: silverado

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/05/19 03:23 PM

Agreed. I'm sure you have been grieving the relationship for some time, which is probably why it doesn't feel so acute at the moment. Wishing you and your family peace and your dad a peaceful transition.
Posted By: at peace

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/05/19 03:24 PM

I'm so sorry, Hold. frown Hoping your father doesn't have to experience prolonged suffering seems a very loving and compassionate response. I imagine he feels the same.

Lori
Posted By: catperson

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/06/19 01:22 AM

{{{hold}}}
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/06/19 01:46 AM

I'm so sorry. Hugs and hugs. If we were all there, we could tear some walls out or remodel your deck to keep you busy so you could funnel the pain and the loss.

Keep in mind that you are still in shock. (Plus, you've never been one to emotionally over-react.) Hang in there, one day at a time. Five minutes at a time if you have to.
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/06/19 02:10 AM

Hold,

I can feel what you are describing. It is hard and you appear to have been in preparation along with lining up support.

Allow yourself to go through this process for yourself, your father and your family. This is a journey to be shared and find the memories that will help you heal. We all have the ability to leave a legacy for those who care. hug

We are here also.

Hugz to you and your family,
Orchid
Posted By: SFB

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/06/19 02:36 AM

Originally Posted by SmilingWife
Originally Posted by holdingontoit
My father is dying. He had a great run. Totally healthy and had his mental faculties until age 86 or 87. Able to live unassisted until 89. It is just his time. He has drastically cut down on eating and drinking despite entreaties from my mother and the nurses.

Mrs H has been very supportive since she has been through this before. Her father died a few years ago at a much younger age. She thinks I ought to be more upset. Maybe I will be when he is gone. But I don't like seeing him wither away and lose any ability to enjoy life. I am sure I will miss him. He has always been loving and supportive. I just want his suffering to end and I think this is the only way.


I am sorry Hold. (((Hold))) I don’t think it is wrong to hope the suffering will end.


Hold, let me add this as well: Hold} (the one armed Bro Hug...)

SFB
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/06/19 03:30 PM

Thank for all the warm wishes. In many ways you guys and gals are the closest friends I have.

The hospice put him on morphine and told Mom to stop pressuring him to eat and drink more than he wants to. I expect ti won't be long now.
Posted By: star*fish

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/06/19 03:57 PM

Hold,

I know exactly where you are. Losing a parent, even one who's lived a long life--is one of the sad passages of life. I wish your father the most peaceful end to his life. Hospice nurses are amazing. My father is a doctor, so when my mother stopped eating and drinking--he couldn't stand it. He ran an IV to get liquids into her because he cried saying "she looks thirsty". He is in the business of prolonging life, but hospice helped him to understand that dehydration is part of the body's way of helping the patient to be more comfortable. It works kind of like hypothermia and creates a feeling of calm and peacefulness.

I will keep your family in my prayers.
Posted By: Miranda

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/07/19 06:18 AM

I’m sorry, Hold and I know exactly what you mean. It’s a hard thing to decide, if we should pressure Daryl to eat, or attempt tube feeding or IV hydration.
So hard.

Hugs to you.
Posted By: whatsupdoc?

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/07/19 02:58 PM

That is sad news. I'm glad he, and your mother, have the hospice help and support they do.
.hugs.
Posted By: Oblivious2678

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/15/19 12:50 AM

I’m sorry Hold. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. I’m here to help in any way I can.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/15/19 04:34 PM

Funeral was not as awful as I feared. My mother insisted on speaking and she managed to get through it well. Thank goodness she got a dog 18 months ago so she does not have to walk into her apartment alone over the next few weeks.
The device that lowers the casket into the ground by turning a crank broke halfway down. So they had to lower it by hand. My son assisted. He said the sound and feeling of the "thud" when the casket hit the ground underneath is something he will never forget.
Thanks again to all for the supportive words and prayers. I very much appreciate them.
Posted By: TC_Manhattan

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/15/19 04:50 PM

My deepest condolences to you and your family, Hold.
Posted By: Chrysalis

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/15/19 05:07 PM

I am sorry for your loss.
Posted By: Miranda

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/15/19 06:50 PM

I understand why your mother wanted to speak. I’m doing so as well. Writing it now.

I hope the days to come bring you all peace as you reflect on the good times and his memory lives on in each of you.

Sending you much love.
Posted By: NewEveryDay

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/15/19 07:23 PM

Hold I’m so sorry for your loss, I remember how special your Dad was to you.

How’s your son doing?
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/16/19 01:46 AM

Thinking of you and your family.
Posted By: catperson

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/16/19 01:49 AM

So sorry.
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/16/19 05:54 AM

My dear Hold and family,

Losing a loved one hurts and yet can't be avoided. It is good you have cherished memories of your dad. It will help you and your family during this time.

You know your dad, how would he want you all to be during this time?

Please know that in many places close and far, there are those of us who are sending thoughts and prayers of strength to you and your family.

Take care,
Orchid
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/16/19 12:52 PM

So sorry for your loss Hold.
Posted By: right here waiting

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/16/19 05:28 PM

I’m sorry, hold. May the memories sustain you.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/18/19 02:53 PM

Thanks all. A new picture of the 2 grandpas is now in our foyer. Mrs. Hold's mom brought it to the funeral.

Family drama never takes a day off. My uncles tried to pull a fast one immediately after the funeral. While we were receiving visitors. They wanted to change the way my grandfather's estate is handled. I told them I was not in favor of their suggestion and in any case, as it is not urgent (grandfather has been dead 35 years, nothing to do that can't wait until next week if not next month) I was not going to discuss it on the day I buried my father . They came after me 5 times over 2 days, trying to get me to agree to the change. My cousin yelled at her dad for being so inconsiderate. Thankfully, all us grandchildren are hanging together and presenting a united front to the uncles. Sad that we have to.

Of course I have seen this many times with clients but it feels different when it is your own family. The uncles think they have found a softie and an easy mark. They are so wrong.
Posted By: Miranda

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/18/19 03:17 PM

So disgusting
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/18/19 03:40 PM

Oh my word.
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/19/19 01:13 AM

Wow. That is horrifying. Proud of you for being resolute while you have to bury your dear father. Hugs, Hold. Continue to be strong.
Posted By: whatsupdoc?

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/19/19 10:08 AM

I am sorry for your loss.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/27/19 02:03 PM

I am proud of myself. Sunday I took a long walk in the woods with a buddy and then did a bunch of yard work. Lots of time among trees and underbrush. Monday night I felt a painful bump on my butt when I got into bed. Mrs H is away for 2 weeks so there is no one home to check it out. Tuesday morning first thing I went to the doctor - with no female prompting. And guess what? It was a tick! With a nice red infected circle around it. The doctor removed it (in pieces) and then gave me antibiotics. Thank goodness I did not do the "guy thing" and figure it was nothing and would resolve itself.

Sorry to bother you with minutiae. But there were times in years past when I would have stayed away from the doctor on purpose figuring maybe an infectious disease would be my ticket out of my suffering. And with my Dad passing, I am surprised that I was so motivated to take care of myself. My doctor said he thought I had a better mood and demeanor than on past visits, and he was surprised to hear my Dad passed recently. So maybe the new AD med is working! In fact, he asked me to remind him what dose I am on, and when I told him how much he asked "are you lethargic? That dose would put plenty of people to sleep". I said "no, that just shows how far out of whack my brain chemicals were."
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/27/19 07:15 PM

Hold,

Sorry to hear about the 'tick', glad you took care of it quickly. Machoness is useless against nature. wink

Good to hear you are doing better and handling your grieving process in a positive way. There will still be times but you seem to have things in check and we are here as needed. smile

Take care,
Orchid
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 03/27/19 10:15 PM

Great job, Hold! Way to take the bull by the horns on that one. Ticks cause infection so I'm glad you got it taken care of.
Posted By: whatsupdoc?

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 04/14/19 12:20 PM

That's a lot of detailed information.......

Glad you followed up with doctor. Disgusting and dangerous creatures, ticks. About as useful as a stink bug around here...
Posted By: catperson

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 04/15/19 01:15 AM

You sound so much better, hold. So happy for you.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 04/16/19 02:38 PM

Thanks all. Not sure how much "better" I am. Saturday I got snippy with my Mom and Sunday and Monday I got snippy with Mrs Hold. My internal shame is rising up. I think this means the meds are working. I have feelings. Which I don't like. Because most of my feelings are negative. And no, I am not willing to do work to change that. Sometimes I like it better when I am numb. Mrs Hold has definitely caught on that I don't love her as much as I used to, or as much as she loves me at this point. She doesn't like that. For which I have zero sympathy.

She yelled at me yesterday after I got snippy. She said she exerts huge effort to be bright and cheery despite her physical ailments from the thyroid disease. I told her to stop doing me "favors" and be honest. I said she is robbing me of the chance to be helpful and supportive by holding back her complaints. Of course, I am doing the same thing in the other direction so I can't blame her for playing this game. I refuse to let her deal with my needs so I can't complain when she refuses to let me tend to hers. That is OK, in the game of "who can be the bigger martyr" I know I can beat her. I can tolerate the total absence of sex for the rest of my life far better than she can handle never complaining to me about her physical ailments.

There. That is better. Now no one is living under the illusion that I am anything close to mentally healthy.
Posted By: Oblivious2678

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 04/17/19 10:47 AM

Rome wasn’t built in a day. Don’t let a setback deter you. You’ve had many traumatic life events within the past year and you’re still standing. Keep swimming forward.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 04/18/19 04:34 PM

Thanks, but no.

She is disappointed that I panic when under stress. She finds that unattractive. Many people, especially women, do. Not wrong of her to feel that way. She does not feel I can take care of her if I cannot take care of myself. That triggers her to pull away. She has been distant all week.

Of course, given my refusal to allow her to meet my needs, I am not nearly as impacted by her pulling away as I used to be or as she wishes I was. One of the main reasons for my refusal to have sex with her is precisely so I will not be as impacted when she tries to send me to the dog house. And precisely so that I will not feel motivated to kiss up to her or make extra effort to try to get back into her good graces. I am pleasant. I ask about her day. I honestly wish her well if she attains some accomplishment. I hold up my end of the regular errands and housework. But I am not going out of my way to "make it up to her" for not being her strong protector on Monday.

In fact, I take a certain warped pleasure from her being in a funk. She is disappointed in who she picked for a partner? She wishes I were different in certain ways? There is an important need of hers that I fail to satisfy? Oh well, cry me a river. I have zero sympathy.

And that is the problem. I am not reacting to falling short by trying to improve. I didn't promise to do better next time. And that is the silent yet unmistakable message I am sending - she is not worth fighting for. She is not worth making an effort to please. She can take me or leave me as I am. I guess if I were happy with who I am, then that would be a healthy attitude. But since I am not, I am spiting myself to spite her. Very messed up on my part. Yet so very satisfying.
Posted By: catperson

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 04/19/19 12:59 PM

hold, at y'all's age (and mine), you often settle. This or that, which is the least worse. Your least worse is staying with her. BUT that doesn't mean you can't go out and fill your life with other pleasures. Take vacations by yourself to places you gave up cos she didn't want to go. Start a hobby she didn't approve of. Go see movies she doesn't want to see. Fill your life.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 04/19/19 01:08 PM

Cat:
She takes vacations with her mom, girlfriend, etc. Or she goes to visit the kids by herself since she has more flexibility to be away from work.
I take work trips. In the past she frequently asked to come along. Lately she asks less. Probably because I have sent unstated signals that I would rather she not come.
We go to lunch and/or dinner together on the weekends. We discuss the kids. We talk about the travel plans each of us have. We are pleasant together most weekends.
During the week we chat briefly in the morning and again when I get home from work (generally late). Then I go into the kitchen to have dinner. She stays in the bedroom ostensibly to avoid eating extra food late at night. By the time I get done eating and reading the newspaper, it is her sleep time. So I wish her pleasant dreams and blow her a kiss from the doorway and leave her alone.
Posted By: catperson

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 04/19/19 01:14 PM

Funny how my conversation about what YOU could be doing got a response about what SHE is doing.

Where are the choices for YOU?
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 04/19/19 07:43 PM

Hold, Are you teaching each other to live without the other?
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 04/22/19 12:38 PM

Cat: I don't do anything that involves other humans. I garden in my yard. I play pokemon on my phone. I watch tv. Sometimes with Mrs H but as often or more alone.

Orchid: Yes, I guess I am teaching both of us to live separate lives. Other than mealtime on the weekends, our lives are basically disconnected.

During dinner last night she says sometimes she gets the feeling I don't like her very much. I asked her what gave her that idea. She said that I snap at her more often than I used to. I told her I snap at everyone. She has heard me snap at clients, at co-workers, at my Mom, etc. She said she isn't a client or a co-worker. I guess she expects to be treated better than them. If I can't offer her a POJA regarding how to get there (and I can't because I refuse to permit her to make moves in that direction), I don't see the value of having the conversation.

I know, I ought to provide her with all the facts so she can make a decision about how she wants to spend the rest of her life. I am sure zero people here are shocked to read that I have no intention of doing so.

Such irony. We are like a story by O Henry. She baited and switched me into our marriage. Now I have baited and switched her into staying. There is a certain elegant symmetry about this. I guess that is part of why I like this set of choices so much. For those of you who thought in the past that I would "drop the bomb" on her when the kids got out of the house or graduated from college. No. Don't be ridiculous. I would never do that. I am too much of a coward to take the direct approach.
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 04/22/19 08:24 PM

Hold,

I sense that one day when you are both tired of this distance game, that it may result in an eventual split. For WSt and I, it hit a turning point, where I no longer cared.

I know myself and when I get to that point about something, someone or a cause, that letting go is what I do. I give my best up front and if it's not good enough for the person, something or cause, then I may try for a bit but will eventually let go. I know this about myself and I warned WSt many years ago not to take me to that place in my soul.

As a WS and even as an H of sorts, he gleefully did it. Well that just wore me out. He knows this because I warned him. It is who I am and I won't fight that. I may make exceptions, for example if the offender shows genuine remorse and apologizes then lives a better life, I can forgive. What I won't do is forgive just for the sake of forgiving that allows the offender to have me enable further bad behavior. That is why I will end an R or stop working on a cause.

The hardest part is to be able to recognize genuine forgiveness and reestablish an R or reenter a cause. The guidance for me is to look to the examples and principals I have learned from the Bible and pattern my decisions in accord to what is reasonable and balanced. I am not a fanatic. Never have been. Too logical of a mindset to go down that road but I do work hard at being reasonable and balanced.

So while most folks thinks letting go is hard (and it is), it is harder to live with one's distressed or guilt ridden conscience unless one doesn't care who they hurt or how.

Sadly, I have learned that there are many who put their own selfishness ahead of having empathy and care for others. Many say they follow 'the golden rule': “all things, therefore, that you want men to do to you, you also must do to them and what is known as the 2nd greatest commandment: ‘You must love your neighbor as yourself.’ But their actions betray such ones (aka: hypocrites).

When such actions (to be a hypocrite - say one thing and do another), others can tell. So in my case, once I idd my best, acknowledged that I could do no more for our M, I did make the decision to separate. My conscience is clear that I did my best. I refused to continue to enable my H as a WSt and that separating was a necessary thing. As long as he remained as a WSt (even if there was no PA but still manifesting his WS traits), then our M could not survive. The abuse to our family was too great to keep him in it.

My opinion is that your M is not at that point but if your tolerance level is not in a secure place with your W, you both may need to seek help on how to improve it to save your M.

I hope both do and succeed.

Take care,
Orchid
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 05/29/19 02:38 PM

Had a very nice weekend at DD's college graduation. First chance to meet her boyfriend. Not sure it will last but it was great for her in many ways no matter what. And he seems like a good match if it does work out long term.
Posted By: silverado

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 05/29/19 03:02 PM

Congrats on her graduation and new job! I can't believe it has already been 4 years. Last weekend, my folks drove in from Houston to visit me and got stuck in a bunch of holiday and graduation traffic...maybe you passed them on the highway--LOL!

I'm so happy for your DD!
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 05/29/19 08:54 PM

Congrats on the graduation! Your DD sounds at peace with where she's at in life.
Posted By: whatsupdoc?

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 05/29/19 10:34 PM

Congratulations!
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 05/29/19 10:54 PM

Ho‘omaika‘i ‘ana iā ‘oe!!!
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 05/30/19 12:37 AM

Hold that is awesome. I can’t believe it has been 4 years.
Posted By: Oblivious2678

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 05/30/19 02:45 AM

Congrats to your DD, Hold. I know you’re a proud dad. Happy for all of you.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 05/30/19 12:24 PM

Thanks all.
Oh, and Silverado, no one passed anyone on I-35 in Austin last week. Traffic was so bad Friday morning that Mrs Hold and I had to get out of the car and walk the last few blocks to the ceremony while my sister sat in standstill traffic trying to get off the highway at the UT exit!
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 06/11/19 03:54 PM

Nice day with Mrs Hold Sunday. We actually had an honest conversation. For the first time maybe ever, I got her to admit that what is going on inside her head is actually what I thought all along is going on inside her head. As soon as she realized what she had admitted, she closed down the conversation. But she didn't hold it against me the rest of the day. She was basically in a good mood. We held hands and walked around listening to music at festival. I think it helped that I let her shop at a strip of stores buying knick-knacks - retail therapy is always her drug of choice.
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 06/12/19 02:04 AM

Hand-holding and honesty are good things.
Posted By: whatsupdoc?

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 06/13/19 11:23 AM

Yup. Just make sure you are being balanced and fair as far as what she said, and what you think she said.
Now for the retreat. After a "breakthrough" of this nature, when you think forward (?) progress is made, it is very common for either one or both sides to distance themselves from that interaction.

Glad you are developing better living interactions. By your writings, I know you love your wife.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 06/26/19 01:06 PM

Had another bit of honesty come out recently. Out of nowhere, Mrs H said "I don't think you like me very much. You like having a companion, and a mother for your children, but you don't really like me". I thanked her for her honesty. As I have said often, she knows. For anyone who thinks I am denying her the information she needs to make decisions about her life, don't worry. She knows.
Posted By: Fergie

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 06/26/19 03:19 PM

Originally Posted by holdingontoit
Had another bit of honesty come out recently. Out of nowhere, Mrs H said "I don't think you like me very much. You like having a companion, and a mother for your children, but you don't really like me".

Yep. Pretty much confirms what I told 13defroad. Women can stay in a relationship with a man they don't even like.

Here's another platitude. Men value love. Women love value.

You are with your wife because you love her. If you didn't love her, you wouldn't stick around. She can't grasp that concept. She also can't fathom having sex with a person she doesn't like. So, she doesn't. It's inconceivable to her.

But staying in a relationship with someone she doesn't particularly like *is* conceivable. So, she is projecting that onto you, because that's how she thinks.
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 06/26/19 11:50 PM

So, is she telling you she doesn't feel loved or valued? Or is she thinking that you don't like her as a person?
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 06/27/19 03:50 AM

You know her statement: "I don't think you like me very much. You like having a companion, and a mother for your children, but you don't really like me", is quite telling.

Reminds me that WSt said similar way back when. What threw him for a loop is when I sat up, looked him straight in the eye and agreed with him. He certainly didn't expect such enthusiastic agreement.

In our case WSt not only betrayed myself as the wife but also his son and all others who were hurt by his betrayal on so many levels. For him he demoted himself by his attitude and actions. This meant his words carried less meaning but in between he did make some true statements.

For me, I had to learn to acknowledge those truthful statements. It required I change my normal actions and reactions. I learned to be focused and to make excuses for bad behavior.

The important point is that by her very statement she is acknowledging the R and M are in distress is a point you can use to your benefit. In my case I was later able to recall WSt's very words and remind him when he tried to be in denial that he truly wasn't in denial. So his WS wiggle room shrank smaller and smaller.

By all observations WSt created a straight jacket environment and preferred to wiggle instead of asking for help to get out of his predicament. Today he still wears that jacket but now he is used to living that way. He is contend with his limitations and has no fight to improve.

What I find is some who retain a WS type of attitude instead of working past that type of attitude, those folks make themselves less desirable as time goes on. When the looks, money, stability and other attractive features fade, what is left? Are such folks expecting others (family, etc.) to do for them (WS type) when the Ws type refused to be there for the family? At what percentage of disregard is acceptable? What will each of us let the WS types in our lives get away with?

That's what I refuse to forget. I don't want to be shanghaied again.

jmo,
Orchid
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 06/27/19 12:59 PM

Blair: Partly that she doesn't feel loved or valued. I told her I love her the best I know how to do, and I am sorry if that isn't enough.

Orchid: I did not tell her "of course I like you". Not sure if the absence of that response had any impact.

She is less in denial than she used to be. She admits she had anxiety and PTSD. She admits that she finds it easier to manage the anxiety and PTSD now that she has access to different meds based on her cancer. And because the anti-estrogen drugs she takes have eliminated her migraines and her hormonal fluctuations.

I think the big thing for her is that I snap at her when I am annoyed by something she says. She doesn't like that. I think she "picked" me originally in large part because I was so meek. These days I am not so much less meek as less invested in her. As I have said often, a big part of my meekness and fear around her was about her power to control access to sex. I never wanted to raise my voice or have an irritated tone because I knew that would cause the doors to clang shut. Another part of the meekness was because she was so beautiful and so sexy I knew she could replace me at a moment's notice. Now she is older and scarred and still pretty but not the bombshell she was before the surgery. And we don't have sex. So I am less terrified of her leaving me or cheating on me. She tells me all the time that I have to take care of myself because she would be lost without me.

So the roles have reversed. She is now the person who is afraid their spouse might leave or stray and is desperately clinging to me. When I raise my voice, it scares her. Like her getting a tone in her voice used to terrify me.

I may be a small person of poor character, but I must say this: I much prefer being on this side of that dynamic. I have never been here before and it feels great.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 07/08/19 02:39 PM

Wow, interesting anniversary weekend.

Mrs H started in a good mood. Very affectionate. She wanted to have sex. Anniversary is one of the 3 days per year (her birthday, Valentine's and anniversary) when I have promised her that if she asks for sex, she will get some. I know how much it hurts to be rejected on those occasions. She asked, and we tried. I was very gentle (she complimented me on that the following day), but it was still too uncomfortable and she asked to stop within a short period of time. We cuddled afterward.

The rest of the weekend she picked at me and accused me of all manner of insulting behavior. Some things I did. Some things I should not have done. A couple of times I snapped at her from frustration.

She said she did not appreciate being snapped at, especially after she had sex for the first time in a long while (her words). I apologized. Total surrender. There is nothing to discuss. A big part of why I refuse to have sex with her most days of the year is that her having sex is such a big deal to her that she expects me to fall down at her feet profusely thanking her for it. Which I cannot bring myself to do. When we first met, I did exactly that. I was so happy to have someone who would have sex with me once every week or two that I kissed the ground she walked on. I think she married me in part because I behaved that way. Now I am not so horny and desperate and I simply do not feel the overwhelming thankfulness. And I won't pretend I do.

Makes it very clear to me that we should never have sex. She needs a reaction to it that I cannot provide. May have to rethink the "never say no on the big days" rule.
Posted By: NewEveryDay

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 07/08/19 07:12 PM

Maybe she’s surprised you still dislike her so much after sharing something so intimate and special together.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 07/08/19 07:43 PM

Another reason to never have sex. She needs too much reassurance after sex that I am "safe" for her. That she can be vulnerable to me and I will not betray her trust.
But I am too frustrated and resentful for a single episode, let alone a not particularly successful one, to cause me to react in puppy dog fashion. I am far from infatuated with her.
This is our standard template. There isn't anything I am able to provide that overlaps with what she needs. And vice versa.
The only mistake was in trying to have sex at all. Once I toss the "3 exceptions" rule, we won't have to worry about making that mistake again.
No need for me to tell her that. She would not see it as reassuring "don't worry, you will never have to open yourself up to me again". She would see it as an accusation "no point in trying because you'll never be good enough".

Nothing wrong with her not wanting to have sex with someone who dislikes her. The problem was me consenting to sex despite knowing that I still resent her so much.
Posted By: TC_Manhattan

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 07/08/19 08:09 PM

After a lifetime of replaying the same old script, it is no wonder you harbor such resentment.

Bottom line is that puppy Is broke and there ain’t no fixin’ it..
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 07/08/19 09:35 PM

I think she initially thought she was doing you a favor, but then it hurt her too much so she took her anger and disaapointment out on you. I would agree that you should probably never have sex with her again. I'm sorry, Hold. I know that hurts.
Posted By: Oblivious2678

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 07/09/19 01:59 AM

Unfortunately I think TC and Blair are right. 😕
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 07/10/19 02:20 PM

I seem to be out of the dog house. Amazing how not reacting at all to her pouting shortens the pouting duration. Just like when our DD was 3.

On the other hand, she does feel free to be honest about listing my shortcomings. Which is fine. I truly am glad to hear her honest feedback. I asked her if we should buy the protection plan for an item I bought yesterday. She said "well, are you really going to box the thing up if it breaks and send it back? Or are you going to pay for the insurance and then never use it?" And I said "pay for the insurance and never use it, which means it would be dumb to pay for the insurance". I like her knowing my shortcomings and staying anyway. I guess she got hurt enough over the weekend to tell herself "screw it, I am going to admit to how I feel. If he gets insulted and pouts, so be it." Which in my view is how marriage should be. And if she thinks that being honest about my flaws would push me to leave her, she doesn't know me as well as she thinks she does.
Posted By: Miranda

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 07/10/19 03:05 PM

By the end that’s where Daryl and I were. It was rather remarkable. To know we each had love for one another and were willing to stay no matter what those flaws and annoyances might be? The sense of security and freedom it brought? The contentment and acceptance? The feeling of love and being accepted? Miraculous!
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 07/16/19 02:46 PM

Did not want to keep hijacking WuD's thread.

Originally Posted by WhatsUpDoc
Hold: I would definitely adorn the cloak. These costumes appear “medieval” ( rudimentary), but in actuality the attention to detail, craftsmanship is impressive. Great pride is taken. I know.

Elf, huh? Leather elf? Bet that is a sight! Wizards wear gowns, at least you can catch a breeze! The type of material is important, too. Breathable.


Yes, the leather outfit is quite a site. Especially with sword strapped to my back, daggers on my chest, drinking horn, etc. But the pants alone weigh 5 pounds and with several layers on top it is HOT in the summer. Better as spring or fall attire.

Yes, I got robe (=gown) made of cotton. Cotton cloak with hood that I may or may not wear. And a tall pointed felt hat. All solid grey. Think Gandalf the Grey. Yes, it needs to be adorned. I was thinking silver and grey norse rune beads would be good. They are made to be weaved into hair but I am thinking they would make great items for the robe or for a necklace. Will give it more thought as to how best to attach it. Thanks for confirming my attitude that it does need adornment.
Posted By: whatsupdoc?

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 07/16/19 03:44 PM

You could also embroider symbols onto the cloak, with full thickness embroidery floss (use easy back stitches/ transfer pen or carbon paper to accurately transfer design) and add the beads/stones embedded into the embroidery image itself: center or dangle.
These could be around the bottom or running down the lapels. Different floss colors/ stone colors could represent different incantations or spells.

If you can use leather tools, you can punch holes through hide (or heat a compass point and poke through hide) and wire/embroider beads that way. These could be on your gandolf style satchel, or shoulder strap for weapon.
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 07/16/19 10:18 PM

Great ideas!!
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 07/16/19 10:34 PM

I'm still trying to visualize HOLD making his outfit. So interesting to see the details he is designing.

Truly impressive and restores some of my faith in guys again. wink Seriously Hold, keep up the good work. It means a lot to see talent not brought out and shared. smile smile

jmo,
Orchid
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 08/02/19 12:33 PM

I got a stencil of Celtic patterns. I am going to paint a border at the sleeves and neck of the robe. I am thinking of using Tulip black metallic fabric paint. It says it is designed to appear wet after it dries. I am thinking a pattern that glitters in the sun is a nice touch for a wizard, and silver border on grey robe does not create enough contrast.

I got the rune beads and a Norse pendant on a steel rope chain. With the beads on the rope chain (necklace) it is very heavy but looks excellent. I think very few people will notice that the necklace is Norse but the robe's border is Celtic.
Posted By: Miranda

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 08/02/19 02:37 PM

If anyone notices, wizards will wander!
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 08/02/19 10:51 PM

Nice!
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 08/03/19 11:41 PM

Tough week. Mrs Hold sick. I had a stressful week at work. She chided me this morning and I snapped at her. Then went to run an errand. She called to say she may want a divorce. She says I am now not only not on her team, but an enemy. I think I am now on the team with the jerks who raped her. Serves me right. I have not been as good a husband as I should have been these last few years. I let my frustrations and resentment stand in the way of my love. I may soon find myself missing all that I took for granted.
Posted By: NewEveryDay

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 08/04/19 03:00 AM

Hold the prospects of financial impact of divorce alone should make it worth it to do the work to recover your marriage. One free of financial infidelity and debilitating resentment. I think it’s the path of greatest happiness for you both. And if you don’t like it you could always divorce later.
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 08/04/19 03:30 AM

Maybe Mrs. Hold will work with you to create a better marriage and work through resentments? Are you both willing to work together? Although I wouldn't recommend asking until she isn't sick anymore.
Posted By: josie

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 08/04/19 05:31 AM

Originally Posted by holdingontoit
Tough week. Mrs Hold sick. I had a stressful week at work. She chided me this morning and I snapped at her. Then went to run an errand. She called to say she may want a divorce. She says I am now not only not on her team, but an enemy. I think I am now on the team with the jerks who raped her. Serves me right. I have not been as good a husband as I should have been these last few years. I let my frustrations and resentment stand in the way of my love. I may soon find myself missing all that I took for granted.


Ah. The scales have fallen from her eyes. Life is shorter than we think. Maybe you both might find the final stretch more enjoyable apart?

You haven't been on her team for a long time now. Maybe to her face, you prevaricate, but behind her back you mock her and make contemptuous judgments. Would you be able to stop doing that now, even if you wanted to?
Posted By: TC_Manhattan

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 08/04/19 05:01 PM

Originally Posted by holdingontoit
..She called to say she may want a divorce. She says I am now not only not on her team, but an enemy. I think I am now on the team with the jerks who raped her. Serves me right. I have not been as good a husband as I should have been these last few years..


Hold, please do not let her bully you into submission. By your own admission over the years, you know how much that sucked/sucks for you. She is threatened by your feeling okay not to be locked into the old emotional blackmail where she controls your every mood and waking thought.

You have finally been healing your own personal wounds and she doesn’t like that sense of lost control. Do you really want to crawl back into that dark hole?

The only way forward together is to do so on equal terms. Anything less than that is very unhealthy for you both. Do not let her rock your boat. Tis up to her to choose to join you as equals, or not.

My thoughts..

Abusive Power and Control


Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 08/05/19 01:07 PM

We shall see. Yesterday she cried and told me that no one cares about her. I don't care. The kids don't care (they don't call her often enough). No one cares except her mother.
Strangely, that made me feel better. If she is angry with everyone, then maybe this is more her being upset by her visit with the doctor than about me in particular. I texted the kids that Mom got a bad report from her doctor. They both called yesterday. Mrs Hold did not want to speak with DD in the morning but took the call from DS in the afternoon.
I think she is very upset by the medical news. It isn't awful news (she isn't going blind any time soon), but she has already done all the available treatment and there are still symptoms. So she is dealing with a situation where the symptoms may or may not resolve on their own, and there isn't anything she can do to affect that. Interesting how so many things are a matter of perspective. The doctor thought she was delivering good news. The treatment provided partial relief. The treatment provides no relief at all about half the time, so Mrs Hold was in the better half. But Mrs Hold views the report as bad news, because she only got partial relief and you can't do the treatment again for a while. So she is stuck with the symptoms. And she hates that.
Also, she thinks she has been super nice to me lately, and I have not been sufficiently appreciative. I think she is referring to her offer of sex a few weeks ago. Well, if I ever needed evidence why sex has to be absolutely positively off the table for us, this is it. She is always in a bad mood for weeks after we make an attempt. Not falling for that again.
Posted By: Chrysalis

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 08/05/19 01:32 PM

"Look, dear. We are getting older. No way around it. Our bodies are getting more banged up year after year. We have a choice. We can try to co-exist in relative kindness, or not. The "not" way involves much frustration and loneliness. Do you want to be changing your own lightbulbs in 10 years? I don't want to be alone without you in 10 years. We can't replace the memories we have made together. So let's pick the way of kindness and try to ride this out, together. I love you."
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 08/07/19 02:59 PM

Emotional talk last night. She said I do not care about her. She said something like "I was so nice to you, I even tried to have sex with you". I told her not to worry, she never has to do that again. I don't see us ever having sex. She said "that is not what I want to hear. Married people have sex. What are we if we don't have sex? What can we do to bond?" I told her we can hug and cuddle and kiss. She was not at all comforted. She said I was being mean to her. I said "as between sex and you, I choose you. You know how obsessed with sex I am. What more can I do to show you that your feelings matter than to voluntarily give up sex in order to stay with you?"

We went back and forth a couple more times. After that I said "we did 8 years of marriage counselling and never agreed on objective reality. We aren't going to agree on whether my behavior last week was loving or mean-spirited. I think I made an effort to cater to your needs. You think I didn't, and in fact that I disrespected you repeatedly. We are not going to agree on how to view my behavior."

We shall see where this leads.
Posted By: TC_Manhattan

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 08/07/19 05:32 PM

Radical honesty can be refreshing.
It can also instill sheer fear and panic.
Fasten your seatbelt..
Posted By: Fiddler

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 08/07/19 11:06 PM

A little more validation would have gone a long way. in that conversation.
Posted By: catperson

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 08/08/19 10:19 PM

If you intend to stay together, it's good that you're being honest. I'd say the next step would be to find a way to communicate better so both of you feel heard and validated. Maybe take a class together just in that?
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 08/09/19 01:36 PM

Originally Posted by Fiddler
A little more validation would have gone a long way. in that conversation.


I tried validation. I asked her what I could do. She said "be present". I asked if she felt abandoned and alone. She said she did. I said then she is abandoned and alone and I need to be a better companion. I told her I was not going to argue whether her feelings were right or wrong, they simply are and I accept them. I told her I was not going to argue whether my behavior was reasonable or whether other people would feel abandoned. None of that matters. All that matters is how she feels. And if she feels abandoned and alone then I need to do a better job of making myself available to her. She just sighed and rolled her eyes.

I went to lunch with her Wednesday. I offered to go to dinner with her tonight. When I suggested having dinner at 5:30, she was surprised I picked such an early time. Time is the key. She won't believe that I am sincere in trying to spend more time with her until I do it consistently. But it already may be too late.

Cat, I suggested we go to counselling. I think we have some issues that we each need to get off our chests, and it would be better to do that with someone else in the room. She declined. She doesn't see the point. But maybe a group class would be easier for her to tolerate than just the 2 of us with a counsellor.
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 08/09/19 02:52 PM

I think a group support class would be a great idea. Your wife could understand what other people are going through and it would help give her a better perspective.

the other thing to consider is that I think your wife's believes she is the victim. Her behavior indicates her needs are not being met and she feels like she has to take one for the team. Additionally, I think you are bending over backwards to help the present and involve engaged for your wife. This will bring you out and you will feel resentment. Your wife is feeling resentment for being a victim. (Although keep in mind I do not understand why she might think she's a victim. It just appears that way to me.)
Posted By: Fiddler

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 08/09/19 05:42 PM

We may have a different perspective on what validation is. You did indeed acknowledge her feelings and that she was entitled to them - you didn't make the classic "you shouldn't feel that way". I wouldn't have tried to move to a "solution" ("I should be a better companion") just yet, however. That's because "present" is too vague to be attempting to "solve" without more information. The most crucial things she did from my perspective was:
Originally Posted by holdingontoit
She just sighed and rolled her eyes.
That's a big clue that she hadn't felt heard and understood (i.e. validated) yet.

There are ways to track non-verbal responses, which are typically more "accurate" descriptors of what a person is feeling. These are difficult to describe in just text, since things like tone of voice and the responder's body language are crucial elements.

None of this is to deny (invalidate) your stated approach to your relationship with your wife. I doubt that she "gets" where you're coming from - mostly because she's not yet open to receiving it - and I don't think she believes that you understand her (despite the fact that your shares here suggest that you do in fact). And that's where more validation comes in - until she believes that you "get" her, she won't be able to "get" you.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 08/09/19 06:17 PM

Originally Posted by Fiddler
The most crucial things she did from my perspective was:
Originally Posted by holdingontoit
She just sighed and rolled her eyes.
That's a big clue that she hadn't felt heard and understood (i.e. validated) yet.


To me, it means that she does not believe I will actually follow through and make more time for her. She was very surprised when I asked her to join me for dinner tonight. Second weekday meal together in one week. It has been a long time since we have done that except on vacation.

She gives the same eye roll when I promise I will do a task on her honey-do list. I have disappointed her too many times. She has no faith that I will follow through on anything.

She is very focused on "solutions". She does not want to endlessly analyze why people do things. She wants to know what we are going to do RIGHT NOW to solve whatever problem she is facing. She has a medical condition. Every doctor and online article says that it takes time to determine the correct dosage of medicine to get certain blood chemicals into the "normal" range, and then more time for your body to heal itself after the blood levels have stabilized. She has no patience. To wait for long term results is torture for her. So I feel I do have to move directly into the "solution" phase when we discuss a problem or she will chalk it up as another time I was unreliable in addressing her concerns.

She is lonely with the kids gone. She wants more companionship. If I do not provide more companionship, she will find it elsewhere. I do not want her doing that, so I have to act.

And no, I don't hold out any hope that she will ever "get" me. Not even trying to help her do so. I just want her to feel I "get" her enough that she stays with me. And as you say, I haven't got there yet and she needs to hear more validation from me.
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 08/10/19 08:13 PM

Hold,

I commend your observation and effort but I am concerned you are creating a direction that makes demands on your more than it is fair to be.

So I ask, you recognize what you understand your wife wants from you but when is this recognize going to make it a burden vs a joy? Are you willing to live with the balances tilted in the favor of one who does not appreciate it?

I like yourself used to do more than my share. Not out of fear but out of obligation. That went on for years but eventually it became obvious it developed into a one-way relationship. The words of the WS rang in my ears 'as long as you do things (take care of the family and his bills and our obligations), he could be a WS forever'.

Now how long was I going to enable that type of attitude? Way longer than I thought. Y? Because I felt obligated. When that wore me out, I had no option but to separate and work towards divorce.

Was it going to cause inconveniences for myself and my family? Yes but it was more of a survival mode than enabling one. In turn, I had more control of my future and finances. Still a struggle but without the extra baggage and heavy weight of an uncooperative spirit.

I had to recognize that no amount of my giving was going to balance our relationship. I hope you recognize that in your M sooner than later.

jmo,
Orchid
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 08/11/19 01:35 AM

Orchid so eloquently spelled out my worry for you and Mrs. Hold. You can't save your marriage alone. You both need to work together.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 08/12/19 12:58 PM

Thanks for the concern, but your anxiety is misplaced.

My marriage has, from my perspective, been one-sided since our wedding. How long can I continue accepting this? Well, I have been accepting it for 27 years. Even if you remove the first 5 years, before we started seriously working on the problem. It is still a long time. Heck, even if you remove the 8 years we worked on it with counsellors, it is still a good 14 years since I gave up hope of ever resolving this - at which point it became a burden rather than a joy. I think I can continue in this manner forever.

The question you (and I) should be more concerned with is whether Mrs. Hold is willing to stay with me despite my not being 100% infatuated with everything about her. I am not sure that Mrs Hold noticed my reduced level of infatuation until DD left home. Probably not until Mrs H finished all her cancer treatments and allowed herself to look forward into the future. At which point she realized that my current level of attentiveness was not to her liking. So this is probably a very recent awareness for her.

She said out loud recently that she feels stuck in this marriage. She likes the lifestyle. She likes getting to do a low pay, low stress job. She likes flexibility to take vacations whenever she wants. But she wishes she had a partner who was happier about being tied to her. You can imagine how extremely sympathetic I am to her feeling stuck with me.
Posted By: Fergie

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 08/12/19 02:26 PM

Your wife is fine being married to someone she doesn't love.

She just doesn't want the same thing back...
Posted By: SFB

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 08/12/19 06:03 PM

Hold:

Good luck, Man.

SFB
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 08/12/19 09:06 PM

Originally Posted by SFB
Good luck, Man.


Thanks. I am very blessed. With my health. With my children. With my job.

And Mrs Hold is a more than decent person. She just has PTSD. At this point, I am not leaving over that. I knew there was something "wrong" that such a beautiful woman was willing to marry me. I was simply mistaken as to the source and nature of her disability. I thought it was bad skin and being a "fish out of water" for much of her adolescence that lead her to have sufficiently low self-esteem to be interested in me. I didn't know about the rapes or the extent of her aversion to sex. She picked me in part because I wasn't as pushy as many of the other guys she dated. She thought she could tolerate sex at the "service level" I demanded. She didn't realize that her aversion would escalate once she got married. And once we got on the treadmill of disagreement, neither of us knew how to get off gracefully.

I have aged into being able to tolerate the "elegant" solution of never having sex. Now I need to get Mrs Hold to feel comfortable with that solution. She is opposed to it at present. I believe this is because she thinks if we go back to having occasional sex, I will go back into the obedient puppy dog yapping at her heels. She thinks she can rekindle my infatuation. I do not believe she can, and I am not willing to try. Hopefully she will eventually reach acceptance that living with me is tolerable even if I am not infatuated with her. But maybe she can't. And maybe we won't make it "until death do us part". I hope we do.
Posted By: Fergie

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 08/13/19 01:31 AM

Originally Posted by holdingontoit
I have aged into being able to tolerate the "elegant" solution of never having sex.

We all deserve the spouse we tolerate.

Something that was pointed out to me (maybe in slightly different terms) many times here by others. I'll be the first to admit, when they're right, they're right. That's why I don't get the constant attempt to change others. We all end up where we belong with the spouse we deserve. If we didn't tolerate it, we'd be somewhere else with someone else...
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 08/13/19 02:38 PM

Originally Posted by Fergie
We all deserve the spouse we tolerate.


Exactly. And she deserves me. After all, for years she desperately wanted to be married to me and stay married to me. At the beginning and all through 8 years of MC. She wanted it so desperately that she lied and hid the truth in an attempt to manipulate me into staying. And she got what she wanted. I stayed. How can she complain? Her plan worked to perfection!
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 08/19/19 01:01 PM

Mrs Hold now cries any time I do anything to which she disapproves. As much as I do not want to divorce, this is no way to live.
She thinks her reaction is caused by my terrible behavior. I think it was triggered by her PTSD. Does not matter what started it. If she keeps viewing me as the enemy, we cannot live together.
So we may be testing Josie's theory that we would both be happier apart.
Posted By: SmilingWife

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 08/19/19 02:43 PM

Originally Posted by holdingontoit
Mrs Hold now cries any time I do anything to which she disapproves. As much as I do not want to divorce, this is no way to live.
She thinks her reaction is caused by my terrible behavior. I think it was triggered by her PTSD. Does not matter what started it. If she keeps viewing me as the enemy, we cannot live together.
So we may be testing Josie's theory that we would both be happier apart.


Wow. What kind of things are making her cry?
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 08/19/19 04:50 PM

Originally Posted by SmilingWife

Wow. What kind of things are making her cry?


Exactly what I was wondering....
Posted By: TC_Manhattan

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 08/19/19 05:15 PM

Originally Posted by Blair
Originally Posted by SmilingWife

Wow. What kind of things are making her cry?


Exactly what I was wondering....


My guess would be anything which makes her realize her loss of control over Hold.

AKA, emotional blackmail. I believe she is trying to flip the power dynamic back in her favor.

I would guess Mrs. Hold hates 50:50 relationships, those of equals.

My thoughts..
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 08/19/19 08:38 PM

If I shrug or roll my eyes. When I indicate I do not agree with her. When she interprets my question as having an agenda that is judgmental toward her. Any time I in any way communicate through word or deed that I am not totally infatuated with her.
We met friends for lunch yesterday. She started crying when they asked how she was doing.
I am so angry with myself that I foolishly accepted her offer to try to have sex. We were getting along so well before that. Which I imagine is why she offered. I should have stood my ground and said "thanks but no thanks". I was trying to be kind and not reject her. No good deed goes unpunished.
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 08/19/19 09:31 PM

So regardless of what you do, she expresses some sort of disappointment for herself and/or you?
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 08/19/19 11:08 PM

No sex with her. Ever again. She will use it to punish you.

Is she emotional at everything? Or just a few specific things?
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 08/20/19 12:58 PM

Originally Posted by Blair
No sex with her. Ever again. She will use it to punish you.


Don't worry. I won't make that mistake again.

Quote
Is she emotional at everything? Or just a few specific things?


Everything. Anything that happens that is not perfect, she says "no one cares about me, not even the kids". Which is ridiculous. The kids love her. But they live 3000 miles away and I am guessing she is not the only mother who lives far from her kids who wishes they called more often. Our daughter texts us daily and our son replies to texts every few days so we know he is following along. I sympathize with her. I miss them too. But it is entirely false to say they do not care about her. When she got bad news from the doctor, DS offered to fly home for the weekend to console her. He is taking 2 days off work and flying cross country so he can give her a hug, then fly back. I love to see him, but this is crazy.

Still, I think she has taken it to heart that we were getting along well until she offered to try to have sex, and maybe that is the root of the problem and not that I treat her poorly. So maybe this difficult period will fade into the past. We shall see.
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 08/20/19 09:47 PM

Is she more emotional now than she was a year ago? Or two years ago?

In case you are feeling a bit perplexed, I am looking for a pattern or a recent break in a pattern to better understand what is happening.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 08/21/19 01:13 PM

I think with DD graduating college and moving to the opposite coast, it is sinking in that this is Mrs Hold's life now. No kids. Her job during the day. Dealing with me 1 on 1 nights and weekends.

She hates to be home alone every night. So I have made an effort to come home earlier. All we do is watch tv together, but it makes a big difference to her not to be alone. And yes, I have invited her to do evening activities during the week. Mostly she wants to take a bath and get in bed and chill. But with me there next to her. She is happy as long as I don't talk or move too much.

Also, I think the news from the doctor that there is no easy fix and she may have to live with her thyroid and eye problems for the foreseeable future got her depressed. She kept saying "I am going blind and no one cares". That is not what the doctor said. Her eyesight has not deteriorated over the past few months and she has double vision much less after the radiation treatments. So she is not declining rapidly. Still, she took 2 big body blows (sex and bad health news), and it really threw her off stride.
Posted By: TC_Manhattan

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 08/21/19 03:58 PM

Perhaps she is taking your children’s move so far away as personal.

And maybe subliminally it is..

Just a thought.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 08/21/19 09:24 PM

I don't know. DD cries every time she leaves us or we leave her. DS might like some space. But DS is the one flying home for the weekend to hug his mom. So it isn't that they don't love her. But maybe they love her so much they know they need some distance to become themselves and not be enmeshed with her? Could be.
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 08/21/19 10:04 PM

Parents need to know and accept that our children one day will need to live away from us. Our job includes teaching them to be able to do so.

I have talked to my son about the skills and habits he needs to develop to be able to be self-sustaining to the best of his abilities and beyond. I believe we owe this to our children.

Not all of them will accept or like it at first or even for a while but it is what we must try to do, just like when we had to learn to let go when they learned to walk, go to school, drive and other independent moves.

What we also need to give our children is our reassurance that we love them not just in word but in deed to match. Yes, we need to do both.

When one parent tries to use manipulation against the our children who are growing to maturity, the other parent and family/friends should be there to help our children navigate through this matter. Let our children know when it is ok to let go or speak up (respectfully) to the parent who is putting selfish interests ahead of the family.

If your wife's actions may be related to a treatable condition, it may be worth getting that done. Based on what you have been writing, your wife is willing to treat your children as she has been treating you.

What do you think you should do if that is true?
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 08/22/19 12:57 AM

Does your wife work FT or PT?
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 08/22/19 01:52 PM

Blair: She works part time 5 days a week. She has a default schedule, but she is free to take different sessions if she can arrange coverage. She does this whenever she travels. Having control over her schedule to permit travel whenever she likes is a major bit of the appeal of this job. Plus she gets tremendous personal satisfaction from it.

Orchid: I am very comfortable with our kids' levels of independence. They both have full time salaried jobs with benefits 3000 miles away at ages 24 and 22. I understand that Mrs Hold misses them terribly. But she has had 4 years with them away at school out-of-state to adjust to this. I know it is harder with her eye problems. But the kids are not the problem, nor can they be the long-term solution.

Orchid: No, there is no treatment for her condition. That is why she is so frustrated and upset. She has already done everything there is to do. And she still has problems with her eyes. And she still has stuff in her blood. Markers of the disease. There is no treatment to directly reduce the markers. All you can do is get all the blood chemicals into balance and hope the body turns off its autoimmune response once the blood levels are normalized.

On to today's update. Mrs Hold got very upset this morning when I asked if it would be OK if I got up very early Sunday to drive to NY, pick up my mother, and drive her to our house to see DS. Apparently it is over $200 each way for a car service. Mrs Hold went ballistic that I would give up any time with DS. My plan was to be there and back before he is awake, but that did not console Mrs Hold. She went on and one that no one cares about her. Notwithstanding that DD just sent us a gift as a way of saying thanks for helping DD get to the point that she got her first paycheck from her first full-time job. And DS is flying home to give Mrs Hold a hug. And I paid $800 for DS's flight. So no, nobody cares about her at all.

This morning, I texted one of her best friends. I told the friend that Mrs Hold is very upset and needs support. And maybe needs to see a counselor. When I suggested it this morning, Mrs Hold got even more upset. So I am hoping the message might penetrate if it comes from her friend rather than from me. And the friend is also battling cancer, so the friend understands where Mrs Hold is coming from in terms of dealing with a scary life threatening illness.
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 08/23/19 01:22 AM

I've been thinking... While I appreciate your empathy and kindness, there is no reason for anyone to rip their spouses head off and be crabby to that extreme. It is frightening that she goes from zero to 100 on the emotional response so quickly. if she hasn't always been this serious, its time to go see a doctor.

Aldo, can she not see you would be sacrificing to leave early and go pick up your mother so she could see your son also? Sometimes Grandparents need to see their grandchildren also. Everyone needs a hug and time to catch up with your DS. And he needs it just as much in return.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 08/23/19 01:40 PM

Blair: Completely agree. 100% for sure my Mom is coming over on Sunday. The only question was whether to pay for a car service in both directions ($200 each way), or for me to pick her up in the morning and then only have to pay the car service to bring her back. No way my Mom was going to miss seeing her grandson who lives 3000+ miles away when he got within 78 miles of her.

As for Mrs Hold being crabby, she was always quick to send me to the doghouse. But she wasn't vicious. The level of disdain has definitely increased since she got the hormone / eye diagnosis. I can understand how disappointed she is. She thought she had beaten cancer, and would go back to being healthy. Now she has a chronic and incurable condition. While not life threatening, it is annoying and a constant reminder that she remains unwell. I know some people would be grateful to have survived, but that is not how she is reacting.

The friend I texted invited Mrs Hold out for a drink last night. I only know because I called home and her cell and got no answer, and then went home and we arrived at the same time. At first she wasn't going to tell me (she just said "yes, I am just getting home from work"). But I guess she felt guilty and later confessed to going out for a drink with her friend. No mention of what they discussed, and I did not ask. Maybe the friend (who is a licensed social worker) can nudge Mrs Hold into a different direction.

I am very much looking forward to DS arriving tonight. I am not looking forward to DS leaving on Sunday night.
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 08/23/19 08:49 PM

Enjoy your mom and son's visit. You already know the probability of your wife's attitude and conduct.

Now the rest of your family is on alert as well. Used wisely, you can each be each other's support and that may change the dynamics a bit (or not). Either way you will all have an improved support system and hopefully provide some relief for each of you (aka: you are no longer alone facing this issue).

That kind of help often takes time to gather. The damage done in the interim is often lasting but can be minimized going forward.

Why does it take so long? Too many of us want to give the benefit of the doubt more than we should. We as a specie don't want to think bad of others and in some cases terrified to do so. That causes help to be withheld but eventually more figure out that benefit of the doubt is more harmful than helpful. For those who get it sooner than later can be taken into confidence. It may not be who you think it should be but recognize who it is and be grateful for them. Least they show more common sense.

My supporters now come from a variety of backgrounds and not always closely related. Some of the most disappointing persons have been close relatives and some friends. I no longer feel guilty not taking them into my confidence. That has helped a lot but still is sad to know I am even related to such misguided persons. frown

Make your time with them (your mom and son) your time with memories to take away.

Hope your mom and son give you the support you need and you give it to them in turn. smile

Take care,
Orchid
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 08/26/19 02:56 PM

We had a great weekend with DS. He is a wonderful young man.

Mrs H was hostile when I explained that he and I were going up on the roof to do some maintenance to the skylights. She was furious that I was going to "waste" precious time with DS doing chores. I explained to her that DS and I (similar to many men) bond best over a shared task. He and I talked about his job and his thoughts on a path forward. Much easier for me to ask questions with both of us staring at the roofing cement than looking straight at each other.

Then we cleaned up and went to a county fair and watched the horse pull and the truck pull and ate fried oreos and PB&J and had a wonderful afternoon and evening. Saturday night he went out with some middle school friends Sunday my Mom came over and we had brunch and watched the golf tournament and chatted. Then Sunday night we took DS and one of his childhood friends out for pizza. Just super all around.

Mrs H in a far better mood this morning. She is driving to meet her college friends (all female) and see a concert. We shall see about her mood tomorrow. Not sure if listening to all her friends' respective problems will leave her happier or if it will be a complaint session about all their husbands and she will come home itching for a fight. Not sure there is anything I can do about it so just going to go home after work and eat some fruit and wait to see what tomorrow brings.
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 08/27/19 01:04 AM

Glad you had a good weekend with DS.
Posted By: Miranda

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 08/27/19 02:41 PM

It feeds your soul to spend time with your child. Especially after they’ve gone away. I’m glad you got to do that.

I find I do better when I’m performing a task as well. Just sitting and “talking” feels awkward. Don’t feel bad about that. Besides, it’s a twofer! You get help getting something done and you get a hoo visit!!!
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 08/28/19 01:21 PM

Time for everyone to buy lottery tickets. We are living in a time of miracles and wonders. How do I know? Mrs Hold admitted something was her fault.

She was talking about her friend who cares for 2 adult disabled siblings. Mrs Hold said we are blessed. I said "yes, you could be stuck with someone far worse." She replied "you could be too, well, except that I am often mean to you." I told her not to worry, I signed up to be her firing range target. She said she is sorry, but she gets upset and I am the only one it is safe to take it out on. I said we were getting along so well this spring, and then we did something stupid, and we won't be doing that again so can we please go back to getting along. She said it wasn't the sex that set her off. I said "yes it was". She said "no it wasn't." I said "really? Then what was it?" She said "I decided to go off my AD meds cold turkey."

!?!?!?!?!!? Really? Did you tell the doctor who prescribes the AD meds. "No". Everyone knows you are supposed to taper off them." "Yes, well, I was annoyed with my eyes and I didn't want to have to be on AD meds for the rest of my life so I stopped. My naturopath gave me some herbs to take instead." ?!?!?!?!? "So you went off your AD meds without telling your doctor, or me, and then you get upset and bite my head off?" "Yeah, sorry."

I am glad she was open and honest with me. She must want to get along pretty badly if she was willing to admit that something was her fault.
Posted By: Miranda

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 08/28/19 02:31 PM

WT literal F??? Her naturopath gave her some HERBS??? She knows that shinola isn’t SCIENCE right???

OM Fing GOD!!!

Aaaarrrrrggggghhhhh

I’m so sorry Hold. I don’t have words for how awful that is. If you change your medications, you HAVE to tell someone. Because it’s important that someone helps you monitor for effects! That’s one of the dangers of living alone. No one to help.

Christ on Bike!
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 08/28/19 03:41 PM

Well, to be fair, I think the naturopath gave her 5-HTP, which is a serotonin precursor. So the naturopath was trying to impact the same chemical as the SSRI - just from the "make more" of it side.
Anyway, Mrs H was apologetic, which is rare for her. So I take that as a good sign.
Posted By: Miranda

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 08/28/19 03:58 PM

Yeah, honey, that doesn’t work that way. It goes into your DIGESTIVE SYSTEM. Where it gets mostly destroyed.

So you can’t just tinker around that way. It’s not tested, it’s not standardized. It’s just not effective.

SCIENCE works. We know this because we TEST it. That’s why it’s science.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 08/28/19 05:01 PM

Hey, you don't have to convince me. And if you think I have any influence on Mrs H, you haven't been reading closely these past 17 years. razz
Posted By: TC_Manhattan

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 08/28/19 05:28 PM

Hold, you have reached a true milestone with Mrs. Hold.

Congratulations!

That level of self-disclosure after all you two have been through means that you have gotten through to her that you are her safety,, truly.

And she feels safe enough now to actually admit as much to you.

Milestone...
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 08/29/19 12:42 AM

Wow. I had to check my pulse there for a minute. It's a shocker, you know.

Naturopaths are great in some respects. Depending on what she stopped cold turkey it could have a cascading affect on other health problems. She might want to touch base with her GP to make sure the natural stuff isn't affecting any of her other prescriptions.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 08/29/19 12:28 PM

Thanks for the concern over her health. Given how worried she is about her eyes, I am surprised she stopped taking a med without telling any of her doctors besides the naturopath. Anyway, so far so good as regards the eyes and we have hopefully passed through the detox period from her SSRI with me only slightly scathed (hmm, spell check says scathed is spelled wrong, but doesn't scathed have to be the opposite of unscathed - which spell check says is spelled correctly?).

TC may be on to something. I told Mrs Hold a few weeks ago I wanted to go to the Renn Faire over labor Day Weekend. She remembered. And she offered to go in costume! She has never gone in costume before. So it continues to be a time of signs and wonders.
Posted By: SFB

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 08/29/19 11:06 PM

Hold:

Good Luck, Man.

wink

SFB
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 09/03/19 12:12 PM

Nice weekend. Mrs H did indeed dress for the Faire. Good time was had by both. Yesterday she offered to help with yard chores, but she was saved by broken equipment. After 3 trip to Home Depot I gave up and figured I would rent the machine and do it next weekend. So hopefully she will help next Saturday.

Hope everyone had an excellent Labor Day weekend.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 09/30/19 06:29 PM

Mrs Hold got mixed news today at a new doctor. The good news is that her hormone levels are within a decent range. The bad news is that her eyes, although they responded well to treatment, are not 100% back to where they were, and they probably aren't going to get any better. This is the new normal / baseline for Mrs Hold. So she has to accept certain limitation in terms of how many hours a day she can drive in sunshine, how late she can drive, etc. But very little risk of losing her eyesight entirely, which is great news.

She was very glad I got up at 4:00 am to drive her to the new doctor. We had dinner last night with friends and the wife was bitter in reminding her husband that he refused to accompany her to her first chemotherapy infusion. So I got good "hubby points" today.
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 09/30/19 09:37 PM

Eyesight is one of those parts of our bodies that don't work so well the older we get. Is part of it also age-related?
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/01/19 03:34 PM

Blair: original problem was that thyroid antibodies caused her eyes to react. Built up pockets/cysts of inflammation behind the eyes. Pushes eyes forward, which stretches the eye muscles. Can also press against optic nerve, but luckily hers did not progress that far. Steroids and radiation stopped the growth of the cysts, and lead to some reduction in their size. Her eyeballs moved back into the sockets. But the muscles in her eye remain stretched. Her case is not bad enough to justify surgery to snip the muscles - too many risks of surgery compared to minor benefit. So she is stuck with some permanent eye damage - she sees double at end of day when her eye muscles get tired of contracting enough (now that they are longer) for her to see clearly.

The normal impact of aging will likely make things even worse as she gets older. But unless it gets really bad, there is nothing for the doctors to do that is worth the risk.
Posted By: Blair

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/01/19 11:08 PM

Oh my goodness, Hold! I must have missed the explanation the first time. I have a thyroid problem. I wonder if that is in my future, since my eyes have been bothering me so much lately. my eye doctor keep saying that everybody gets old and stuff just starts to break down after a while and not work.

Keep being a good husband and giving her attention. You're doing great at that.
Posted By: LivingWell

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/14/19 04:05 PM

Originally Posted by holdingontoit
TC may be on to something. I told Mrs Hold a few weeks ago I wanted to go to the Renn Faire over labor Day Weekend. She remembered. And she offered to go in costume! She has never gone in costume before. So it continues to be a time of signs and wonders.


I agree that TC is onto something! Very happy for you, Hold.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/14/19 10:40 PM

Hey LW, nice to see you.

In case anyone thought I was wrong in my analysis of H2's sexuality, she admitted she works pretty much as I imagined.

She said that it would be easier for her to be dominated sexually, because then she would not have to make any decisions and anything she did would not be her fault.
I replied that I was sorry that I am not the person who can do this for her. And that, based on her history, she found it so difficult to allow that to happen.
She said "oh, if I would allow anyone to do it, it would be you. I don't trust anyone in that way, but you are the person who is as close to being trustworthy as I have ever met. I would never allow anyone else to do that to me. So even if someone else would be more competent, you are the only one I want to be with."

Yes, I realize this is further evidence that she has reached a new level of feeling safe with me. At dinner on Saturday, she admitted that she had, in years past, entertained thoughts of divorcing me. But she doesn't have those thoughts any longer, and now she very much enjoys being married to me. I am trying to relax and allow that to feel good.
Posted By: LivingWell

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/14/19 11:13 PM

If there was a clear signal that clearly indicated to you that being dominated was a relief and not a trigger at that moment for Mrs Hold, would you be open to a little experimenting with being in charge of a sexual experience?

Also, would you be ok with it not being about her sexual gratification in the early stages of experimentation?

In other words, would you be open to being completely responsible for the experience without feedback or expectations of outcome during the experience?

What I'm thinking is something along the lines of using traffic signal colors. That you can assume that the color is green unless you hear otherwise. For example, Mrs Hold could say "yellow" if she was uncomfortable or triggering in the moment and you could take a break for snuggling, holding, anything that would be soothing for Mrs Hold (without discussion). If Mrs Hold ever said "red" it would mean full stop without beating yourself up afterward.

What do you think about running this idea by Mrs Hold?

Oh, and if she says it can be tried, don't tell her when. Tell her that you'll consider it yourself and get back to her when you've decided. If you do decide to try it, simply tell her that you've decided to try it... and then do it.

Hold, you are kind, compassionate and love Mrs Hold. Being in charge of the experience doesn't mean that you have to try to perform like a shade of grey. It just means that you will contribute what you can to the experience as will Mrs Hold, which to begin with would pretty much be 99% to Mrs Hold's 1%.
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/15/19 04:28 PM

LW, thanks for the advice and for the concern. I am guessing for other couples, and other husbands, your advice would be spot on. That is the highest likelihood of being a path to healing for both of us.

But I am me, and my position remains unchanged. I do not expect to have partner sex ever again. Not with her. Not with anyone else. Every time we have had sex the past few years (and it is a small number of sessions), she has been in a terrible mood for weeks afterward.

I like the power dynamic in our sexless marriage. I am the martyr. She knows it. She feels guilty. We get along. I refuse to have sex with her, as that shifts the dynamic to her being the martyr and she would expect me to sacrifice in all other areas of marriage since she would be making the "supreme sacrifice" of having sex with me. No thank you. That was the dynamic for the first 20 years of our marriage, and I hated it. Not going back there, even if that means eliminating any chance of resolving our sexual differences.

The sex with her lying there silent and motionless or robotically following my directions is not sufficiently satisfying to be anywhere near worth the risk of putting us back into overt conflict.
Posted By: LivingWell

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/16/19 04:12 PM

It's completely understandable that your position currently remains unchanged.

As you have witnessed with Mrs Hold, given enough time and safety, strongly held positions could start shifting at some point.

It might not be a good idea now but ya never know what the future might hold for the future Holds. smile
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/17/19 07:25 PM

LW: love the warm and comforting way you post.

Extremely unlikely that things will ever change. For me to engage in sex with her, she would have to seek treatment for her PTSD, and the treatment would have to work. I am deathly afraid that, should she ever cure her PTSD, she would want to have sex with someone more competent than me. So I am never going to encourage her to get help, and could imagine that my fear would motivate me to subtly undermine the process if she ever decided to do so of her own volition. With no pressure from me to have sex or seek treatment, and the likelihood that I would sabotage the process if she ever chose to begin treatment of her own volition, I am hard pressed to imagine a set of circumstances where we ever have sex again.

But, as the Bard said "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy." So never say never.
Posted By: Orchid2

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/17/19 08:32 PM

Hold,

What is your take on the 'trust factor' in your M?

Orchid
Posted By: holdingontoit

Re: Am I still a doormat? - 10/21/19 01:53 PM

MEs H trusts me as much as she trusts anyone. Her FOO is not big on trusting.

I do not trust her. At all. We are currently dealing with my father's estate, so talk of finances and insurance policies creep into conversation these days. Mes H mentioned that she doesn't like that the single largest insurance policy (on me) goes into trust and not to her directly. She asked me to change the beneficiary to her. I told her "no way". She asked me what it would take for me to change the beneficiary. I told her when she pays the balance of her credit card down to zero (currently over $20,000 - all incurred since kids went to college), I would think about changing the beneficiary designation. I told her I am not allowing her to spend every last dollar during her lifetime, and I don't trust her not to do exactly that. She can have the income but the principal will go to the kids. She hates that my sister is the trustee of the insurance trust. I told her "I have seen beneficiaries sweet talk a corporate trustee into giving them what they want. I trust my sister not to spend my children's inheritance. I don't trust you not to."
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