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I'm not a BS but I feel very similar to FLT2H in that my H either can't or won't fill some of my EN's based on "since I'm happy you should be too" and other "excuses."

I'm to the point where I've mostly accepted his attitude but sometimes struggle with the resentment I feel about it.

On Sunday he didn't do something that was very important to me and I actually debated whether to address it with him or not. I decided, "why bother?" since I imagined a conversation in which he would probably become defensive and say, "I never do things right for you anyway", since that's how most of our relationship talks go - if we ever have them.

My point is, the issue of acceptance and settling comes in most marriages, I think, even without physical betrayal. You can betray someone by not following through on other promises you made in your wedding vows, too.

In fairness to my H, let me say that I sometimes find myself in withdrawal which is not a good place to be and not what I believe marriages are supposed to be like. I shouldn't be putting up walls, but I do.

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Em,

thanks for the post. It is re-assuring in a way. not that i am happy to hear of another in same state \:\(

my husband also pulls the same response to me regarding blowing off my specific comment by responding with the "you are never happy with me" stmt. i recognize it now as a thing he does to get himself off the hook of looking at himself and his specific actions. i would suggest to you to still speak up. but only if you can keep it respectful and specific. when he tries to blow it off or talk me out of it, i will normally say something like, "i'm telling you my feelings/opinions, what you want to do about it is up to you." and i leave it at that.

I agree with you: the issue of acceptance and settling comes in most marriages

I also STRONGLY agree with: You can betray someone by not following through on other promises you made in your wedding vows, too.

Withdrawing, disconnecting, neglecting your spouse is another form of betrial.

stuff along that lines is actually what i took out of my original post.

and i also find my self withdrawing at times. i know it is wrong, like i just mentioned above, it is betraying the "love" part of the vows. you cannot love when you are in withdrawl.

when i catch myself i try to work my way back out of it. it's tough. Because I can't seem to find a steady state. if i'm not in a withdrawal state, i'm wanting to strengthen our conection. but when i try to strengthen our connection, that put pressure on husband to do the same. and if he does not want to, it makes me feel bad/rejected. which of course makes me withdrawal.

i guess i am dealing with that by ACCEPTING our current level of connection and finding my own outside activites to fill the gap. i.e. i joined a swimming class to help me reach goal of doing a triatholon in spring and i roller skate every wed night because that is something i love to do. when the weather was nice i took a lot of bike trips too. too cold now. stuff like that. maybe not ideal but that is current path.

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 Originally Posted By: FinallyLrningT2H
and if he does not want to


And I am sure there are a bunch of things he does want to do. And isn't that really the key......to find those things that are good for both.


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when i said he does not want to, I meant in general regarding strengthening our connection. he is ok with the level we have. to me, we don't have much. we mostly live our own lives. undivided attention is close to zero. and he is ok with that. he does not need undivided attention.

so now if you ask me what do i try to do in specific....

in specific I would invite him to play a couple of games of backgammon occasionally because that gives us the opportunity to sit together and talk while we play. but games is not his thing, and he would watch tv while playing and then he would get hung up on the fact that i would get too lucky with my doubles. i gave up on that concept. i can accept that games is not his thing.

i realize there has to be other ways to engage him in converstaion but i don't know how and we really need something to do while talking so that we are not just sitting there in silence.

in generaly i want us to have more fun together. in specific i would ask him if he would like to play raquetball. He enjoys raquetball. And sometimes he will accept and we will have fun together. so that is a good example.

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Hey Bob,, how are you??

Here is my perspective,, do with it what you wish..

About two months ago while hubby and I were away on his training trip we went to the movies and saw "FIREPROOF", well during that movie I really felt God speak to me and show me that I had not forgiven my hubby, I said I had, and I thought I had, but what God showed me was if I forgave my hubby I would not hold what he did against him anymore. Forgiveness isn't forgive and forget because I can never "forget" what had happen, but forgiveness is not holding it agaisnt him anymore. At that point I totally broke down and cryed like I never had before, that changed my whole perspective, changed my life.

Anyway just wanted to share that...

Take care F26


Me BS 46
FWH 50
married 29 years
seperated 6/03 (FWH lived with OW)
came home 2/04 many broken NC's, many false recoverys
But!! In full recovery now and for the most part doing great!
Ps 3 grown children and 2 awesome grands!
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 Originally Posted By: FinallyLrningT2H
when i said he does not want to


You are not hearing.

There are clear reasons why people choose to withdraw as a strategy. There are clear reasons why others choose to be aggressive as a strategy.


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so how do i hear better???

when i try to ask him questions, about how he feels, about what he needs from me.

all i ever get it "i don't know"

and i can accept that as his honest answer, but what do i do with that?

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 Quote:
There are clear reasons why people choose to withdraw as a strategy.


There may be reasons why people choose to withdraw, but it is usually based on poor assumptions. Ultimately, at least with respect to relationships, withdrawal is a losing strategy.


Me 43 BH
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D-day July, 2005
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 Quote:
and i can accept that as his honest answer


Can you really? You're okay with your H either not being able to say what he wants (lack of O&H) or doesn't know what he wants? Both of those leave you in a precarious position.

I think a lot of people are too quick to conclude they can accept something. If you are floating in and out of being withdrawn, then I would guess you don't really know if you can accept this.

Additionally, accepting something doesn't mean it goes away. It most likely comes up again and again.


Me 43 BH
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 Originally Posted By: FinallyLrningT2H
all i ever get it "i don't know"


This is another example of withdrawal, right. What do people do when they withdraw?

They don't want there needs met, have no desire to meet your needs, they are in a stage of emotional divorce.

So, the question is why? Why is he choosing to withdraw? There are reasons.

When I say you aren't hearing what I am saying is that you are very tuned into what you feel and what you perceive. But, it sounds like you do not understand him nor do you really understand his feelings. When with a person who withdraws most tend to hammer or drive or become aggressive with that individual to try to get them out of withdrawal. I've yet to see that work. There has to be a pursuit to understanding.

When I read this:

 Originally Posted By: FinallyLrningT2H
when i said he does not want to, I meant in general regarding strengthening our connection. he is ok with the level we have. to me, we don't have much.


I hear you understanding your needs very well, that connection and how you define that and somewhat implying that he is happy and his needs as you define connection being met just fine. I'll bet he is not happy at all. In fact, I'll bet he would be happier if he had a great relationship with you or if we was single than where he is now. In those situations he can thrive. There is no thriving without understanding and respecting each point of view.

 Originally Posted By: FinallyLrningT2H
as the FWS, I am the unhappy one.


Again, you imply he is one happy dude. People don't withdraw if they are happy. Maybe he is trying to get away from you because of how you make him feel. Maybe he is protecting himself. You have alot of feelings, maybe, he is protecting himself from your feelings, or are they emotional reactions, and maybe your logic should be leading you instead of your emotional reactions. Though, you'd have to understand why he is withdrawing to really understand.

I somewhat see this in Bob's communications about Squid. That she wants to be just like the rest of her family. It wouldn't at all surprise me that she isn't happy being that way. It wouldn't surprise me at all that she married him so she wouldn't end up like that. Now, as the WS Squid isn't in counseling and that says alot. It also says alot that you are here.

Last, I sense that you believe in sacrifice. That ones sacrifices for the other. When I read between the lines it sounds like that is what you expect him to do. Maybe he is withdrawing because he can only lose. Maybe he doesn't believe that being with you can be a win/win proposition. So why try. He can just withdraw and accept it as the way it is just like you are contemplating.

If you understand and appreciate that he is not happy you may approach things differently. You know you want to be happy and if you care you also want him to be happy. The next time you have an issue you can maybe being to approach things differently.

 Originally Posted By: FinallyLrningT2H
Even though my BS still does things that hurts (still will only kiss a certian way, and only a certain amount, that he is in control of. still tells me that he will not emotionally feel strongly for me ever again). Even though these things hurt me very much.


The next time you go through these things again recognize your pain but also recognize his. Instead of hammering your point ask him how he would feel about things. Ask him how he would feel if you kissed in a different way and respect his point of view.

It is not easy to pull someone out of withdrawal. There are likely things that you do that you don't even recognize that effect him and cause him to go into withdrawal making it even harder. But, I think you would be surprised how much of it is in reaction to you and thus my encouragement to search for understanding of his point of view.


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rprynne. I can accept that it is his honest answer. I really don't think he knows.

But I think you are asking if i can accept that as his final answer. At the time it happens, he says he will think about it and get back to me, but that does not happen. Sometimes I try to bring it back up, sometimes I don't. When I do, he continues to say he does not know.

Am I really ok with that?? well, no, I don't think this is an ideal situation but I cannot control him. I cannot force him to come up with better answers. i can only love him as is. true??

and yes, it does come back again and again. but each time, the only thing i can do is work on acceptance. I can respectfully ask him to think about it and tell me later but i just cannot force him to really do that.

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TJD,

thanks for your time in your reply (you too rprynne).

"Why is he choosing to withdraw?"

well, isn't the reason obvious?? because i cheated on him!!!

I agree, I don't understand him. I agree becoming agressive to try to get him out of withdrawal is NOT going to work.

and so i also agree, a pursuit of understanding is what is needed.

"I'll bet he is not happy at all."

well that is great, you can bet all you want, but i have ASKED HIM TJD. he says he is. and not only that, he will get annoyed that in asking him, i must be implying that I am not. and that makes him mad!!

you say "people don't withdrawal if they are happy". actually, i'll bet he would not define himself as in withdrawal.

He does not want me to need anything to change. He has literally said, "I've done all the adjusting i'm going to do". he has literally said, "You need to be ok with accepting the boundaries he has regarding kissing because he is not going to change" and he says "he has a right to set make these decisions".

come on, what choice do i really have????

this is why I have such a hard time with MB. You all want to make it sound so easy!!!

as for him being happier single. he makes it very very clear he does not want to divorce.

what he really really wants, i can't give him. he wants the past to not be the past.

as far as sacrafice goes. ideally, no sacrafice in a good marriage is required. each spouse just naturally wants to fullfill the others needs. but life is not ideal!

you said "The next time you go through these things again recognize your pain but also recognize his. Instead of hammering your point ask him how he would feel about things. Ask him how he would feel if you kissed in a different way and respect his point of view."

done that already. he has said he just does not want to. specifically we are talking about long kisses that involve the touching of tongues. all kisses need to be short. you say, respect his point of view. I AM!!! by abiding by his wishes.

does that really sit well with me? NO!!!! It's hurting more every day actually!! I'm finding myself more and more not wanting to kiss in any way. but what choice do i really have.

i will not hurt him by divorcing him!

i really do wish i could improve things. and yes, I really do want him to be happy. I REALLY REALLY DO!!!

why can't being with me be a win/win proposition???

actually you are not telling me anything i don't know already. except WHY??? why can't the new and improved me be something he wants enough to re-engage.

i can't answer that question.

do i believe in sacrafice, no. if faced with the choice of choosing his happiness vrs mine, i'm sticking to choosing his.

lately most night i pray to God to change me. make me into someone he does want.

attempting to negociate the kissing issues is a lose/lose proposition.

trying to figure out what change in me would lead him natrually to wanting to kiss me again is all i have.

but i don't see how i'm going to do that without his input.

i'm really trying to hear you guys. i really am.

maybe i'm being stupid. i still don't see any solutions.

and then there is my own depression to deal with. feeling so strongly "not good enough in his eyes" does not leave me very capable of being a fun and happy person around him. but if i'm not fun and happy around him, how can i expect him to be charmed by me?

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 Originally Posted By: FinallyLrningT2H
"Why is he choosing to withdraw?"

well, isn't the reason obvious?? because i cheated on him!!!


It is more than this.

And it is not easy. I believe it takes 2 committed people. And then it takes a large amount of work to understand and create new habits.

Unfortunately, my wife and I have spent too much time with Dr. Harley. He is a wonderful, caring man. If it weren't for him I could only imagine where our marriage would be.

My style, when I couldn't communicate with my wife, was to remain committed to the marriage and then withdraw. It wasn't a great way to make our marriage work but I didn't know what else to do. To this day, it is still my instinct.

To begin solving the problems in our marriage, Dr. Harley finds out very quickly who is the aggressive one in the relationship and who withdraws. He works to get the aggressive one to tone down and the withdrawn to engage back into the marriage.

I engaged because of him. I engaged alot for about 1 year after the A but the problems I had with my W kept coming back and got stronger over time so I withdrew again. I had had enough.

Without Dr. Harley I would likely have done the exact same thing your H has done. I would have seen divorce as a failure but it really didn't matter to me anymore except for my children. So, staying married but finding different ways to get my needs met without dealing with the pain from dealing with my W on a regular basis would have probably been a much better solution that what was happening. Reasonably happy at the time but with a whole bunch of flaws as a long term strategy that would have caused a bunch more problems a little while later. Thus, I still believe my bet about your H and even more so if he gets annoyed you are asking him. You see it from your point of view and I see it from his.

You believe in self sacrifice. That is why you stay married isn't it. Regardless of how you are treated you will stay because you feel guilty.

Hmmmmm......

 Originally Posted By: FinallyLrningT2H
And I WILL love him inspite of his inabilities.


Not that it is the right way, but, if I were your H I would want to withdraw.

And here too,

 Originally Posted By: FinallyLrningT2H
"you are never happy with me" stmt.


There are two points of view. How to get him out of withdrawal and engage in the marriage is your first step. Definitely won't be easy as he has assumptions about you and you probably convince him more and more every day that these assumptions are true. Maybe he thinks you won't consider his feelings or point of view and you'll do whatever you want so he lets you so he can do whatever he wants then.

There is something about the kissing that really bothers him. What is it? If he feels it is about you getting what you want and not considering how it makes him feel bad you'll never come to an agreement that is good for both.



Last edited by TJD; 11/19/08 10:48 PM.

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i'm listening TJD. I don't want to reply to any of it right now. I want to take it in and think about it. i just wanted you to know i'm listening.

i just wish i could see what you see.

what assumptions about me do you think he is making?

i do want to clearly state: I am NOT staying because I feel guilty. I let go of the guilt, it was doing nobody any good. I cannot change the past.

i am truely trying to understand. Why do you think I am doing whatever I want? what do you think i am doing?

what are you seeing that I am not?

please help me see it.

i do care about his feelings. I'm not trying to push him to kiss me in anyway that he is uncomfortable with. That would be meaningless. I want it to be meaningful for him. So that he enjoys it. I can't believe that he just inheriently doesn't enjoy kissing. Should I be? do you think that is the point?

i have to hang on the the idea that if we grew closer that would happen naturally. So I try to manage myself and my own feelings of hurt. I have to work on not obsessing internally about it. But I admit, it's very hard. I am the type of person that craves physical touch.

i wrote more than i meant to....

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FLT2H,

I want you to know that, just like your A, there are no excuses for your H to withdraw from you. There are reasons, but, simply no excuses to hurt someone the way he is hurting you.

Marriage is so much about care. And hurting one another is the opposite of care.

You recognize that you and your H are at a stalemate.

I believe you when you say this,

 Originally Posted By: FinallyLrningT2H
i do care about his feelings. I'm not trying to push him to kiss me in anyway that he is uncomfortable with. That would be meaningless. I want it to be meaningful for him. So that he enjoys it. I can't believe that he just inheriently doesn't enjoy kissing. Should I be? do you think that is the point?


What I hear in this instance is caring and concern from you and it is different than what I hear in these comments from him,

 Originally Posted By: FinallyLrningT2H
He has literally said, "I've done all the adjusting i'm going to do". he has literally said, "You need to be ok with accepting the boundaries he has regarding kissing because he is not going to change" and he says "he has a right to set make these decisions".


Kissing is about intimacy. Your asking for a more intimate interaction with him and he is not comfortable going there for some reasons. You likely stay on him as it is a need you have. He feels you are making demands and not considerate of his side. He doesn't want to you close as he will fall for you but the problems in the marriage aren't fixed and he will get hurt.

And I agree, I don't believe that he just inherently doesn't enjoy kissing either.

When I hear these types of statements I hear you pushing him to have your needs met.

 Originally Posted By: FinallyLrningT2H
And I WILL love him inspite of his inabilities.


 Originally Posted By: FinallyLrningT2H
"you are never happy with me" stmt.


And when you say you will love him inspite of his inabilities I hear you discount and underestimate what he has to offer. Your critical of him and tell him he can't do what YOU want. He is unable. Even if you don't make this statement directly to him, he feels it.

When you have a complaint, when you aren't happy with him, try respectful requests. How would you feel if.....? Don't use this to ask for approval, but, to get him to open up and for you to show you are being considerate. It takes some time but he will begin to see you as being considerate. He will also likely still be in withdrawal. But, you'll gain credibility and be in a better position to ask respectfully for the same consideration in return.

I do not know how folks like you and Bob are able to make it through recovery without a MC. When I read about the progress that Bob has been able to make without it I find it amazing. I don't know how he has been able to climb some of the mountains he has without it. We tend to have big emotional reactions to our spouses in trying to recover. When we have these emotional reactions we are literally crazy. When we can get a handle on these you actually can make great progress. This is where a good MC can really help.

Now, developing a strategy to get a reluctant spouse into MC'ing can be an adventure as well but it can be done. I was able to do it. My W wanted a vacation. I wanted to goto a MB weekend. I wasn't going on a vacation. And she wasn't going to a MB weekend. So we did nothing. Finally, I saw the next MB weekend was in Orlando and I presented the idea to do both. It worked...whew...and she now leads us in the process of recovery.


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 Quote:
Am I really ok with that?? well, no, I don't think this is an ideal situation but I cannot control him. I cannot force him to come up with better answers. i can only love him as is. true??


Don't know. I never think about it as controlling someone, I think about it as informing someone. For me, it all comes done to whether it is a solvable problem or not. I think when people try to "accept" what they know is solvable, they suffer.


Me 43 BH
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Bob

I've been reading your thread. For what its worth, heres my thoughts.

Your W is wounded in one of the severest ways people can be wounded by her FOO. Abandoned/unloved. Her spirit is broken. She has a hole inside so full of pain that all the love you give her cannot fix it until she loves herself enough to fix it.

Most likely that is the biggest reason she had an A in the first place.

When she fell in love with you she likely saw someone who could help her heal. From listening to you, I think she was right, but what she failed to see is that you cant heal her, you can only support her healing if she learns to love herself enough to get professional help. When your M didnt fix her pain; she went looking for someone else to fix it.

You seem also to have some wounds that are complementary or related and have spoken briefly of codependency issues. Thats not uncommon for those of us attracted to the walking wounded. Whether they existed prior to her or result from living with her only you can answer.

She is being emotionally and verbally abusive to you and the A is part of that abuse. She does this to leak out her pain when it bubbles up from the toxic mess of shame/pain/rage that her FOO issues created for her and tries to get you to carry it for her.

And, you let her. Because you love her. Because she confuses you. Because she gaslights you by disguising this dynamic as a marriage problem instead of her problem.

Current body of knowledge is that you dont go to MC with an active abuser. First it will do little good for the M; second it will just enable her continued gaslighting. She cant work on the M until she works on herself in IC.

The only way imo to truly recover your M to the level you want is to require that she do that as a condition of remaining M. While she does that you should do the same to understand the impact her abuse has had on you. Once some progress has been made then reconsider MC imo. If you do this you may find that you do not need MC.

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Hi VR

A very wise post. Thank you. I think you are right.


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 Originally Posted By: Bob_Pure
 Quote:
But you need SOMEONE


You know what TA ? That's a big part of the problem.

I don't need anyone. I don't trust anyone. I can't rely on anyone.

self-actualization gone mad.

We're in a fix, make no mistake.
 Originally Posted By: Bob_Pure
Hi TA !

 Quote:
You don't trust Squid, for perfectly rational reasons. Extrapolating from Squid to the rest of humanity is NOT rational, as I'm sure you recognise.


By "not trusting" I mean "Not depending on".
This means that I *ALWAYS* have a "plan B" for when somebody else is supposed to do something for me, and also when people tell me something unverifiable that I need to be accurate. I do not believe that everyone is conspiring against me or lying to me. I do believe people as a general rule aren't as dependable to support ME as myownself.

It's pretty tiring, but I am kind of tired of handling the consequences of other people's failure in my life. Tired of having to forgive people for easily-avoidable insults to me. I'd rather not have to rely on other people. I prefer dogs to most people, in all honesty. Never had a dog fail me. My pooch'd die rather than disappoint me.

I know it's not healthy. This is what I am reduced to. Great isn't it ? \:\)

I agree I probably need personal help. I must find a trustworthy counselor though. And it really is hard here in the Midlands. I can find multiple opportunities for bargain clothing and bulk-buy frozen chips but little obviously high quality counsellng.

Its not often I wish I lived in a city but...

 Quote:
Let's assume you walk into a therapist's office - just you - no Squid - and tell him/her about what's happened to you. What do you fear will happen? Where is the sense of distrust coming from?


I fear making myself vulnerable to somebody who offers me absolutely no help in return. I do not relish getting emotionally naked with anyone face to face, and it bloody well better fix me.

 Quote:
Relate


I have spoken with relate. I interviewed 3 counsellors.

One was a fellow of perhaps 25, and unmarried who kept referring to his primary objective being "conflict management".

The second was the branch manager, nice chap but who didn't counsel much.

Third was a senior counsellor whom I discovered was in an affair with my brother's boss.

I do not have a great hope for Relate, sorry TA.

I did see a lady from marriagecare that seemed nice, and competent but their diaries are incredibly full. Odd sessions are possible but not a planned sequence.

I've started looking for Imago therapists at CVs word, but only see London so far.

I need a local paid counselor who is married, close to our age and...with a guarantee of success \:\)

* sigh *

I work for a great company. They offer all kinds of support. I might just phone their nut-job line later to see what serves they can offer me.

Delighted you seem so well TA by the way \:\) Who'd a thunk that ?



Hi BP.

It strikes me that you keep looking "horizontally" and "inward," but not "upward."

I'd like to discuss that some with you, but I don't think you want to, so I'll just leave it at that for now and extend the offer to discuss those things should you ever want to have a "Bible Study" sort of discussion.

Consider this, if you will.

"For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are - yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." (Hebrews 4:15-16)

Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 10,107
B
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B
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 10,107
Hi VR and all

As some know, Squid's bio-mom abandoned her as a child and she was raised by her nan and various aunties.

Nan's diagnosis with cancer in 2004 catalyzed her affair. Then her bio-mom died in pathetic circumstances in 2007. It dug out a lot of issues in her.

Well Squids auntie ( her third "mom" substitute) was diagnosed with cancer 2 months ago. Squid has been nursing her as we live closer than her own daughter. She died last night.

So Squid is sad again.


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