Originally Posted by LovingAnyway
In general, would you say that asking is difficult now, after your experience with MrsHold, maybe work, others? Or just me, MrsHold?

Asking is hard for me in general. In all areas.

You say you don't assume MrsHold is unhappy overall. You know you used those words in your previous post, not with the specifier "overall", but wrapped in the "we" statement.

When I said "together and unhappy, I meant together and ME unhappy". Whether she is happy or unhappy is only of concern to the extent that she is not sufficiently unhappy to leave.

Are ya slipping?

Yes, I do slip from time to time. Ask for something I want. Meet one of her needs. I have still not sufficiently purged my "nice guy" tendencies. Every so often I do something she enjoys. I tell myself it is just so she won't divorce me.

What if those recent acts on your part added to her love bank (accidentally, of course), hence, her stating she wants to grow old with you, be there for you...not because you got her to reciprocate...because that's what she really wants? You shared honestly, she shared honestly.

She may well want to grow old with me. It is one of her goals in life. She may even achieve her goal.

Our experience doesn't catch up to reality, though, until we realize the change. Not huge, not earth-shattering...nonetheless, different.

I understand that any process of improvement will be a series of slow changes. I am not willing to cooperate in that process. I want either grand gestures and huge breakthroughs or nothing. I would rather be miserable than participate in a process of slow incremental improvement. To me that process was too painful when attempted in the past, and I am not willing to endure that pain again for the chance that the outcome will be different this time. I know it might be. I am not willing to invest in seeing if it is.

I am miserable now. I was even more miserable back when I was trying for improvement. It hurts less to tell myself no improvement is possible. Hope = pain. Any time hope arises, I squash it. I will not allow myself to hope things can get better. It hurts too much when they don't.

Noticing small improvements does not help. It hurts. It creates hope. Which is pain. I know this is in my head. That I could choose a different perspective. I am married to this perspective. As I am married to my bitterness and resentment. Those marriages have been much more rewarding to me than my marriage to Mrs. Hold. They hurt. But they cause me less pain than she does. With them, I get exactly what I expect. With her, I am continually left disappointed. At this point, she cannot do enough to overcome my bitterness. I am not so cruel as to allow her to try.

I understand full well the problem here. To achieve happiness, I would have to admit the truth of how I feel. Which I refuse to do because I fear if we placed the full truth front and center where neither of us can deny it, she would choose to leave. The one choice I fear most of all. Since I cannot tolerate the chance she might leave if I told the truth, I cannot do that which is crucial to change and improvement. I know I am dooming myself. I can't bring myself to make a different choice.

Remember, part of the truth is that I have absolutely no intention of doing what it would take to meet her ENs. Become more confident / successful / attractive. Even if she does meet mine. I don't fear her leaving solely because she will refuse to meet my needs. I fear her leaving because the truth would include that I refuse to meet hers.

Which we all know is the real core truth here. I don't really fear her refusal. I fear her saying "yes I will". I fear myself. That I will fall short.

The reason I am confortable not pushing her to meet my needs is that I feel that justifies my not meeting hers. Which excuses me not even trying to do so. Which means I won't try and fail. I will choose to fail. So I can fail with much less guilt.

THAT is why I don't try to make things better. And until I am willing to change that, all talk of change on her point is irrelevant. In fact, from that perspective, change on her part to do a better job at meeting my needs is bad. Why the heck do you think I work so hard to reject any suggestion that she has changed or is getting better? I don't want her to get better. That would put pressure on me to get better myself. No, I like it exactly how it is. Each giving the other permission to fail.

Cerri did not "fire" us only because Mrs. Hold refused to change. I was just as stubborn and inflexible. I just talk a better game.

When you can see it coming, duck!