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But if someone was in the habit of being very oppositional, wouldn't this just make them do the opposite of what you asked/said?

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I tried to use the tips y'all have given me and he is still outside in the woods. Yesterday morning he said he wanted to get rid of the 'final' hurricane tree in the woods. So I braved up and said "If I help you with that tree, will you help me go through your office afterwards?" He said yes. So we worked on the tree from 8 to 12, when I took D18 to a sewing class. Came back at 4 and he was still there, so I helped some more. (He dug a 5 foot by 8 foot hole to put all the stumps in and covered them up, rerouted his river, shored up another tree with some of the branches...)

I went in at 6, and he finally came in at dark, we went to dinner, came home it was 9, so he went to bed.

No office.

This morning we went to church, came home, and we ate, he sat on the couch and watched tv for a couple hours, turned it off, got off the couch, and I said "So let's go work on the office now." He said no. I said why. He said it's too nice outside; no sense being inside when it's so nice outside. So I think he's going to work on the yard; I just turn around, go upstairs and start working on the office, he comes up and says in an accusing tone (as in don't touch my stuff) "What are you doing?!" I said putting away papers. (now, the papers are about 5% of what's in the room; the rest is computers, printers, phones, about 20-30 other pieces of electronics...all of which I am not supposed to touch) He looked around for a minute and left. By the time I realized he had left, and went looking he was outside.

So I go outside, thinking I'll help for one hour, we'll still have a few hours to do something with the office. But he's back out in the woods! I go out there and say "I thought you meant you were going to work on OUR yard." He said "I just have this one dead tree to get rid of."

So I go and trim trees in our yard; come back half an hour later, he's way back in the woods, moving stuff around in a big pile of tree limbs! And smiling. I ask what he's doing, and he says he's just clearing an area 'so the kids won't get hurt.' Now this pile is 8 or 9 feet tall, 20 feet wide, and he says he's moving a 2x2 foot area so the kids won't get hurt.

So I left, crying, because I know if I talk to him now I'm going to say things I shouldn't and we'll just fight. I'm just so sick of it.

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Cat, we used to have some real POJA vets here, myschae, mineownself, kam. I will paraphrase as best I can remember, but I really think you would be better off calling the Harleys than rely on my memory LOL. Or call out to Hold, he was here when these guys were, and I think would be able to get you up to speed.

Anyhow, when you do the negotiation thing, and you have a joint agreement, if the other person doesn't follow through, then this is information that this person wasn't enthusiastic. So you two agree to have this person go first next time, so they figure out that they are not enthusiastic before you go through your part and become resentful. Because this resentment is poison to your marriage.

What would make your H enthusiastic about going first? Maybe if you preplan earlier in the week?

How would you feel about calling the Harleys?


Me 40, OD 18 and YD 13
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ears, I'm so fed up I don't even care any more. He called me to come out and help again, noticed I was mad, and asked why. I was so mad I couldn't even answer. So he says "I TOLD you I was gonna work on the office." So he knew what he was doing. But by that time I had already gotten to the point where I'm beyond caring. I decided his stuff goes in his room and I took out all the papers I need from there and I don't care what happens in there any more. He is in there now cleaning. I don't care.

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Would I sound bitter if I said that it shouldn't have to be this much work on Cat's part? It seems as though she is turning backflips and he is just doing his thing.

Maybe I'm jaded.

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ears I realized I didn't answer you. The problem is that he NEVER wants to do anything I want, so he will NEVER will be enthusiastic. Head in the sand and all. He just doesn't want to deal with all his crap. I will give him, though, that he is sitting on the floor of his office, going through it slip of paper by slip of paper. I'm sure you can imagine what that means in OUR house. At least he is in there. But it's too late. I'm too brokenhearted over always being last in this family.

I'm kind of flummoxed this weekend to begin with. D18's former best friend has gone on the rampage trying to start rumors about D18 because D18 called her out on leading 2 guys on at the same time. You'll recall that rumors is what caused us to move the last time. So there's that. And then I went to the doctor about some cysts on my scalp, and the doctor got a little upset and took a sample for a biopsy for skin cancer. *sigh*

ETA: It figures. He's already done, back down on the couch. He spent a whole 30 minutes in his office, went through one little pile of papers. Great tradeoff. I spent a day and a half - and that's just THIS weekend - helping him in his woods, and he gave me 30 minutes.

The good news is that he is finally getting an equity loan like he should have 5 years ago and 'never got around to it' to pay off some credit card bills, so I may be able to afford to leave next year some time.

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Cat, I'm sorry you had a rough weekend. I hope things clear up with your daughter and that sample comes back negative.

I'd recommend not doing any work in the yard anymore. It seems like it's his suttle way of confirming to himself that he has control over you. Whenever he knows that you aren't happy with him, that he probably [censored] up, he knows that he's got you when you go out to help him.

If you're going to start shutting down, it seems like a good place to start.


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DD 4
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dkd, thank you so much for responding. You make a lot of sense. I know that will be a good place to take a stand. I just hope I can keep up the anger and be able to say no to him next time. He goes into such a rage if I say no. Not 'in danger' kind, just make me feel miserable kind. I will try.

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Well, after all this time, we had THE talk. I'm so fed up finally that I finally told him that I'm ready to either die or leave...cos I can't handle what's going on now. Of course, he never knew. He says he's going to change. He's a good person, so maybe he will. But at least I've finally said I'm out the door if something doesn't change.

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Tell him the next time you have to do your chore first as he never follows through when he agrees.

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You're right. I've had THE talk now. I feel somewhat free. He now knows I'm ready to walk. I'm so confused I can barely function.

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Cat,
I finally finished reading your thread. Whew! That was a long one! LOL

I am glad I finished on the day that you told your husband you are out the door if something doesn't change. I was hoping that would happen and was getting worried when I got to the last few pages and it hadn't happened yet! Good for you!

I hope your husband does change. I agree with the other poster who said you have been doing back flips and getting very little in return. You deserve much more.

I have no advice. I don't know how you can change things. Or if you can. I just wanted to let you know that I understand how you feel or have felt about many things. I have dealt with the giving up one day and having so much hope the next. Not knowing if you are going to be married next month or next year. If you should care if anything gets done or not because it may not matter anyway.

Living your life in limbo causes so much confusion. I admire your commitment to keep working on your marriage. You are a much stronger person that I could ever be.


"Be careful when you fight the monsters, lest you become one." Nietzsche

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mimi, thank you very much. Honestly, the biggest issue I have is not feeling like I'm going crazy.

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Hi Cat, this is probably a dumb question, but did you clarify with him exactly what had to change in particular? There are so many things that I can think of that would be driving you up the wall, that it would be hard to be specific.

Good work on having the talk. I figured he'd be clueless.

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I said putting away papers. (now, the papers are about 5% of what's in the room; the rest is computers, printers, phones, about 20-30 other pieces of electronics...all of which I am not supposed to touch) He looked around for a minute and left.

Lisa11

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 Originally Posted By: Happy2CU
Hi Cat, this is probably a dumb question, but did you clarify with him exactly what had to change in particular? There are so many things that I can think of that would be driving you up the wall, that it would be hard to be specific.

Good work on having the talk. I figured he'd be clueless.
lol, you've got a good point. Let's see, I told him about
him not fixing anything in the house,
talked about the curtain in the bathroom that's been on the floor in there for over 5 years,
about how I don't use that bathroom because I can't put the rug down because he hasn't fixed the door,
how D18 can't put a rug in her bathroom because her door needs to be fixed,
the undercabinet TV he never installed,
the flatscreen TV that's been sitting on the floor in our bedroom for a year,
the sconce lights for the bedroom that I finally put in the garage sale pile cos it hurts too much to keep looking at them after 5 years,
the windowboxes he was going to install 5 years ago,
and some other things.

I told him that I want all the stuff out of his office and sold, but that I have given up and won't address it any more. But I said I DO want the garages (the 1-car garage AND the 2-car garage) cleaned out. I told him about how I never invited anyone over to our old house for 8 years, because he couldn't take off a single freakin' day to get the carpet stretched cos he was afraid he'd get fired and he admitted he ended up getting laid off anyway.

I told him I was tired of coming in third in our family. He tried to say I wasn't, so I discussed how I do all the housework, I do the bills, I do the taxes, I do all the work to find him a job, and all he does is go to work. And mow the yard. I asked him "When does anyone ever do anything for me? When does anyone ever think about me or what I want or would like?"

I talked about how he always goes into the woods. That whenever I ask him for anything - and it's not often - he finds a reason to go out into the woods. He tried to deny that. So I said, ok, if you don't do that, you go help a neighbor with something. Or one of your coworkers needs something. Or you remember you had to go to the store. Anything but what I ask for. He tried to bring up painting the kitchen, and I said the only reason you painted the kitchen is that you don't trust me to do it, you think I can't do a good enough job. He had no answer to that.

He tried to say he fixed the woods up for me. I told him I never asked for it. I said all I ever wanted was to have the little Japanese bridge built that I bought 10 years ago, which he told me HE would put together, and he said he built a different bridge because he was going to use my bridge on the pool. Which he admitted also never got done. He tried to bring up a few other things he had done 'for me' and each time, I said I never asked for that. I said, did you ever ask me what I wanted? No, you just decided what you wanted to do and said you did it for me.

I told him that the reason D18 won't make any effort to do any work is that, according to her, DAD doesn't do anything, so why should I? (that one hurt him; he cares more about her feelings than mine)

I talked about him sleeping all the time, and how if he's not sleeping he's on his computer, or working on the woods, or talking to neighbors.

I told him that 3 times now I've purged my stuff because I was so distraught that I'd rather just die than stay there with him. He asked me if I was purging now (my bookcase was half empty as I was getting rid of stuff for the garage sale, lol), and I said no. I said I don't want to do that any more; I just want to move away from him. He didn't say anything to that.

I guess that's about it. Gave him a lot to think about. We'll see if anything changes.

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Wow, cat, I'm so glad that you've finally come clean with your H. I think that you already know that there were a lot of DJs in there, we can take a look at them another day if you want. Progress, not perfection, right? Meanwhile, what small self-care things would you want to do for yourself today to calm back down from all this emotion?

Also, cat, I don't know if you see this, I think you do, but I wanted to ask instead of assume. *You* also put yourself third all weekend, and then you go to your H and tell him he needs to change this. Is it reasonable to think that he'll take the lead on this? Step up like your SiL did? Do you know how much consistency that takes? I think that you're too special, Cat, to count on someone else for something this important.


Me 40, OD 18 and YD 13
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I don't really care about the DJs, ears. I told him what I felt. Now he knows. Blank slate from this point forward. Now I'm going to feel safer to work on not putting myself third. Before, I did it because he would AO me if I don't help him with everything and make sure things go his way. I kind of feel like I have permission now to do for myself.

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And it seems like you're ahead of the game (at least how it would be played in my house), because your H did not turn it all around on you or deny everything you said leaving you feeling as though you were crazy.

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Hi hon! {{{ cat }}}

I'm breaking my beautiful round number of posts for you! (Actually I've been out of town and that's the real reason I haven't posted.) I'm so glad to come back and read that you came clean with your H and old him how you really feel. I'm sorry that you are at the point where you don't care about things like DJs, but maybe you needed to get this deep into a state of withdrawal in order to be H&O about your feelings. Sorta like, you had to hit rock bottom first? Does that seem to fit?

Anyway, like ears said, this is progress, and that's the most important thing. I also saw some stuff, I want to mention one not to scold you but just in case you didn't see it, you can now go forward choosing to say it next time: When he didn't come back insode with you to work on cleaning the office like y'all had agreed, you didn't say anything, you just simmered in resentment. Maybe that's what you needed to do , to push yourself to completely open up. If you are now going to stop putting yourself third though, do you think you'll start saying things like, "I am ready to go work on the office now like we agreed. Are you coming with me?"

I encourage you to stop you from putting yourself third, like ears said. I'm glad you are giving yourself permission now.


me - 47 tired
H - 39 cool
married 2001
DS 8a think
DS 8b :crosseyedcrazy:
(Why is DS7b now a blockhead???)
(Ack! Now he's not even a blockhead, just a word! That's no fun!)
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