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Trix Offline OP
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I came across this website earlier this evening and thought it would have been of value to me early in my marriage.

The Surrendered Wife

Many of my H's pre-A criticisms of me had to do with things that are mentioned on that website. If you were ever accused of nagging, criticizing, or not respecting, needing to be 'right', belittling etc. by your H then maybe this will benefit you to read it also.

<small>[ October 14, 2004, 04:38 AM: Message edited by: Trix ]</small>

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checking out the link now...

Thanks, Trix <img border="0" title="" alt="[Smile]" src="images/icons/smile.gif" /> And good to see you!

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Trix,

Thank you so much for posting that article. I hope that many people pay attention to it. My H was critical and controlling in our M. Part of what had been so enticing about the A was that OM seemed to want me how I was...while H wanted me to be everything different, and yet wanted to control what I did while having freedom himself.

I did make the wrong choice in having the A - I will always know that. But I did and do deserve a relationship where my H loves me for me - flaws and all, and let's me have a say in our relationship as well. I think everyone deserves that...equality.

There is definitely a lot to be said for one person in the M always having the "upper hand." The other spouse will surely not be able to live "under" them forever....It is a good topic to discuss.

Bravo!

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Trix, I've often said my STBX was bossy and controlling. Can't say that I didn't deserve some nagging at times, but it just made me resist more.

If I let her nagging and control freak nature see results, I was sure that it would encourage her to do even more.

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It isn't easy to see what we ourselves do in a negative light. It is always easier to just deflect away from ourselves.

When I was accused of being controlling I really didn't get it. I always figured everyone has a free will to take what the want or don't want of advice or criticism. None of it should be a reason for the other spouse to go outside the marriage. Whether it is the controlling W or the controlling H. I thought my FWH was passive aggressive and had become someone who was living by moral relativity or without a conscience. Luckily he was able to make a turnaround in his life.

One part of the article that really hit home for me was:
"Some of us were so used to living in fear about not getting what we needed that we never even noticed our quickened pulse and shallow breathing. We normalized this level of terror and our accompanying auto-response: Taking control. We believed that the more we could control people around us¯husbands, siblings and friends alike¯the better off we would be."

And this:


"To fall in love is easy, even to remain in it is not difficult; our human loneliness is cause enough. But it is a hard quest worth making to find a comrade through whose steady presence one becomes steadily the person one desires to be.

Long before we fell in love and got married, every controlling wife suffered disappointments. At a young age, some of our most basic needs went unmet. This could be the result of any number of things: the untimely death of a parent or the frustrations of a family member's addiction. It could have been the consequence of relatively small things, like not getting the tennis shoes we desperately needed to fit in at school, or having to adjust to less attention because of the arrival of another sibling. Whatever the cause, we then made an erroneous conclusion that no one would ever take care of us the way we wanted.

We embraced a childish belief that if we were always in charge, things were more likely to go our way.

Some of us were so used to living in fear about not getting what we needed that we never even noticed our quickened pulse and shallow breathing. We normalized this level of terror and our accompanying auto-response: Taking control. We believed that the more we could control people around us¯husbands, siblings and friends alike¯the better off we would be.

Just as fish are always the last to discover they are in the ocean, those of us who survive by trying to control things around us are often the last to recognize our behavior. We tell ourselves that we are trying to instruct, improve, help others, or do things efficiently - never that we are so afraid of the unpredictable that we do everything in our power to insure a certain outcome.

For instance, I thought I was merely making helpful suggestions when I told my husband that he should ask for a raise. When I urgently exclaimed that we should have turned right instead of left while riding in a friend's car who knew perfectly well how to get to our destination, I reasoned that I was trying to save time and avoid traffic. When I tried to convince my brother that he really should get some therapy, I justified butting into his life as wanting "to be there for him."

All of these justifications were merely elaborate covers for my inability to trust others. If I had trusted that my husband was earning as much money as he could, I wouldn't have emasculated him by implying that I found him lacking ambition. If I had trusted my friend to get us to our destination in a reasonable time, I wouldn't have barked out orders about where to turn, leaving a cold frost on the inside of the car. If I had trusted my brother to make his own way in the world, he would've felt more inclined to continue to share the emotional milestones of his life with me.

Trusting is magical because people tend to live up to our expectations. If you make it clear to your husband that you expect him to screw up at work, wreck the car, or neglect his health, you are setting a negative expectation. If on the other hand, you expect him to succeed, he is much more likely to do just that."
--------------------------------------------------

I realize that I've been doing this to my kids too even as they are now adults. Lots of this has been based from my own fears and lack of trust. It is sending them the wrong message and is disrespectful.

At least I recognize that I still have areas that I can improve on that will help my relationships.

Hey Tom, I was thinking of starting a thread to get a tally of FWW's to check in. I started making a list and then I realized that there are lots of BH and FWW's who just aren't around anymore. They have recovered and moved on. I went on the reunion site and there is a guy there named Mark whose marriage is restored and his FWW is now expecting twins: their first children after having tried for years. Anyway, it isn't impossible that your wife wouldn't have a turnaround. I can understand how it can look pretty bleak from where you sit.

I would guess some of the old timers can help with the comparison of numbers recoveries when it is the wife that was unfaithful as opposed to the H.

<small>[ October 09, 2004, 10:00 AM: Message edited by: Trix ]</small>

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Trix, I really enjoyed your post again. I think it applies much more to my wife than me... I still don't realize I'm in the ocean. <img border="0" title="" alt="[Wink]" src="images/icons/wink.gif" />

I adhere completely to the expectation rules. People work up to expectations almost always. This also goes to responsiblility. For someone to become responsible, they have to be given responsibility.

People who are controlling in the way you describe seem to have low expectations, and because of that do not allow thier partners the opportunity to behave responsibly. They take over the responsibility to make sure everything happens the way they want it too. The other person is there to follow directions.

I am good at being encouraged, not good at being bossed.

Trix, I do see some FWW here and there. But they came back because the OM dumped them, or cheated on them. Thier Fathful Spouse was second choice, a consolation prize, and a safety blanket. I think maybe these FWW are ripe for another A, I'm not sure they choose they're H again, they were forced back.

Sad, but just my observation.

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I was a surendered wife- my H still walked off had affiars and left me.
Jante

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I am sorry Jante.

I know that the WS chooses to have the A, and at some point it is a deficit in character of the WS.
The Surrendered Wife won't apply to every BW, I just found it thought provoking food for thought.

Sometimes the evil one can attack with a tempation that can be hard for us fallible humans to resist. It can be so cunning that we frequently hear: "I never planned to have an A" and "it just happened."

It is hard for the BS to accept that because at some point we know we have a freewill able to assess the situations in which we find ourselves and make choices. We as BS's can't take responsibility for that choice. What we can do is to keep bettering ourselves so that the atmosphere within our marriage has not been a fertile ground for having a spouse not listen to their better self, but to succumb to the temptation that they are presented with, and sometimes on a silver platter.

I know that there are BS's that were much better spouses than me, but it did take a while for me to be able to see my culpability in the not so perfect state of our marriage pre-A.

I had a light bulb moment when I was able to see myself and shed quite a few tears of remorse. Prior to that I wasn't really fully aware of the effects of some of my behaviors, attitudes, and actions that were less than admirable. I had a tendancy toward righteous indignation at having been a victim of my WS's A.

I have made some corrections and improvements in me and there's still room for more growth.

<small>[ October 10, 2004, 12:09 PM: Message edited by: Trix ]</small>

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HI Trix
Thanks for your comments. I'm not perfect and never claimed to be, but I did live a life surrendered to my H and when he had the affair I was wanting to forgive and move on- it was him who wouldn't and moved out. I do hope that such sites as the one you highlighted and this one will help people to impove thee home situation and bing restoration to their marriage. I just know in my case it didn't wok.
I wish the best for all those who seek to see their marriage rebuilt
Jante

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Trix -

I think the most important thing is that the surrendered wife needs a Godly and responsible husband.

I was always a surrendered wife, and all I got was problems and heartache. My husband took care of all of the financial things, but he was irresponsible financially.

He spent our money on crazy things, and I didn't even open my mouth. He bought a car without consulting me. His thinking was that he was the leader in the home, and he would listen to my opinion, but in the end, it was his decision.

So we ended up going bankrupt, even though our combined income was more than $100,000. a year.

After he was with OW, I continued not making waves. He retired with a $25.000. bonus. It is all gone now. He came over yesterday, and I asked him about the money. He said that OW is not interested in money. I told him that they sure went through it fast enough.

Here is the killer. He told me that it seemed like free money to him, so he gave it away to homeless people, friends, people in bars, etc.

Meanwhile I was working fulltime, took in a roommate, started my own business, and still was struggling. He gave me $1500. out of the $25,000. which I spent on needed home repairs.

So I do think that the surrendered wife idea needs to be tempered. The husband is the leader in the home, but that implies that he is responsible. To surrender to a dysfunctional husband is a recipe for disaster.

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I didn't get the impression from the Surrendered Wife that it meant being a doormat or overly submissive. I am not taking this as extreme submissive advice. It is biblical to submit one to another; I wasn't interpreting that website's intent in an oppressive doormat way. I know the relevant scriptures regarding submission and I wasn't looking at this site in that way at all.

We all have our strengths and weaknesses. I've always done the finances at home and in our business since I started working in it fulltime in 1995. It isn't only that I didn't trust him to pay the bills, he didn't have a desire to do that and we've always been comfortable with it that way. When we were separated he paid his own bills and it really didn't matter to me if he only paid them when a late notice came.

My H has some admirable qualities and it didn't take OW long to find them and bring them out when he was with her. (Of course, during the A there were lots of those less than admirable qualities he was displaying in his life as well.)

There were times when I was overly critical of efforts he would make to do projects at home. I didn't always appreciate him or admire him. Yes, I always figured that he had to be admirable and there were many years that I thought he was dishonest, lacked integrity, good ethics, and character. I was maybe just a tad rigid in some of my judgements even without compromising my standards.

I was always right and I always was quick to prove that he was wrong. I have realized that just wasn't fair or right. I didn't trust him and did not find that he was trustworthy. Which came first the chicken or the egg? My H started out as a pretty Godly H and I think it was me that contributed to tearing that down so that he totally backslide into the world of selfish moral relativity and A's. One of the reasons that I felt safe to marry him is that he had become a commited Christian. He was always reading his Bible and trying to be the good guy. I used to call him "Mr. Perfect'. I thought he would always be faithful.

People can change for the good and many people will rise to the occasion with some positive encouragement.

For example being critical of his driving and being unreasonably frightened when he drives is one area I still need to work on. It has been a major annoyance for him. It may stem from an accident I was in 12 yrs. ago but it still speaks to my lack of trust. He's been driving many years without incident; he does just fine without my input when he is driving without me. I read her example and could relate to it.

We're are better partners post-A's and use POJA effectively most of the time.

I don't think that I was interpreting the Surrendered Wife the way some of you may have.

Anyway, if you read it and didn't find anything of use to you, that is fine. I din't mean to offend or cast blame on only BW's. I just know that for me, I spent lots of the early years in our marriage belittling and struggling for power and not very effective at giving any positive feedback on my husband's efforts however lacking I may have found some of them. I am sure it doesn't apply to all wives. Other women may be faced with other challenges based on their own life experiences.
I was never abused and don't know how I would have responded to that...I guess I felt safe enough to speak my mind even when I should have held my tongue.

I lost my mom just before I started my freshman year of high school. The author mentioned something like that as an example of a possible cause for not trusting people to be as careful or responsible or make the right decisions without requiring my input when it isn't even asked for.

I wasn't wanting to put the link to imply that it will be helpful to all BW's, but there may be some that it may be useful for. We can all take what applies and discard the rest.

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Trix .... A guy could learn alot from that article about his own behaivor too. Maybe a better title would be "The Surrendered Wife .... Not just for Wives"


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