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Sitting here on a late evening, at the end of a difficult day.

Apologize in advance for rambeling... sometimes, the merlot is getting to me....

Wanted some feedback, particurlarly from the female parts of the MB community about honesty, and vunerabilty.

Women like strong men, right? Men that are self assured, self confident, men that are driven, men that do not have doubts, men that are not needy ??? is this so ?

wife is away with our kids, visiting family. I miss her and our children so much that it physically hurt. two more weeks to go. I know that saying 'I miss you' is ok... but, if I say, "I miss you so much that it actually hurts" would that just make her worried, would it make her say 'why did you say it was ok to go in the first place then' ?

Business is getting to me as well. I have started to take rejection (part of what I do is sales) personally, wondering about what I am doing wrong, what the future may bring, what my failures may entail for my children - it is my efforts that will affect a roof over their head, food on their table, a trip to the doctor when they are in pain....

At one point in time, I was convinced that I would, and should never get married. The main reasoning behind it was, that, when I am alone, I would be the only victim of my own poor judgement, my own less that intelligent choices, my own lack of drive, energy and persistance in whatever venture I would involve myself in. Now, wiht a wife and two children, I have people relying on me. When I think, particulrlary about my children, these doubts come crawling up, when I think about my wife, I am thinking ' If I was not there, your life, and your path may have been different, and perhaps so much better. The husband that you would otherwise have gotten, would be more assured of himself, better able to provide.. etc.. etc..

Ladies... if YOUR husband where to share these sentiments with you, would YOU freak out... would you be scared, would you think less of him, would you think less of your togetherness and the life that you share with him ????????

Had a long monologue wiht God as I was walking outside... Saw the stars, and God in their complex simplicity. Gave thanks for being alive, for feeling these things....but, felt very small, and very alone too.....


Ranting of the Monday evening kind is now over....

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Sometimes your feelings need to be let out - other times you just need to think them over and decide what you want.

While feelings are never wrong - there are times when they aren't okay to be shared. If your wife were to say. I love you a lot but I'd have had a better life if I'd married John. You would feel bad - and your wife would not feel better. So the point is - why are you sharing this?

Is it to be honest with your wife - or to make her wonder what you are really thinking?

Maybe you better decide if you want a wife and family or not -- it's kinda late to decide to be single - but your wife deserves to know that you are thinking this stuff - if it could mean a change in her life.

Jan

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sj: you said: Maybe you better decide if you want a wife and family or not -- it's kinda late to decide to be single - but your wife deserves to know that you are thinking this stuff - if it could mean a change in her life.

That is not at all what I mean.. From MY perspective, I do want a familty... I do not want to be single. More like, hmmm... would SHE have been BETTER off if things where different.. (yeah, the past is the past, and nothing can change that)

you said: So the point is - why are you sharing this?

To get a feel for how 'far' honesty should go.

If I share some of this, would she freak out.. would she worry ?.... I wanted to get a feedback from the room first.. before I made any decisions.

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Hi Eric....
Honesty is my most important emotional need. Even if the weakness was unattractive, I would be more hurt and offended by your unwillingness and inability to be open and honest with me about your feelings. But, that's just me. I would hope that everyone would care more about honesty than bliss of ignorance.
The most important thing is that you two cannot take your marriage to a stronger, safer level until you reveal your true feelings to her. It's okay if she finds something less than desirable, unattractive, weak or uncertain. That's all okay. What's not okay is not giving her the opportunity to work with what is real.

quote:
would SHE have been BETTER off if things where different
Maybe, maybe not, but if you keep thinking that way, she WILL sense it and she'll start to have the same doubts. Your fears will be mirrored in your wife and your insecurities will grow in her. Rather than dwell on these painful feelings, find the love and joy you have for her and let her sense those, let her mirror those. You will both be much happier. Don't worry about what might have been...make the best of what you have.
Tell her how you really feel, but rather than express shame, resentment or fear, tell her what you're going to do to make your marriage stronger and happier.

Smile

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IMHO I would love it if my H were to say to me that he missed me so much it hurts. Heck, I would love for him to say he missed me without me having to say it first...(H travels alot and at times the spoken sentiments are all we have...)

As far as the part about how you feel about yourself and marriage. I don't think I would freak if he said that to me. I interpreted your post as saying that you are worried about if she thinks about "What if I had taken a different road?" After all my H and I have been through if he were to say that to me now, I would look at it as him trying to be honest with me and trying to open up our communication. If we could explore it together and he was looking for some feedback from me as to how I felt in our marriage, I would jump at the chance to analyze it with him...

Can you tell we are stuggling with communication lately?

So,in all I would welcome the fact that my H felt so secure with me that he could share his innermost feelings with me...

NGU

BTW for me I never needed a man that had no doubts, was self reliant, and totally independant of me. I would like my H to rely more on me...right now I really don't feel like he needs me as much as I need him. When I say that to him he thinks I mean b/c of the life he has been able to give me, but I am speaking about emotionally...

[ January 27, 2004, 12:16 AM: Message edited by: Not Giving Up ]

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Oh...not that it matters what I think, but I would not find any of what you said weak or unattractive. But, the part about wondering if she'd have been happier or better off with someone else, I wouldn't want to hear that...don't instill doubt, create a safe environment for both of you to be open and honest...and hopeful.

Smile

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quote:
Originally posted by EricFL35:
Sitting here on a late evening, at the end of a difficult day.

Apologize in advance for rambeling... sometimes, the merlot is getting to me....

Wanted some feedback, particurlarly from the female parts of the MB community about honesty, and vunerabilty.

Women like strong men, right? Men that are self assured, self confident, men that are driven, men that do not have doubts, men that are not needy ??? is this so ?

I'm not sure that being strong is the same as being self assured and self confident, and I defintely do not believe that being self confident means never having any doubts or needs. The only people who never have any fears or doubts are psychopaths, and while many of them can be superficially charming to women, I don't think they are the only guys that women like.

Your wife married you, which suggests to me that first of all, she thought she would have a better life with you than without you, and second of all, that she wants you to miss her when she's not around.

BTW, thinking people are better off without you than with you is a symptom of depression, and alcohol and depression don't mix. Lay off the merlot, and see a doctor if these feelings persist.

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I don't think she would mind hearing that you miss her so much it hurts.

The rest I am not sure would go over well with her not right there with you, and even then, since I don't know her I can't say how she would react. There would be a good chance she would worry, so it is a conversation I would recommend waiting to have until she gets home. Find a card that expresses how much you miss her and send that to her as well. [Smile]

Personally it sounds to me that you are having doubts about your self worth. This is something that you need to explore, either through some journaling or with a counselor. What has caused you to feel this way? What can you change about yourself to make it better? Do you feel that you have enough control over your life to DECIDE to be happy?

My H is in sales, and he has had a bout or two of similar feelings. The thing he found that help the most was a book, The Science of Self Confidence, by Brian Tracy. Excellent book, read it myself. Brian Tracy has several others as well, The Psychology of Selling, and I can't remember the rest of the titles. He got a lot out of that one as well.

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reading this made me feel better about my own husband. i wish he could share those types of thoughts w/ me.......the few times he has, i have felt so much closer to him.

i know he strggles with showing me his weaknesses, and i completely understand that....but to share a few doubts and fears does not feel like a weakness to me.....and the fact that he does not feel close enough to me to show me that side of him, makes me feel bad.

if you have never shared anything like tht w/ your wife, she may find it a bit overwhelming at first. she may not know how to react, but i wouldn't let that stop you from opening up to her.....i think that is the beginning of a closer more intimate relationship.

[ January 27, 2004, 05:57 AM: Message edited by: nelly ]

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quote:
Women like strong men, right? Men that are self assured, self confident, men that are driven, men that do not have doubts, men that are not needy ??? is this so ?

Well, yes and no. I do not want someone who is paralyzed by his insecurities, or overly clingy and needy. I want someone who is strong enough to keep going even when he has doubts, as we all do. But I want someone who needs me and is willing to share how he feels.

A few years ago my H was going thru a difficult time at work. He did kept it all to himself for a while, which kinda walled him off emotionally. I was very happy when he opened up and talked about all this..how he felt stuck, frustrated, felt he was holding me back, etc. It let me inside...which was a precious gift. It also let us share more openly and support each other better.

Kathi

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Yes - I would have been willing to share that info with my W and I attempted to open up with her as the years went by.

No - In her extremely fragile emotional state she could not receive this info without falling apart. I learned (erroneously but in order to keep peace) to shut down, withdraw, and retreat. I will NEVER, EVER approach a relationship this way again. I have learned much since I was abandoned nearly 10 months ago.

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Thanks to all the women wh0o have shared their thoughts with Eric. However, I doubt that the women here at the MB EN forum are representative of all women in this regard.

Disclaimer #1: I am a risk averse person. So my advice will typically be to avoid risky behavior. And implementing Radical Honesty is risky.

Disclaimer #2. I have many of the same feelings. And I have NOT had good experiences from sharing those feelings with Mrs. Hold. [Teary]

That said, I wouldn't confront your wife with ALL the truth all at once. I would share a small piece of your fear and insecurity. Such as how you are taking work rejection more personally these days. And see how she deals with it.

There are women like the ones here who welcome intimacy and sharing unpleasant truths.

There are also women who do NOT want to hear bad news. Who will not appreciate your honesty. And who DO want to live in "blissful" ignorance.

Whether you would want to remain married to such a person is up to you. But if you intend to remain married regardless of how she reacts, then I would try some baby steps in the Radical Honesty area before hitting your wife with "I have so many dounts and insecurities, I think you would have been better off marrying someone else."

You may receive back a whole lot more than you bargained for. And none of it good. [Roll Eyes]

Also, remember that HOW you share your feelings, and your choice of words, are as important as the substantive message you are trying to convey. In this area, there is likely to be much misunderstanding. You may be trying to say "I want the best for you, and I am not sure I can provide it." She may hear "I am unhappy, and I want out."

So one thing I would ask for help from the ladies with, is how to phrase whatever message you decide to deliver. Don't want to get bit by the old Mars / Venus thing. [Wink] [Big Grin]

[ January 27, 2004, 08:53 AM: Message edited by: holdingontoit ]

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Hold - Or to be more positive, their W's may react responsibly, like many of the women here, and CHOOSE to open up and face these issues. I liked your comment about "blissful ignorance" - right on the mark! Blissful for them, hurtful for us who want a complete and satisfying relationship.

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quote:
Originally posted by hurting Promise Keeper:
their W's may react responsibly, like many of the women here, and CHOOSE to open up and face these issues.

I am not saying Eric wife WON'T react positively. I hope she does.

I just worry about putting anything that hints of "apartness" into the table before he has a better idea how HIS wife will react to "unattractive" admissions. Better to "test the waters" by admitting to work worries. Which are important and stressful enough to trigger a negative reaction if she is prone to them. Before saying something that could easily be MISinterpreted to mean "he wants out".

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quote:
Originally posted by EricFL35:

Women like strong men, right? Men that are self assured, self confident, men that are driven, men that do not have doubts, men that are not needy ??? is this so ?

if I say, "I miss you so much that it actually hurts" would that just make her worried, would it make her say 'why did you say it was ok to go in the first place then' ?

Ladies... if YOUR husband where to share these sentiments with you, would YOU freak out... would you be scared, would you think less of him, would you think less of your togetherness and the life that you share with him ????????


Lets see, strength, self assuredness, self confidence, driven, no doubts, not needy. I suppose these are all fine characteristics if they are genuine and not a facade. Also, sometimes these same traits go hand in hand with arrogance, conceitedness, and self rightousness, not a good thing.

Honesty is much more important to me than those characteristics you mention and I pesonally would like to know that my husband misses me that much. I would not freak out or think less of him, I would feel closer to him because he shared something intimate with me. My #1 EN is H&O and I believe in radical honesty.

As a final note, it takes a great deal of strength and courage to be honest and to open up and share ones weaknesses and vulnerabilities. IMHO its the cowards that hide their true feelings and live behind the tough facade.

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"Misinterpreting that He wants out."

that is a good point and a distinct possibility if he has never opened up to her w/ these thoughts before.

but, sometimes you need to take a chance.

i have found that when my H and i have managed to get comfotable enough to share our doubts and insecurities....they are all very similar....almost identical.

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quote:
Originally posted by nelly:
but, sometimes you need to take a chance.

Yes, I agree he needs to take a chance. Not saying he shouldn't share anything. Just thinking he might want to share a piece before he shares the whole thing.

And he really needs to get feedback on HOW to say what he wants to say. To minimize the chance of misunderstanding.

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i agree w/ you, Holding. very much.

i feel the same way when it comes to sharing my doubts and insecurities w/ my H......
i have told him things and found out much later that he had taken the very differently than what i meant.

and vice versa.
if she is not used to him sharing anything like that.all the more reason to be careful.

whatever he decides to say, i think a deep conversation afterwards is important......where they can clarify and confirm they understand eachother.

and i know,.....sometimes bad timing can really screw a conversation like this all up.

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Thank you for all of your comments. MB is a great community for getting input and for seeing things from many angles. The Art, rather than the science of Marriagebuilding certainly seems to apply here.....

From the getgo. I will then tell her now, that I miss her so much that it physically hurt. (Hard to describe really, sort of thinking about her and our kids, and they not being here, manifest itself in chest pains actually. The fact that I know they are enjoying themselves does help a lot however.)

I will not then for the moment, share my innermost, but try to thread the waters gently.

As to some of your comments. I apologize beforehand if it does not come across structured, I still have some issues wiht the use of instant code embedding in this thing. (Where is the manual [Confused]

Elspeth, you wrote:
quote:
BTW, thinking people are better off without you than with you is a symptom of depression, and alcohol and depression don't mix. Lay off the merlot, and see a doctor if these feelings persist
hmmm You are correct.. Merlot shoud ideally be shared in good company, not brooded over alone.. or ' go to the glass wiht your laughter, never to the bottle with your tears'. Yesterday I had icewater for dinner instead.

As to depression. Well, the marriage has been a challenge for quite some time. The lack of SF has been both a symptom, and a reason I guess, for a marriage heading in the wrong direction, as well as something that may have affected me negatively as well. There are only so many rejections you can take before you start taking it very personally.

I am certainly not the same kind of man I was 10 years ago in terms of having an optimistic 'go get it' kind of attitude I had then. That being said, Marriage in general, and SF has certainly taken a turn in the right direction lately. I guess that my feelings mentioned is a lot of supressed doubts, fears and feelings of rejection now finally surfacing.

But.. to summarize: I will be more careful about wine for some time.

Hold:
quote:
Also, remember that HOW you share your feelings, and your choice of words, are as important as the substantive message you are trying to convey. In this area, there is likely to be much misunderstanding. You may be trying to say "I want the best for you, and I am not sure I can provide it." She may hear "I am unhappy, and I want out."

As always, your well thought out responses again lead me to believe you're in the wrong profession. [Big Grin]

You are correct.. I do not want out, I want to be with her, I want to be the involved father of our children, I want, if I am given the time on this earth, to grow old together with her.

However, that does not mean that I do not have doubts about if I was right for her. For now, I will certainly not tell her about those doubts thouhg. What the sender intends, and what the recipient hears, is obviously not always the same.


Thank you again, all of you, for your insights and feedback.

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quote:
Originally posted by EricFL35:
Women like strong men, right? Men that are self assured, self confident, men that are driven, men that do not have doubts, men that are not needy ??? is this so ?

Strong, self-assured, self-confident: Yes The others are not so clear cut. I like a man to need me, and to be with me, but not to the extent there is nothing else in his life. All people have doubts - what I want is a man who can talk them out, and then move beyond them. I want a man who can make decisions when appropriate, and can also involve me in the decision making when appropriate.

quote:

I know that saying 'I miss you' is ok... but, if I say, "I miss you so much that it actually hurts" would that just make her worried, would it make her say 'why did you say it was ok to go in the first place then' ?

It would make me feel all soft and loving and sexy inside - but I thrive on being needed and loved, and want to hear just exactly how much!

quote:

Now, wiht a wife and two children, I have people relying on me. When I think, particulrlary about my children, these doubts come crawling up, when I think about my wife, I am thinking ' If I was not there, your life, and your path may have been different, and perhaps so much better.

This is normally the train of thought I have when I am slipping into a serious depressive episode. Having noted that, I sometimes feel overwhelmed by the responsibility of my children and my relationships (both personal and professional). I am all wrapped up in responsibility and it is very difficult to bear sometimes. So, to an extent, I think given the young age of your family that it is very, very normal for you to have these feelings.

quote:

Ladies... if YOUR husband where to share these sentiments with you, would YOU freak out... would you be scared, would you think less of him, would you think less of your togetherness and the life that you share with him ????????

The answer to all of those questions is no. Unless you brought them up over and over again with no plan to try and move beyond the doubts. I would feel very good about my H bringing these things up and then asking me for help in working through them, or suggesting a particular path he would like us to take to try and improve things. I would want to hear that he loved me beyond all else, and would go on loving me forever. I would want to hear that he thought of me as his partner in everything, and was coming to me with these thoughts because we were a team.

One concern for me is, again, the young ages of your children. I would be sensitive to her feelings of being overwhelmed as well. I suspect she may feel many of the same doubts you have about raising a family (or maybe I am just not a good mom and am the only one who ever had those doubts!!)

[ January 27, 2004, 04:11 PM: Message edited by: KS41 ]

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