After all the thousnds or millions of words here, the dynamic is very simple.

I was a failure at work before I met Mrs. Hold. I married her in the hope that copious sex with a beautiful woman would provide me with the confidence needed to succeed. It was a stupid idea and it is not surprising that it has failed.

She was supposed to be the cure for my unhappiness. Which, of course, is ridiculous. Happiness must come from within.

Now, she serves as a useful excuse for my failure.

If I were healthy, I would succeed at work. To provide a better future for my children. And our marriage would succeed or fail. But I would be happier either way.

However, I do not believe I can succeed. I was failing before I met her. Now I am older, tired, cynical, depressed and pessimistic. If I could not succeed then, why should I expect to succeed now?

On the other hand, I am confident that I can succeed at failure. So that is what I seek. What I work toward.

She is engaged in the same mechanism from the other side. She uses my lack of success and general wimpiness to excuse her failure to address my needs or do her internal work. Each of us finds it easier to blame the other than to work on ourself.

Both of us are familiar with and tolerant of failure / unhappiness. Hence we prefer the certainty of failure we can blame on our spouse. To trying and failing in a way that is purely personal.

Unless or until one of us is willing to risk more a personal failure. Neither of us has any chance of success.

As J_M said, it is all victim puke.

When you can see it coming, duck!