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Staying Together #729
09/02/10 07:54 PM
09/02/10 07:54 PM
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Squeaky Tree Offline OP
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I guess I should really give a bit of background. But I'm not going to right now.

I guess we are still in need of marriage support and things but I didn't feel quite right posting under any of the headings there and of course I have a tendency to go on and go on and go on.

Those of you that know me, know that I have been helping a friend out at an exercise class. Started in Jan, this was discussed at great length with J(as in over weeks) -as to whether it would be ok - leaving at teatime and being out at bedtime and he gave it his blessing.

Nearly every single week I have left for the class in tears or close too. So tonight I resigned.

I never get the tea on the table for exactly the right second or there is some other problem on a thurs evening. It's all rubbish and made up - it just shows how much he resents me doing it. Makes me cross because of the full consultation.

Anyway, on my return he is straight to volleyball, only tonight he planned not to go (car has a brake fault and he didn't want to cycle). This is just 2 weeks after the vball AGM where they lowered fees, promised improved coaching if the teams committed to turning up - both things that he has been pushing for.

I was cross for him taking such an easy escape after the requests he'd put in were being addressed, but also I was really annoyed because I wanted to get on here tonight.

He was then in a foul mood after I had worked all day, walked dog, prepared dinner and dealt with 2 exceptionally tired and argumentative children after their first days at new schools. And he says "why isn't my dinner plated?" (I was keeping the lamb shank warm in the slowcooker and the freshly harvested courgette and beans on the hob).

I was very angry that I had to leave the children with him being grumpy and with absolutely no recognition for what I had done. He was angry with me because I wanted to spend time on the computer this evening when he had planned a night off volleyball.

But we have had a really good few weeks. He just needs a full time bloody housekeeper and childminder, plus someone to bring in some money.

Vent end.

He's gone - I'm here. Does that mean that I am evil and manipulative?

I'm annoyed that I didn't have his support to do the class - just one night that I am not here at tea time - and then I make it before I go - and I get this exercise class for free because I help out.

But I decided tonight that I would rather give it up than have the weekly trauma of going.



Married 21years (this year) ~12y since dday(?)
DD16 DS14
Which way do you like yourself? ~ Stosny
Re: Staying Together [Re: Squeaky Tree] #801
09/03/10 03:54 AM
09/03/10 03:54 AM
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Ace Offline
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{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{Staytogether}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}

Glad you're here and although I may not say much, I'm pulling for you and J.

Originally Posted by staytogether
He's gone - I'm here. Does that mean that I am evil and manipulative?


This was rhetorical, right?

Hugz,

Ace




Re: Staying Together [Re: Ace] #812
09/03/10 01:03 PM
09/03/10 01:03 PM
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star*fish Offline
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ST,

Occasionally Dr. Phil drops a gem, and here's something he says that I've always remembered "We teach people how to treat us".

Are you happy with what J learned this week? He learned that he can be demanding and you'll still scramble to get his dinner "plated". He learned that you'll give up something you love, something that's good for you, in order to meet his selfish demand for tea time.

I'm not some feminist, and even though I'm an American, I have a very traditional marriage. I love to pamper my husband, and I don't feel subservient doing it at all as long as he's gracious and appreciative. However, if he was demanding and ungrateful it's probably his lap that would get "plated".



"Yes, I'll have the love combo, open faced with a side of respect and large a glass of forgiveness, easy on the ice please--my brother
Re: Staying Together [Re: star*fish] #821
09/03/10 01:53 PM
09/03/10 01:53 PM
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Posts: 5,400
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Squeaky Tree Offline OP
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I just can't work out what i could have done differently.

He seemed to have finally been ok last time I went, had a bit of a realisation, but it's gone.

I honestly couldn't carry on going anymore - getting out of the house was so stressful.

I could have kept going and he has emailed now to say, "I don't want you to stop, I was an arse". But he's done that before. This time I'm doing something different.

Can you see any other way?


Married 21years (this year) ~12y since dday(?)
DD16 DS14
Which way do you like yourself? ~ Stosny
Re: Staying Together [Re: Squeaky Tree] #828
09/03/10 02:27 PM
09/03/10 02:27 PM
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star*fish Offline
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Originally Posted by staytogether
I just can't work out what i could have done differently.


They're are several different parts to this issue...and there are different possibilities for each one.

Quote
He seemed to have finally been ok last time I went, had a bit of a realisation, but it's gone.


Obviously he's got some resentment about you going. Is it really just about whether tea time is late? Or is it because he sees tea time as the time he "connects" with you? Have you asked him about why his thoughts go up and down? It might help you to figure out how to come up a better solution.

Quote
I honestly couldn't carry on going anymore - getting out of the house was so stressful.

I could have kept going and he has emailed now to say, "I don't want you to stop, I was an arse". But he's done that before.


It seems like something is missing from this puzzle...get to the bottom of his feelings instead of giving up on the things you like.

Quote
This time I'm doing something different.


what?

Quote
Can you see any other way?


Yes I can, but I'm not sure all of them would suit you LOL. I can actually think of all kinds of responses to the "plating" query.



"Yes, I'll have the love combo, open faced with a side of respect and large a glass of forgiveness, easy on the ice please--my brother
Re: Staying Together [Re: star*fish] #833
09/03/10 02:54 PM
09/03/10 02:54 PM
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believer Offline
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Sorry you are feeling like you can't have some time to do something you enjoy.

So, do you have his dinner plated up every other night of the week at an exact time?

Trying to figure out if he is annoyed about the dinner, that he has to watch the kids, or that you are doing something for yourself. Or is it something else?

Re: Staying Together [Re: believer] #841
09/03/10 03:56 PM
09/03/10 03:56 PM
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Squeaky Tree Offline OP
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I haven't painted the picture clearly here, I am out all evening at band on Tues, but after tea time.

Dinner is plated up usually timed with his return form work which varies.

He sees tea time as a time to connect with all the family together.

I try to get to the bottom of his feelings, but I just wonder whether it is learned - same weekly meal rotation and 5pm when he was a kid.


Married 21years (this year) ~12y since dday(?)
DD16 DS14
Which way do you like yourself? ~ Stosny
Re: Staying Together [Re: Squeaky Tree] #919
09/03/10 08:44 PM
09/03/10 08:44 PM
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Squeaky Tree Offline OP
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The something different I am doing is taking the path of least resistance - not something I generally do. I've weighed it up. I can swim on my tues pm and fri am off.

Tonight I am at my sis's. They have gone away for their wedding anniversary. I have my 2 children and hers here. I suggested J go out with a friend. I'm pleased I did actually, I just read an article about the impact of friendship circles and his friend is certainly one that gives high energy, so I am sure the evening will refresh him.

I do find that when I am annoyed with him or cross at the way things are gone a short spell without time together is soothing. TIme to take a step back and have a look at the reality of it all.

And actually looking back I think I dug my heels in with that exercise class. I knew as soon as I asked that he didn't want me to do it and at that time I was more than willing to decline the offer. After weeks of me encouraging him to be honest and say what he reaaly wanted and discussions on how it might work and him still saying yes; I think I've stuck with it because I knew he didn't wnat me to do it and becasue I'm annoyes that despite giving him so much opportunity he still wasn't o&h about it.

I guess he was on dodgy ground though - already with a heavy reputation for being controlling and din't want to be seen to be stopping doing something that I wanted to do. Although I had said that I only wanted to do it if he enthusiatically agreed and that I would be enthusistically in agreement if he decided it wasn't quite such a good idea (being vball night and me encouraging it lots to head off his depression)

The lines for me on trditional marriage are really blurry. And it really bugs me still that because I only work PT and I leave for work after him and return before him taht he seems to forget that I work at all.

My sis said today - "my H is exceptionally grateful and very pleased if I get one meal a week ready for when he gets home from work" she works 8 hours.

We are of course very different me and my sis. You can barely get through the front door of her house for all the stuff everywhere. ALthough she does seem to have turned over a new leaf this week - I haven't once had to clear a counter top or empty/fill the dishwasher just to get myself a drink!!

II've heard that we are s'posed to pick H's like our fathers, why are mine and hers so differnt? (Not that I'd swap mine for hers).



Married 21years (this year) ~12y since dday(?)
DD16 DS14
Which way do you like yourself? ~ Stosny
Re: Staying Together [Re: Squeaky Tree] #1044
09/04/10 07:00 PM
09/04/10 07:00 PM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 5,400
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Squeaky Tree Offline OP
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Next weekend I have a gig. It's a good gig at a beer festival. It's in a village near where my dad was born - he came last year and met up with loads of old school buddies and locals.

We said this year we'd go with mum and dad and sis and bil and friends who came last year.

I said to J months ago to see if he wanted to invite his mum and dad for the w/e to babysit.

He didn't do it. He keeps, coming back saying i know it's my responsibility but why didn't you remind me? I did mention it again last w/e.

He says I should ask my parents to babysit and is playing a bit of a guilt trip by asking me whether I think that it is more important that he come than them. He knows that they would babysit if I asked (very poor boundaries and very martyr like, my mother- so I'm not going there). I think they should come as planned.

He thinks we've had an excellent w/e. IT has been good, but this is clearly not sitting quite right with me and there is another thing:

When I was weeding today, I asked if he wanted to join me. He enthusiastically said "yes I will, I'll just finish this job here".

I was pleased, I didn't expect him to say yes and he was certainly keen.

10mins later he arrives and says "where shall I start?" Isay "over in that corner and we'll meet in the middle?"

his reply (sulky tone all of a sudden) "if i have to". I said that no he didn't have to and why the change of heart. "Well, I rushed that job and couldn't get it to work and now I'm annoyed."

I get really annoyed that he lets his annoyance with crappy gadgets affect teh way he talks to me and the children. I had absolutely no objection to him finishing his job properly, I was surprised when he showed up so soon.

When will he get it?

I have had the first day today in about 2 weeks where my DD hasn't talked to me like a stroppy teenager - it's no wonder when he is setting the example like that all the time.

Interestingly, he has been speaking to her in a much more pleasant tone and been giving her some praise. Maybe he just can't be civil to both of us on the same day.

It's these little tiny things that empty my lovebank - tone of voice, hunched up shoulders and snarly look. But all becasue no matter how easy going I am he can not be OandH.

I don't like the example he sets.



Married 21years (this year) ~12y since dday(?)
DD16 DS14
Which way do you like yourself? ~ Stosny
Re: Staying Together [Re: Squeaky Tree] #1235
09/06/10 06:19 PM
09/06/10 06:19 PM
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Squeaky Tree Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: http://www.lundybancroft.com/art_change_men.html


Checklist for Assessing Change in Men Who Abuse Women
By Lundy Bancroft

Admitting fully to what he has done
Stopping excuses
Stopping all blaming of her
Making amends
Accepting responsibility (recognizing that abuse is a choice)
Identifying patterns of controlling behavior, admitting their wrongness
Identifying the attitudes that drive his abuse
Accepting that overcoming abusiveness will be a decades-long process, not declaring himself cured
Not starting to say, "so now it's your turn to do your work", not using change as a bargaining chip
Not demanding credit for improvements he has made
Not treating improvements as chips or vouchers to be spent on occasional acts of abuse (e.g. "I haven't done anything like this in a long time, so why are you making such a big deal about it?")
Developing respectful, kind, supportive behaviors
Carrying his weight
Sharing power
Changing how he is in highly heated conflicts
Changing how he responds to his partner's (or former partner's) anger and grievances
Changing his parenting
Changing his treatment of her as a parent
Changing his attitudes towards females in general
Accepting the consequences of his actions (including not feeling sorry for himself about those consequences, and not blaming her or the children for them)

____________________

Admitting fully to what he has done: Yes, he does that

Stopping excuses: Not always

Stopping all blaming of her: Yes but sometimes blames the kids

Making amends: Yes

Accepting responsibility (abuse is a choice): definitely

Identifying patterns of controlling behaviour: Working on it, some identified, fills in "control logs" as part of perpetrators course.

Identifying attitudes that drive his abuse: Working on it, part of control log.

Accepting and overcoming abusiveness will be a decades long process, not declaring himself cured: He accepts this. I don't. If he has identified that what he is doing is wrong why can he not just stop it?

Not starting to say "so now it's your turn to do the work", not using change as a bargianing chip : He does this quite a bit.

Not demanding credit for for improvements made: He does demand credit.

No treating improvements as chips or vouchers to be spent on occasional acts of abuse: He did this this weekend. Wanted me to overlook something cos other bits had been good.

Developing respectful, kind supportive behaviours: This is one of the major pluses I have seen

Carrying his weight: Definitely

Sharing power: I think he is too keen to defer to me, which makes him resentful and increases background anger.

Changing how he is in highly heated conflicts: Yes, he lets me walk away if I am feeling vulnerable.

Changing how he responds to my anger and grievances: Most of the time definitely and as above.

Changing his parenting: This is coming up. I am very concerned about the levels of criticism particularly with DD. In fact I told him exactly how I would like to parent DD at the weekend.

Changing treatment of me as a parent: beginning to

Changing attitude to females: yes – recognises when others have a "problem" with females, more so in the workplace.

Accepting consequences of his actions: Hmmm. Not sure, can't get his head around the fact that I am sensitive to raised voices and any tension in his body language and that at times I find it hard to be physically close.




Married 21years (this year) ~12y since dday(?)
DD16 DS14
Which way do you like yourself? ~ Stosny
Re: Staying Together [Re: Squeaky Tree] #1236
09/06/10 06:19 PM
09/06/10 06:19 PM
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Squeaky Tree Offline OP
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Please remind me to do it the other way round another time.


Married 21years (this year) ~12y since dday(?)
DD16 DS14
Which way do you like yourself? ~ Stosny
Re: Staying Together [Re: Squeaky Tree] #1239
09/06/10 07:02 PM
09/06/10 07:02 PM
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Posts: 5,400
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Squeaky Tree Offline OP
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A quick history:

Started dating Sep 1997
Bought house Apr 1998
Married Sep 1998
Moved away from my home town apr 1999 - We were very typical Double Income No Kids Yet - and had a great time.
DD born May 2003 (pregnancy left me housebound, unable to walk or drive for last 4-5 weeks)
After 11months mat leave, J and I shared childcare with nursery and worked 3.5 days each. It was a great lifestyle.
June 2005 moved back to home town due to pregnancy and disablement and toddler.

During all the years above J suffered from bouts of depression and there were several times that I would barricade myself in a room in fear.


Sep 2005 J starts working shifts.
Oct 2005 DS born.
I was single mum 5 days out of 10 and found it very difficult to let J be part of our lives when he was around. He hated DS and didn't want to be near him. Health Visitor suggested we try homoeopathy for HIS postnatal depression.
DS ~ 2 months - J elbows me and knocks me out of the open car door, winding me.
I shut down. Can't remember much for that year. He started counselling _ I requested he did so for my 30th b'day present.

Apr 2007 - My A starts (not that I knew that was what it was)
May 2007 - heavy padlock thrown in rage at my back as I walked away from him. ( I was aware that he was on the edge had had been trying to help him, in my trembly state I dropped some money). OM tells me that that is a normal part of married life and that he has hit his wife (how odd, that is the first time I've recalled that conversation)

Rolling on round a year to Spring 2008 - I begin to wonder whether there is such a thing as an emotional A. Adn talk to J about it. He tells me not to see OM, but I justify myself.

Sep 2008 - after several pinnings and much intimidation, I decide to make a plan to leave J. Never wanting to be with OM, just escape J.

He finds out and begs me to stay - he's going to change.

He certainly improved and it was NYE that we were at a friends house and I was nipping of to the loo to text OM every hour or so and then at the strike of midnight as the other 2 couples were kissing and wishing HNY, I couldn't do it.... and I felt awful and guilty and sick and I decided that I would end my A and confessed all on NYD or the 2nd.

Think I first found MB when I was trying to find out whether there was such a thing as an EA.

Started posting mid Jan 2009 and finally ended it with MB support and guidance.

We seemed to recover form the A very quickly really. Had some debate on the board as to why this was. Maybe my acceptance of the wrong and my effort to make it right and the change in my behaviour and evident EPs, along with his guilt and sense of responsibility and his feeling that he had driven me to it. I very soon learnt from MB people that he didn't drive me to it and that I chose to do it.

So last August he lost it in the middle of the night (over a DS3 wet bed) and because I wanted to discuss why 3 yo wet beds in the morning and not there and then, he followed me to the living room, shouting and yelling at me and shaking me. He then picked up the car key and said he was going to take the kids away. I grabbed the phone to call the police. He put it down and started sobbing.

With help form MB people (many of whom are here) I was able to get him to move out and work on himself.

He was out for 2 months, in which time he read and learnt and booked on an emotional coping skills course and angermanagement course and got himself on the waiting list for the perpetrators of abuse course.

I had a lot of boundaries work to do in that time too and had a look at my abusive behaviour - SD and IB and DJ very passive aggresive.

We have been moving slowly upwards ever since. My concerns now are the children.

DD very sensitive to criticism and real anxiety about missing out on things. Wails and does have violent AOs. "Between Parent and Child" has really helped her this last few weeks. She has never been a talker and has always found it hard to identify emotions (and pain).

DS I think he has been copying DDs shouting behaviours and he goes from calm to rage in a split second and will sometimes hit the dog if his sister is unkind to him. Has no problems expressing his feelings or problems verbally.


Where me and J have improved: He thinks lots about physical needs and will fill LB with acts of service and DS.
We are physically more affectionate, we do occasionally reach for each other as we're passing and cuddle most nights in bed and now the dog is sleeping in, in the morning too.
I make sure that he gives his opinion on things and work exceptionally hard to give him the opportunity to be honest. We make more effort to talk to each other - but we still need to use those tools for safe negotiation even in just plain old conversation.


We now need to avoid a parenting issue - I sometimes think that he treats DD as he was treating me. We need to look into parenting together, hopefully working on this will draw us together.







Married 21years (this year) ~12y since dday(?)
DD16 DS14
Which way do you like yourself? ~ Stosny
Re: Staying Together [Re: Squeaky Tree] #1240
09/06/10 07:28 PM
09/06/10 07:28 PM
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ST,

I hope you believe I'm in your corner, even after reading this.

I still see your marriage mired in blame.

And I see you reaching out and snatching it, then throwing it back at H.

Just your part...not all or nothing. A part.

See, you want O&H...and H gives it to you...in your last post, he said what he was feeling and why.

You didn't celebrate that. Instead, you smack him (in your own head) with "When will he get it?"

I think that's your signal to you...that you keep wanting what you want, when you want it and in the exact way you want it.

He can't deliver that. No one can. And it does go along the lines of you teaching him the way you want to be treated...with suspicion, discounting, dismissal and denial.

You've got a power struggle going on...blame dodge ball...and I believe if you'd stop in the moment, inhale and strive for awareness, a lot of the stress would fall away. You'd see the abundance of change, O&H, love and respect going on.

Very difficult to do. Because he wanted to weed with you more than his prior project...do you hear that? LOL OMGosh...please hear that. He rushed it to be doing something with you. And he told you he was annoyed...he shared. Why reach in and make it about you making him?

Why not hear and celebrate? "I love it when you tell me your feelings. Thank you!" He can be annoyed...and that's okay. He didn't sulk, even if you heard a sulking tone.

You think you're easy going...and you aren't. You are ST...you have many pieces, depending on places, your choice of perspective and perception. Lay down the blame grab...which is really hard, given all humans, because of our nature, will make everything about us.

Until we stop and listen and watch and be aware.

THEN we become part of our spouses, our part of marriage.

You know your H is highly passive-aggressive. Do you know where your own P/A is in you? Like an American comic, "Here's your sign"...

If you judge his tone of voice (which is another part of expression...HIS self-expression, about him), his hunched up shoulders may indicate he feels attacked...and he was...attacking himself...and his snarly look...about him, not at you...

then you won't constantly feel judged, labeled, convicted of crimes that aren't yours.

To share...my DH often says, "If I have to" in that Eeyore voice...and in the last five years, we've made it our joke phrase...where we now have a smile and a nudge with one another, an act of affection, instead of repugnance.

Comes from the Red Green show (a PBS comedy) from years ago. They had The Man's Prayer..."I'm a man, but I can change, if I have to, I guess."

Cracked up DH every time we watched. So that "if I have to" gets said (by both of us) and then the other smiles and says "I guess."

You could tell he wasn't agreeing with the exercise idea...you knew that. Sounds like the timing was the key issue.

The working PT and full time (hers and his) sounds like an O&H sharing to be had...to really hear what the other believes, experiences. Not to solve, to understand.

Your awareness has captured his changes...in some really important areas...like with DD, his actions surprising you (having him pegged to do something/not do something given the history).

Not all rubbish or made up. Signals of annoyance. Resigning the class won't eliminate those. They will come in different ways. How you react to them, forming a time-out non-verbal signal, removing and rejoining. Saying Ouch. Reaching for his hand to physically remind you that you're in this together--not one against the other. Lots and lots of new behaviors you can choose to mind your own awareness, understanding...check yourself.

Because your own assumptions, deeply instilled, will thwart you from what you want most.

And it's super tough getting teen-aged stroppiness from H and from the real teenager. No question.

And reminding yourself..."He's keen on me"...not weeding...being with his bride, his center (which is wonderful and awful, and every variation in between)...don't jump over he's keen on you.

And you want to be keen on him. I know you do. What's your goal? Is that it? Or is your goal, maybe hidden inside you, to make him stop hurting you?

What our top goal is matters. Greatly. Often, we'll say one goal and mean another. Leaves us in the same cycles.

Hate the cycles, not the person. Break the cycles, not the person. A reminder. I know you know this...practicing is hard. Not reacting is hard. You're not bad or wrong, ST...you're working against yourself and your marriage sometimes. In some geniunely poignant moments. You are being given what you asked for...that's what I think.

LA


The Paradoxical Commandments

Married 28 years/Together 30
Recovered 10 years
MALovingAnyway@gmail.com
Re: Staying Together [Re: LovingAnyway] #1241
09/06/10 07:42 PM
09/06/10 07:42 PM
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Posts: 5,400
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Squeaky Tree Offline OP
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I want to be keen on him, because I don't think he's that bad.

Will I ever get over the fact that after DV you are s'posed to get out of the R? (any body/group offering advice or support says so)

Am I still looking for those things to give me the escape?

Is it really OK to stay together?

Part of me holding back?

How do I make me go all in?

Who is going to give me the reassurance that it really is OK to keep working at it?

I feel to give it all I should trust him. But that would be foolish?

Yes I know I am PA and where parenting is concerned I am controlling. But I need to try and control the parenting or leave with the kids.....I think....maybe...

My goal is definitely to be keen on him.


Married 21years (this year) ~12y since dday(?)
DD16 DS14
Which way do you like yourself? ~ Stosny
Re: Staying Together [Re: Squeaky Tree] #1335
09/07/10 04:29 PM
09/07/10 04:29 PM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 2,309
Colorado
LovingAnyway Offline
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LovingAnyway  Offline
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Separate going all in and trusting completely.

In your situation, I don't see how leaving truly helps you and your children. If J wasn't working the abuse program, even extending it, that would be different.

You've seen his changes. You've seen he can change. You aren't controlling his rage by your actions. I don't think you really believe that yet. That's your part.

You will only reassure yourself that it is really okay when you decide to live to your own code of conduct. Not because of his possible response...your very own. Within that is your self-reassurance.

Only you know if you keep holding the escape as your real goal...doesn't sound like it to me...since you do see his changes, you mostly experience him now as who he is...and not for what you made him up to be.

I don't trust my DH to this day to never again withdraw, go silent, mock or degrade. I trust myself to do my part if he does it again.

My DH says he trusts me never to abuse him again. I don't trust me to that extent. The incidents in my recovery went from non-abuse months into years. There is no never. That's the language of fantasy.

When my DH has felt that a disagreement was escalating, believed it would go to that realm, he's spoken of it right then. Even in casual conversations, he'll listen for disrespect and disparagement. He doesn't wait it out or set me up anymore, either. He's trying to find his own anger, still. There are days when I have to discern my anger from my pain, too.

Difference is that we do it together. I don't look for him to make me safe...I know I am because I practice my boundary enforcements. Including the one where I don't build resentment, zero in on his body language, read him down to fit my assumptions. ST, I still have to practice it...catch myself at it.

Changing our habits is no small thing. My DH has been generous in his praise of my changes. And I forget that, btw, as I focus on how stingy he is with admiration in other areas concerning me.

That's about me, not him, btw. In my control. I still slip, a lot, in my mind, and ruminate on what I lack...not holding to my code to see the whole, the balanced perspective...not made up. Very real. And posting to you has always helped me in my own recovery.

Would you post the list, again, and fill in the answers for you, not him? Changing the pronouns as applicable?

Forming your own code...catching yourself in old habits you really no longer want and no longer apply to J is a good habit to form.

I see him working his way down the priority list of abuse...from physical, to emotional, to verbal...he's not there yet. He's working it, though.

You may be sensitive to raised voices...or you may have a boundary about them. Figure out which is which...and share your code with him, what you hold to yourself. In this way, we parent the best.

Because your children are of the ages where they don't live as themselves...they live through their parents' eyes. DD is growing past, slowly, that stage. Show her in yourself, what is a code she can construct and live from. How to decide boundaries and how to predetermine and enforce them progressively.

Because when you really get this for yourself, you won't ask those questions above...you'll know them from the code you created.

LA


The Paradoxical Commandments

Married 28 years/Together 30
Recovered 10 years
MALovingAnyway@gmail.com
Re: Staying Together [Re: LovingAnyway] #1391
09/07/10 09:14 PM
09/07/10 09:14 PM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 5,400
Not quite here
Squeaky Tree Offline OP
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Squeaky Tree  Offline OP
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Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 5,400
Not quite here
I'm pleased replying to me has helped your recovery. YOu certainly challenge me lots and make me feel very uncomfortable blush

Now for some real honesty, some things I have been hiding from me and avoiding thinking about, knowing that I do need to.

Not sure how I am going to fair at all here, let's give it a go, so where am I in changing my abusive behaviour?



Admitting fully to what I have done: Yes, I do (not sure whether I always do out loud)

Stopping excuses: OK, i've got to the second question and I've come to a halt. If I AO and lose my temper, it is because I feel put down - my form of defence being attack - is that making excuses? This is the only time I do - when I feel I've made an effort - most recent example I thought I'd selected a decent xmas present for his mum and dad; when I made the suggestion I got a "no" in an "are you off your head?" tone. This was the second suggestion I'd made with the same response. I told him to leave the bathroom because I was cross and he didn't so I went and shut the door on him.

Stopping all blaming of him: No - I blame the way he reacts to the kids. I ask him to stop talking to them in that way and basically force him to shut up and go away.

Making amends: Don't think I do

Accepting responsibility (abuse is a choice): based on my answers above I probably can't say that I do, although I sort of do.

Identifying patterns of controlling behaviour: I know I can not justify "controlling" the way he speaks to any of us, but especially the children - but I panic about the affect his crappy criticisms are going to have (all the time criticising him).

Identifying attitudes that drive my abuse: I'm not sure I understand this in context for me. The attitude that no one can talk to my children like that, but not knowing how to do it other than to fight it.

Accepting and overcoming abusiveness will be a decades long process, not declaring myself cured: I can accept this for myself - like you say the months are rolling on by in many ways.

Not starting to say "so now it's your turn to do the work", not using change as a bargianing chip : Nope, I don't do that.

Not demanding credit for for improvements made: I only do that when I am told that I haven't changed at all.

No treating improvements as chips or vouchers to be spent on occasional acts of abuse: No, not my style either

Developing respectful, kind supportive behaviours: I think I have , but I guess that is for him to say. I certainly feel that I care much more about supporting him and trying to do the right thing.

Carrying my weight: Definitely

Sharing power: I try to give some power but it isn't always recieved.

Changing how I am in highly heated conflicts: Yes, I don't go on and on. I try to stop the conflict - not always with the correct "can we come back to this later?" , sometimes with a shove out of the door.... mind you having said that we did agree that we would awlays keep exits clear when we were in heated debate and as we have been more comfortable this has slipped - maybe contributing to my fear response???

Changing how I responds to his anger and grievances: No, I react to his anger in fear. Grievances that come as respectful requests? surprise, surprise I handle them beautifully.

Changing my parenting: My parenting has changed incredibly since my A. I am very aware of it. The rather huge issue with my parenting is that my way is right and I don't think J likes parenting the way he does sometimes but the way we deal with that is wrong.

Changing treatment of him as a parent: I do recognise his good parenting, but I am v harsh on his AOs and constant criticism.

Changing attitude to males: Yes - I'm not always looking for their attention.

Accepting consequences of my actions: Hmmm. Not sure that there have been any recently, except I don't like him when I am angry and then I can't get close again.


So that's me. Caught up in blaming him for the way he is with criticism and AOs, for the way I panic and start telling him how he's doing things wrong.

Or is that OK?

I'm hoping he'll read that parenting book. (there I go again - looking for him to provide the solution)

And what do I do about me?


Married 21years (this year) ~12y since dday(?)
DD16 DS14
Which way do you like yourself? ~ Stosny
Re: Staying Together [Re: Squeaky Tree] #1727
09/09/10 09:14 AM
09/09/10 09:14 AM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 1,064
Looking4 Offline
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Looking4  Offline
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Thank you for being so open, ST. I'm learning through you and those here.

(((((ST)))))


Married 19 years
Two children - DS12 & DD10
Re: Staying Together [Re: Looking4] #2828
09/13/10 07:55 PM
09/13/10 07:55 PM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 5,400
Not quite here
Squeaky Tree Offline OP
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Squeaky Tree  Offline OP
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Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 5,400
Not quite here
It's all about time.

A weekend together - all of us..

him supporting my gig on fri, me taking care of music school runs while he mends the bed and puts a blind up and then going to friends for tea and a kick about at the cricket field

and visiting more friends on sun and an easy but huge supermarket trip the four of us and then a walk in the park - girls fishing and boys footballing and we feel like a family again....


So some family fun, some jobs done and even a discussion about skintedness and research into saving on utilities and deciding it is hopeless and we do have to ride out the storm - but no argument, no blame, just a shared sense of helplessness.....and a shared determination to just be as frugal as we can and making the joint decision that money for kids clubs - football, music, swimming; comes out of kids bank accounts for a bit...


how on earth did that happen?.... when did our M get quite so good that we could discuss a less than empty bank account midmonth without me being frightened and shutting it all out?









Married 21years (this year) ~12y since dday(?)
DD16 DS14
Which way do you like yourself? ~ Stosny
Re: Staying Together [Re: Squeaky Tree] #2833
09/13/10 08:13 PM
09/13/10 08:13 PM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 2,309
Colorado
LovingAnyway Offline
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LovingAnyway  Offline
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ST,

Your openness is why I have such faith in you--L4 nailed that one.

smile

In reviewing your list, can you answer your own questions?

Originally Posted by staytogehter
If I AO and lose my temper, it is because I feel put down - my form of defence being attack - is that making excuses?

::snip:::

mind you having said that we did agree that we would awlays keep exits clear when we were in heated debate and as we have been more comfortable this has slipped - maybe contributing to my fear response???


I know you can...in fact, only you can, really.

ST, you have all the answers inside of you. You really do.

Ask yourself more questions:

Originally Posted by staytogether
Yes, I do (not sure whether I always do out loud)


If your H doesn't say it aloud, does it count as ownership? Does it help your marriage, rebuild your trust by one brick at a time?

When you're sure of your own code...that you fully admit to what you've done/said is in it...and you do so aloud, practicing it into habit...then you will be able to say yes.

When you have your amends in your code...about you and who you are...then you will see/hear/accept amends from your H. Doesn't mean he'll make them. Doesn't mean doing so will MAKE him make amends.

Without amends, a marriage remains at war, locked in a power struggle, doing harm and feeling harmed, repeatedly.

About abuse...you struggled so hard for a long time to make your H admit he abuses you. I think you know what he felt like when you don't want to see how you abuse others, either. Sort of do is like introducing a devastating concept into your brain, a bit at a time. You hated that when he refused to grasp your pain...can you see the bond you don't want to form in understanding how very difficult this was for me, in the same way?

Accepting others' feelings isn't approval.

Acceptance is NOT approval.

Rinse, repeat.

Doesn't excuse one single action he took, not one word he said...acceptance is not approval.

When you grasp you do damage, and you know you do damage, through much the same channels he has done...won't make you like him...is the only way to understand your equality.

Power. Limits.

Originally Posted by stayingtogether
Identifying attitudes that drive my abuse: I'm not sure I understand this in context for me. The attitude that no one can talk to my children like that, but not knowing how to do it other than to fight it.


You have in your code "no one can talk to my children like that." Okay...in reality, people will talk to your children like that. Peers, strangers, fathers, relatives. So that boundary isn't possible...what you do when someone speaks to your children like that IS your responsibility...to yourself. And when you do, too.

The boundary enforcements you take teach your children how to respectfully act when someone speaks to them like that and enforce their own boundaries. Predetermined. Progressive. And even, when they speak to each other like that...and they already do, ST.

When we over emphasize the attack and not the response, we diminish our power. Worse part of abuse is the victimizing (takes a moment, has great impact) and the self-victimizing (has great impact and lasts a lifetime).

Our response is as important as the attack. Balance. Understand. Even within conflict, abuse, our power remains intact...not to stop, prevent, change, control...only to respond, enforce, keep our promises and keep matching ourselves to our boundaries.

No small thing. When we teach children stranger-danger, it's a boundary and boundary enforcement. And children first learn manipulation as survival...from infancy on...so at first, you might think you're teaching them further manipulation with boundary enforcements...you gotta trust yourself to know you're not. Even if they take them as such.

Our jobs as parents is to teach through example...and we fail often because we're learning as we go, too. Not perfect, just learning well.

So even when we've done it all wrong, we still are teaching them that humans learn, and to continue learning as they go.

Like a failsafe, 'k? God's design, I believe, not our own.

Spend some UA time with H talking about how you might teach your kids how to predetermine progressive boundary enforcements.

For as you learn your H's anger isn't to be feared...but his reactions to it...so, too, can your children learn this...and your H. Just as he fears your anger, too, your disapproval.

Try writing down every time you have a sentence in your head or out of your mouth that says "can't" and each time you hear it out of your H's or kids' mouths.

Then go through the list and strike out each time it was a lie or truth.

Seems like in your responses to the abuse questionnaire, you give yourself permission to react to your feelings, and then react to those resulting feelings.

Which is just what your H is learning NOT to do. To have the feelings, own them, accept and understand...and do not choose your actions from them.

You want him to state, not demonstrate, his anger.

You cannot experience that if you are unwilling to hold yourself to doing the same.

Another parallel between the two of you...constant criticism...

There are so many more...you are together to work through these challenges for a reason...and the reason you have these challenges, as well.

God ain't no dummy, ST.

Accept the past where your H's actions did great harm. Do that by understanding the harm you've done. There is redemption for everyone. You gotta find your own, and the reasons why you fight it in yourself, before you experience it in your marriage.

Did you feel good about answering some of the questions? Did you feel bad about some?

LA


The Paradoxical Commandments

Married 28 years/Together 30
Recovered 10 years
MALovingAnyway@gmail.com
Re: Staying Together [Re: LovingAnyway] #2842
09/13/10 08:45 PM
09/13/10 08:45 PM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 5,400
Not quite here
Squeaky Tree Offline OP
Member
Squeaky Tree  Offline OP
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Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 5,400
Not quite here
I've read 3x and I'm digesting. I appreciate Js courage in facing it and hitting it and all the self doubt that must go with it. I so so so appreciate your posts and the mirror you are holding up for me.

So...bag over the head and run away... not my style

Sleep on it, read again and report on the reflection, maybe tomorrow afternoon, or thurs night...

you got me a bit choked up there.... and coupled with new_b's blog about redemption... I need to go and work on it.


Married 21years (this year) ~12y since dday(?)
DD16 DS14
Which way do you like yourself? ~ Stosny
Re: Staying Together [Re: Squeaky Tree] #3307
09/14/10 08:48 PM
09/14/10 08:48 PM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 5,400
Not quite here
Squeaky Tree Offline OP
Member
Squeaky Tree  Offline OP
Member
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 5,400
Not quite here
Have been driving home from band rinsing and repeating: acceptance is not approval and thinking about all that I need to accept and what doesn't need approval


Married 21years (this year) ~12y since dday(?)
DD16 DS14
Which way do you like yourself? ~ Stosny
Re: Staying Together [Re: Squeaky Tree] #3469
09/14/10 11:42 PM
09/14/10 11:42 PM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 2,309
Colorado
LovingAnyway Offline
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LovingAnyway  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 2,309
Colorado
I know we're in very different time zones, ST. I also know that you will process and post.

And you are posting. I don't have a deadline on your response.

I'm not going to forget about ya.

And it's cool to be in on your mulling process, too.

LA


The Paradoxical Commandments

Married 28 years/Together 30
Recovered 10 years
MALovingAnyway@gmail.com
Re: Staying Together [Re: LovingAnyway] #3795
09/15/10 09:13 PM
09/15/10 09:13 PM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 260
serendipitous Offline
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serendipitous  Offline
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Posts: 260
waves

Just popping in to say "hi ST".

You're getting great counsel and I know you'll put a lot of thought into the questions being asked and that the answers you come up with will help YOU grow as a person and will help your M improve.

I'm reading along as always and looking forward to seeing your thoughts here.





The sun never says to the earth "you owe me"
Look what happens with a love like that.
It lights up the whole sky.
Re: Staying Together [Re: serendipitous] #3812
09/15/10 09:42 PM
09/15/10 09:42 PM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 3,505
Amadahy Offline
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Amadahy  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 3,505
reading and sending hugs - you are getting some great help here!

Re: Staying Together [Re: Amadahy] #3930
09/16/10 02:27 AM
09/16/10 02:27 AM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 17,282
The Castle Aaaggghh...
herfuturesbright Offline
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herfuturesbright  Offline
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Posts: 17,282
The Castle Aaaggghh...
I like this. I like being privy to someone's brain and realizing that other people think....a lot. I am going to go through that list you posted and evaluate myself....tomorrow. It's almost bedtime and I am about to take the meds.

Take care ST

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