You did the quote thing on my post and inserted Soolee's words into my quote box.

Tricky man.


Just the first one...the rest of the quotes were mine.

That is something I can do. Ask her why she makes these requests. What is she hoping to accomplish. I predict she will answer "I want these things for our kids. Don't you?" When I point out I want them too, but we can't afford them, she will deflect / distract. We shall see how close my prediction comes to reality.

I think making that boundary, that you won't engage discussion until she's reviewed the financial limitations is reasonable and respectful. As well as saying, "I believe you tell yourself you ask because you want it for one or both of our kids. I choose not to believe you anymore. I know you know we cannot do it all...and we don't sit down and enthusiastically agree ahead of time what we are able to do, equally, for our kids...and I know you won't hold yourself to not asking above and beyond what we agree to, either. I know you can work and make more happen for our kids. I'll believe you really want this for our kids when you make the money to pay for them."

Sturdy, true and loving...owning your own stuff. See, not predicting...focusing on what your real issue is...and one is that she keeps you aghast at her asking for what she knows is not possible. The Daddy-Please syndrome. Keeps you in Daddy form...and I'm asking you to stop it.

Just stop. Because it's what gives you that sin of pride and martyrdom which keeps you in self-hate.

Take away a single part and the whole house of cards fall...and you stop your cycle. Just one part destroys the loop. Think of all that energy you'll save from slaving to keep that loop in play, Hold.

And no lies that she will distract/deflect. She can't. You just stay on target, listen and repeat. She can try to distract/deflect...unless you willingly accompany her, won't work...don't go there.

Like me...

you still did not answer if historically, you felt like a failure when she would bring requests you couldn't afford to provide.

You don't have to answer, Hold...I can't make you. And it's respectful if you want to say, "I choose not to answer how I feel when she does this." I see you deflect/distract with predictions...turning to her instead of looking inward for my question.

Does that snap your suspenders?


I wasn't clear enough in my slots naming...sorry. In the spreadsheet, you have a Row for each thing...Utilities (might have sub-rows for gas, electric, etc. with a subtotal), Car Maintenance...

Similarly, having a Row "Family" with three sub-rows...DS15, DD12, Marriage (not my order). And it's subtotalled (by month (columns) and by annual total...might even have actual versus budgeted.


So at the time you guys booked the Bermuda trip for DS15...did you say, "I'd rather not do this until we figure out how much we're spending on Family for the year (or just those summer months), which includes us and DD12."

And if you didn't, you can now. You can stop now with the "We can't afford" and assert yourself. "I'm not supporting Bermuda, now, either, since I want balanced spending between our children" and find out if DW thinks that's reasonable...

Is it reasonable to spend as much on a 12-year-old (isn't she 13 yet?), as it is a 15-year-old? When she's 16, she'll be the only one at home...usually when the younger sibling rakes it in (in my experience as the younger sibling).


Do you refuse to not do that which you will resent? Or do you refuse to not agree to anything either of you aren't enthusiastic about? Or do you refuse to spend...your quote above. Your choices...every one of them...choices from your intent, your goal...

which was to keep hating yourself and loving your kids...and surviving your wife for another six years.

Can you see where your real goals (the ones you are acting from) are in conflict with reality and your stated goals?

The "Marriage" row (slot) was half you and half her...you were addressed. My belief is that The Union comes first...and we are half that union. Because we're in there, equally, we address the Union first...our children second.

So I hear you definitively saying that you will NOT allow any of your ENs to be met within the Union, doing acts of love for the Union...and that you focus on getting yours addressed separately from The Marriage.

Whoa. You want money spent on you, for you, for IB, to harm the marriage...to feed yourself what you are choosing to deprive yourself of within the marriage. How on earth do you do that emotional math?

Okay, you can snap my suspenders (Ha! Don't wear those!)...I see where you said you do feel like a failure and you will move the boundary up to a healthy requirement. I'm sorry I didn't read your whole post and rather, began addressing bit by bit...

which can bite. smile I'm sorry.

Will you move the boundary up? Really break the daddy act to bits (please) and make it totally equals in your head...she's so capable, amazing and she can choose...and she hasn't yet. She might. Make sure you take a moment to rephrase all responses into choices.

And you cannot be the bad guy...you can be the healthy NO guy (that's part of the father's role, when it's healthy)...and you can say, "Parenting is singular (to your DS and DD). Your mother and I know we can only parent together...and at times, we screw up. We know to talk first, then inform you of our joint decision. She didn't do it this time. It happens."

No bad guys...children love your no's...later. They may hate it at first--and by nightfall, they sleep securely in knowing you're willing to enforce boundaries with "no."

Which is why they are crazy about you.

And saying a healthy "no" to your wife--maybe that's why you won't do it from love and respect...she, too, might become crazy about you.

Sure would screw up your plan to self-hate your way through life, eh?

Congratulations you no finally choosing not to hope she'll give up her unhealthy payoffs.