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Re: I'm learning to talk [Re: catperson] #14240
10/27/10 05:22 PM
10/27/10 05:22 PM
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NewEveryDay Offline
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How'd it go yesterday? Were you able to be still? Or did you still feel the need to jump up?

Is it a story you want to share, how it got that way? Is it about having a plan, so he doesn't see you free and throw some expectations on you of what you should be doing? Is it feeling like if you sit down and accept that the house is how it is today when he's home, that it would become justification for him to just sit, too? Are you so uncomfortable that he's home, like to the level of PTSD, that keeping active helps with the anxiety? Maybe something else altogether?


"I have everything I need." and "I am exactly where I am supposed to be." ~Louise Hays
Re: I'm learning to talk [Re: NewEveryDay] #14261
10/27/10 06:36 PM
10/27/10 06:36 PM
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catperson Offline OP
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It's a complicated relationship, NED. He's a good person with a lot of issues. It all started out of his insecurity. Such as, when we were first married, and I wanted to drive to my mom's in another town for the weekend, he'd get scared that I'd decide I didn't love him, so he subconsciously sought out ways to keep me at home. "We need to renovate the garage." "I need your help with this filing." Stuff like that. Being the person I am, I just gave up whatever I wanted, to make him happy. And it became set in stone. He basically kept up a million projects so we always had a reason we couldn't just get up and leave and go do something - unless HE was going, too. Then he was fine with it.

And if I did brave it out and say I was going to my friend's house, or mom's house, he'd subconsciously sabotage things. Like he'd work on the garage, and fall off the ladder, and then for 5 years, any time I wanted to do anything on my own, it was 'oh great, go ahead and go, I'll just take care of everything myself; so what if I fall off the ladder again; at least you're getting to go out and have fun while I have to work.'

Pretty much those words verbatim any time I tried to do anything on my own. So I just quit doing anything. To avoid hearing those words.

And he has a habit of saying 'what did YOU do today?' as in, did you get anything accomplished? If I said nothing, he'd ask why I didn't do such and such. He's a workaholic, so he doesn't believe in just goofing off for a day - we have to go somewhere, do something, accomplish something. So I learned if he comes home and I'm just sitting at the computer, he gets an attitude that I haven't been accomplishing anything. So I stopped letting him see me on the computer.

Plus, if he wants to watch tv, he wants me to watch it with him, and if I do something like needlepoint or computer, he'd get upset that I wasn't having 'quality time' with him. In other words, I wasn't proving to him that he was my #1 focus. So I quit doing those things to avoid his sarcastic looks and rolled eyes.

Pavlov's dogs, really.

Lately, I've been trying to fight it. I pull out the computer in bed now, whether he likes it or not, while we watch tv before sleep. Play solitaire or come on here.

And I was honest with him the other night and told him that I feel guilty for never taking DD20 up north with my mom all the times she invited me, so she could show us off to her family (we hadn't been since she was a baby), and the only reason I didn't go was because HE kept saying not this time, we'll go next time. Now it's too late. My mom, her two sisters, and her brother all died this year. But I made it clear (between tears) that I blame him for delaying, and I blame myself for going along with it.

So now he knows a little of my truth. I'm working on it.

Re: I'm learning to talk [Re: catperson] #14267
10/27/10 06:56 PM
10/27/10 06:56 PM
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NewEveryDay Offline
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Wow, cat, how awful. I can just imagine what that must be like. Now I really understand why you would love to be alone so much. Living under that kind of scrutiny would be too much for both of us.

I'm so grateful you're trying new things, finding what works for you, too.


"I have everything I need." and "I am exactly where I am supposed to be." ~Louise Hays
Re: I'm learning to talk [Re: NewEveryDay] #14272
10/27/10 07:13 PM
10/27/10 07:13 PM
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Misty Offline
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cat, I am so sorry. It sounds like your H is even more controlling than mine. My H does some of those things. I hate it when he comes home from going out to his weekly breakfast meeting with his friends each Saturday morning. Right away he looks around to see what I've done and then asks me what I accomplished. I hate that! If he is allowed to go out and spend time having fun, can't I spend that time at home doing what I want? Why do I have to be working all the time?

He expects me to watch TV with him too. I would say for every 30 minutes of one of my TV shows, we watch 4 hours of his choice. I have mentioned it many times but it doesn't change. He also doesn't agree that TV time is not UA time.

He also gets jealous of time I spend with my children, so I feel he wants me to pick him over them all the time. I found out he was actually writing in his journal all of the times I was spending with my children instead of him.

Fight the good fight, cat! Maybe if you make some progress, I'll have the courage to fight more too.



I am working very hard to heal after 8 years in an emotionally abusive marriage.
Re: I'm learning to talk [Re: Misty] #14274
10/27/10 07:14 PM
10/27/10 07:14 PM
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Misty Offline
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(((((cat))))) for all the loss you suffered this year!


I am working very hard to heal after 8 years in an emotionally abusive marriage.
Re: I'm learning to talk [Re: Misty] #14277
10/27/10 07:16 PM
10/27/10 07:16 PM
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Telly Offline
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Oh Cat.

I'm so very sorry.



Married 13 years
D10
D5
Re: I'm learning to talk [Re: Telly] #14332
10/27/10 09:23 PM
10/27/10 09:23 PM
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catperson Offline OP
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Wow, thanks everyone. I guess I'm so steeped in all this I didn't realize it sounds so abnormal to everyone else. And thanks for the good wishes about my family. I still have an aunt and an uncle by marriage left, up there. DD20 wants to see Washington DC - where the aunt lives, and New York, so I'm going to try to plan something so I can at least go to see them and the cousins, in honor of my mom. I just never dreamed how ashamed I'd be that I never took that trip with her. And of course, my brother - who never thinks I do ANYTHING but screw up - has made it clear how much I've disappointed everyone.

So many things I would have done differently. My mom's birthday is Sunday. I want to go away somewhere by myself, but DD20 is coming home for the weekend.

Re: I'm learning to talk [Re: catperson] #14334
10/27/10 09:32 PM
10/27/10 09:32 PM
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Posts: 2,791
Surface of the sun
silentlucidity Offline
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Wow, cat, that is a lot of loss in one year. I'm so sorry to hear that, and then to hear about so much lost time due to H inducing guilt for the desire to go. UGH!!! Sounds like a form of bullying.

Kudos to you for taking control of yourself.

Re: I'm learning to talk [Re: silentlucidity] #14341
10/27/10 10:03 PM
10/27/10 10:03 PM
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catperson Offline OP
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Thanks, sl. What's weird is I really don't care if I stay married - if I weren't broke I'd be considering leaving - and yet I'm still so fearful of his being upset with me. But taking control is the only way for me to reach any sort of healthy level.

Re: I'm learning to talk [Re: catperson] #14357
10/27/10 10:24 PM
10/27/10 10:24 PM
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Posts: 2,791
Surface of the sun
silentlucidity Offline
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IMO, you win when you take control or yourself and your part in any situation. It's scary, but the alternative is allowing others to live your life for you.

Since you really don't care if you stay married, then I guess you have nothing to lose, huh? The fear of him being upset? Hmmmm...wonder if this stems from the conditioning to sacrifice? Anyway, it's behavior, habit and can be changed. When you change, all else around you changes...

Re: I'm learning to talk [Re: silentlucidity] #14704
10/28/10 09:00 PM
10/28/10 09:00 PM
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Colorado
LovingAnyway Offline
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Cat, I think your planning to take the trip with DD20 is wonderful. I hope you'll consider explaining to H it's what you need to do to help heal what you didn't, and to invite him along.

I'm very happy you aren't taking H's upset as your own--that's what I heard. That you respect him to deal with his own upset, because he can, and has, and will. I believe through your marriage, you really can heal what has been evident in your original family...with your mother and brother.

Speaking is a significant first step. That you are still speaking is another one. Keep taking those steps because you weren't wrong, you didn't marry the wrong man and you certainly are not the wrong woman...you are partners in your life. You speaking will really make all the difference.

It takes what it takes to bring you to this moment, this time. The more you learn to enforce boundaries with your brother, the better you will with H.

I believe the only times H has wanted anything more than your happiness is when he's wanted to not be so afraid. May not seem so to you...because he wasn't asking for what really made you happy, but what he thought would.

LA


The Paradoxical Commandments

Married 28 years/Together 30
Recovered 10 years
MALovingAnyway@gmail.com
Re: I'm learning to talk [Re: LovingAnyway] #14750
10/29/10 12:17 AM
10/29/10 12:17 AM
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catperson Offline OP
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Good points, LA. Thanks.

Re: I'm learning to talk [Re: catperson] #14755
10/29/10 12:52 AM
10/29/10 12:52 AM
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My wish is that you know how much I admire you, Cat. I accept all of you--your incredible intellect as well as your constant anxiety. They aren't contradictory to me.

I see you as a passionate person in a most isolating way, with a generosity of spirit and wisdom which is really magnetic.

I have the secret belief that you have been afraid to be who you really are in every moment, raw to the world, because you might outshine us all.

LA


The Paradoxical Commandments

Married 28 years/Together 30
Recovered 10 years
MALovingAnyway@gmail.com
Re: I'm learning to talk [Re: LovingAnyway] #14776
10/29/10 02:01 AM
10/29/10 02:01 AM
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catperson Offline OP
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catperson  Offline OP
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um...ok... wink

Re: I'm learning to talk [Re: Not2fun] #15296
10/31/10 02:46 AM
10/31/10 02:46 AM
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USA
Chris Offline
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Chris  Offline
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Cat,

I don't know your story but I was really touched by the opening words in your blog, and I am sending positive vibes your way.

I LOVE the way you explained how you were feeling and the way you chose to let your H know about how his behavior impacted your feelings.

I am hoping to read more about you.

I experienced DV in our marriage. Heck - I experienced many things in our marriage. While it is true that how our spouses treat us is their choice, our reactions to their treatment of us is our choice.

Change your steps, change the dance.

Once I truly believed that, I was able to act on it...not just in my marriage, but in other areas of my life as well. At that point, things started to change.

BTW - be on the lookout for change back behavior (where the people in your life try to resist the changes you are making and they want to restore equilibrium quickly...they act to return the relationship back to its original state.) Calmness, patience, consistency, & repitition are the keys to dealing with that.

Have you read The Dance of Anger?



smile


ChrisInNOVA2@yahoo.com
Re: I'm learning to talk [Re: Chris] #15543
11/01/10 03:33 AM
11/01/10 03:33 AM
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catperson Offline OP
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Hi Chris. Thanks. I did read that book, and passed it on to my daughter.

The weird thing about my H is he really cares so much, but needs help learning what's acceptable. More later.

Today is/was my mom's birthday. My first one without her. Just can't focus on anything today.

Re: I'm learning to talk [Re: catperson] #15559
11/01/10 05:26 AM
11/01/10 05:26 AM
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Vittoria Offline
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Originally Posted by catperson
Today is/was my mom's birthday. My first one without her. Just can't focus on anything today.

I get this Cat.
This is strange and I can't explain it.
I've always remembered my Dad on his birthday. The day that he died, not so much.
That day can come and go without a thought, but I always celebrate his birthday.

Big hugs to you. smile


26 yrs. married
There's nothing more powerful than a woman with an open heart ......
Re: I'm learning to talk [Re: Vittoria] #15590
11/01/10 02:44 PM
11/01/10 02:44 PM
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catperson Offline OP
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DD20 is so special. She kept looking after me all day. Hugged me, held me when I cried, made sure I had something to do all day, knew what I was going through. DH never once even mentioned my mom. DJ, but I doubt he even noticed what day it was.

Re: I'm learning to talk [Re: catperson] #15596
11/01/10 03:18 PM
11/01/10 03:18 PM
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NewEveryDay Offline
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Cat, I'm so happy your daughter was there for you. I noticed with my M, that I didn't feel safe to share with my xh what I needed. Not projecting as much as fears coming back to the surface, because what had happened before. AOs from him with the outcome of keeping him the center of attention, regardless of the intent. Maybe he felt like I was ungrateful for the level of support that he was giving, I don't know. He would express that I didn't "just choose to be happy." It was unpredictable, because then other times, I'd ask for support, and he was gracious in providing it. But when I was in survival mode, just trying to "stay under the radar," I was afraid to ask for what I needed. How sad, huh, living through periods of trying to "stay under the radar." Not knowing when it was safe to pop back out or not, getting it wrong again and again. Then doubling the withdrawal by mistakenly taking it as about me, "if only I tried harder, was better at predicting it." That may be about as opposite of 15 hours UA time, taking time in love to focus on giving and enjoying loving attention together, as one can get.

From out here, I don't think the problem was the lack of sensitivity that he didn't notice I was feeling bad. That could have been remedied if I was in an environment where I felt heartened to speak up consistently. I think the problem was the pattern of AOs that intimidated me out of asking for support. How are you two doing, cat, in ending the cycle of AOs? Not all or nothing, I know, but it's tough when there's good days and bad days, to keep putting your neck on the line out there, when the consequences of the missteps spiral out of control so quickly. How are you doing with it? Are you working the progressive boundary enforcement, like LA describes?


"I have everything I need." and "I am exactly where I am supposed to be." ~Louise Hays
Re: I'm learning to talk [Re: NewEveryDay] #15629
11/01/10 05:19 PM
11/01/10 05:19 PM
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catperson Offline OP
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He's been a lot better about not AOing, I've been trying harder to meet his needs. But I've gone so long never asking for anything, I agree it's hard to change that dynamic. I'm just whining, commenting about him not noticing. He did nothing wrong yesterday. It's like I used to 'bait' him by not telling him it was my birthday, and seeing if he would remember - my payoff was getting to have hurt feelings and being the victim when he forgot. I see now how stupid and destructive that is. Trying to be better.

TJ: I got a little pang when you wrote your xh... {{{NED}}}

Re: I'm learning to talk [Re: catperson] #17393
11/06/10 06:57 PM
11/06/10 06:57 PM
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Chris Offline
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Cat,

are you guys actively working on your marriage with some sort of coaching / counseing / plan?


ChrisInNOVA2@yahoo.com
Re: I'm learning to talk [Re: Chris] #17567
11/07/10 01:58 PM
11/07/10 01:58 PM
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catperson Offline OP
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No. My husband won't discuss it. If I bring it up, he pretends I'm not talking. The only thing I've found that works is to read stuff to him when we're in the car.

We're too busy right now to deal with it anyway. The best thing I can do is work on myself and let him change with me.

Re: I'm learning to talk [Re: catperson] #17578
11/07/10 03:04 PM
11/07/10 03:04 PM
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soolee Offline
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Cat you have such a great kid. You've raised her well.

I just wanted to comment that some of our conversations in the car have been our most productive, our most peaceful. I'm not sure what it is - whether it's the inability to look in each others' eyes or what, but there's something to it.

You know...on second thought I think it's that there's this unavoidable, rather close physical proximity that you can't change in the car. Two feet apart and no more, pretty much. Then there's this elimination of having to repeat yourself like when you do from home, talking from room to room. You can hear each other plain as day in the car. Your voice is contained and hard to ignore.

That could be it.

Last edited by soolee; 11/07/10 03:05 PM.

Me: 53
Him: 53
Together: 34 years
Married: 27 years

"Aspire to Inspire before you Expire" Author Unknown

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Re: I'm learning to talk [Re: soolee] #17593
11/07/10 04:18 PM
11/07/10 04:18 PM
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OurHouse Offline
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I agree. You know how the best place to talk to a teenager is often in the car?

Same principle applies here, I think!

Re: I'm learning to talk [Re: OurHouse] #17735
11/08/10 05:08 AM
11/08/10 05:08 AM
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catperson Offline OP
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Yeah, I've printed out a few things from MB to read to him when we drive up to DD20's college, but I'm still building up the courage. I'm sure you know how that is, guys. I'll see what I can do.

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