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So we're doing the in-house separation thing. Two weeks into it.

I blew it again --- went back to trying to convince her to "try". That's so stupid, since it just doesn't work.

Tonight I had a very uncomfortable thought; maybe she was the one who "settled" when we married? It's always been me who was accused of that, but I'm not sure at all.

I was conflicted about it by the time the wedding came around, but not when I proposed.

But in all our years together, I don't recall hearing "I love you" from *her*, more than a few times. Unfortunately, even though I said it more frequently, it was always in the context of crying over how messed-up I felt because of her weight.

I truly felt that my wife loved french fries more than she loved me.


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I really hope you realize how insulting and self-righteous that sounds.

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Catperson,

I assume that you are referring to the "french fries" comment.

How to explain?

First, that's how it *felt to me*, not necessarily how it was. I understand that now.

If you've read through my threads here, you'll recall the childhood abandonment issues I've learned about and am working on.

Part of that unlovely package of stuff is never quite being able to believe that you are loved, as well as looking at damn near everything as evidence to support those beliefs. So wife can't lose weight when I ask/need her to = wife doesn't love me.

That's how it felt to me.

But you know, now that I'm looking back and trying to figure all this out, maybe she really didn't love me. Maybe she settled for the first guy that would have her. I know that we're well-matched in so many ways, and we did have a lot of fun together, but did she ever really love me?

She certainly didn't say it often; hardly ever, in fact.

When their parents divorce, young children typically blame themselves; I've been told that the reason for this is that it gives them a feeling of control over the situation - "If it is my fault, then I can fix it."

I think that I've been doing that to some degree --- assuming 100% of the blame for the sad thing that our marriage became, figuring that if it was *all* my fault, then just changing me alone could fix it. Again, all about trying to regain some control over a situation where I have none.

She had to have a part in this. We were both there. It could not have been "all me".

I can stand losing her, even though I believe that we could finally grow together, but my heart bleeds for our son.

We just had his eighth birthday party yesterday. He was so happy. He said, "This was my best birthday *ever*!"

I had to choke back my tears. He doesn't yet know what's coming, and coming soon.

MH


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 Quote:
Tonight I had a very uncomfortable thought; maybe she was the one who "settled" when we married? It's always been me who was accused of that, but I'm not sure at all.


MH, you can choose to "pick the worst belief in the bunch," or you can remember that these changes you are working on are for you and your life, and shift your focus to the benefits you are getting from your hard-earned changes today.

What have been the benefits to you and your family from your changes so far?

For example, for me, I am kicking a lifelong habit of judging and sporadic AOs, from well before I met my H. I am making true-blue friends that I think will be with me for a lifetime. I have found a deeper respect for my H that helps me be a far better parent to our kids. I can see how specific character traits they get from him are huge assests and were not liabilities.


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So you had abandonment issues.

What kind of issues do you think your wife had? Must be pretty paramount to allow her to salvage it all with overeating. And it must have culminated in even greater self-hatred on her part to continue that way, and then to know what you really think of her, and then to know that she lacks the willpower to fix herself, and to be waiting for the day you give up on her because of all her ugliness inside and out.

Sorry, but I don't see you really understanding - or attempting to - who she really is.

Until you are humble enough to bring yourself down to the level of others who are hurting, you don't deserve her. JMHO.

My church's youth minister passed away suddenly yesterday. She was about 35. She was morbidly obese. We had to wait 6 months to get her 2 years ago because she was in the process of adopting two girls whose mother had abandoned them, and she had to jump through legal hoops to be able to move to another state. She was the most godly, loving, giving person in our entire church. Yet it hurt to look at her, she was so overweight. But we won't remember that. We'll remember what a gift from God she was to us, and to her husband, and to those poor girls who lost their best chance at life with her.

You could take a person's soul and bottle it up, and that body that was left behind wouldn't mean squat - the 'person' would be in that bottle.

What are you looking to be in love with?

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EO,

Thanks for the encouragement.

 Originally Posted By: ears_open
 Quote:
Tonight I had a very uncomfortable thought; maybe she was the one who "settled" when we married? It's always been me who was accused of that, but I'm not sure at all.


MH, you can choose to "pick the worst belief in the bunch," or you can remember that these changes you are working on are for you and your life, and shift your focus to the benefits you are getting from your hard-earned changes today.

It's just something that occurred to me, and I thought that it was worth considering. I had a talk with her parents yesterday before the birthday party. Her Dad spoke of how his idea of love was that he always was thinking, "what can I do for her?".

I realized that as nice as that sounded, I had not experienced that from his daughter --- and I started to wonder if it was only because I wasn't capable of letting it in, or because it just hadn't been there.

 Quote:
What have been the benefits to you and your family from your changes so far?

My son and I get along better than ever. *HE* has noticed and commented on how much more patient I have become, and "kinder".

Beth just doesn't care. And since I can't shake this despair for any length of time, I end up blowing it again and again.
 Quote:

For example, for me, I am kicking a lifelong habit of judging and sporadic AOs, from well before I met my H. I am making true-blue friends that I think will be with me for a lifetime. I have found a deeper respect for my H that helps me be a far better parent to our kids. I can see how specific character traits they get from him are huge assests and were not liabilities.


That all sounds good! I am happy that things are working out better for you.


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 Quote:
And since I can't shake this despair for any length of time, I end up blowing it again and again.


MH, are you getting adequate support for this? Do you get eough exercise? Would ADs and IC benefit you in this? Have you thought about calling the Harleys? I've spoken to Steve myself and he's an amazing motivator. Maybe in-home separation isn't the best option for you?


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I can REALLY relate to the despair, MH. I am trying to say, MH, how can you keep that manageable?


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cat,

That's all ancient history over a span of twelve years, what I was relating to you. I've spent the last four months or so trying to untangle the real from the "stuff."

She took care of the weight problem surgically. LAP-Band, about 20 months ago. She's been the model patient, which does require a good bit of self-control.

I fully realize the enormity of the pain I caused. I've also learned why I did it, and I'm working very hard to learn to not let the screaming eight-year-old-me run my life.

The more I dig, the more I find ways that he runs the show, sometimes even when I think he isn't. How I wish he'd just shut up and leave me alone! (grin)

As to her issues, she claims she doesn't have any that need work. This doesn't sound reasonable to me. Does it to you?

My hope was that she'd start on this and that in doing so she'd defuse some of her anger about the past, allowing us to have a future together.

Doesn't look at all likely now.

MH


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 Originally Posted By: ears_open
 Quote:
And since I can't shake this despair for any length of time, I end up blowing it again and again.


MH, are you getting adequate support for this? Do you get eough exercise? Would ADs and IC benefit you in this? Have you thought about calling the Harleys? I've spoken to Steve myself and he's an amazing motivator. Maybe in-home separation isn't the best option for you?


EO,

Thanks again ... I can actually feel your concern, and it means a lot to me.

I've been doing some IC, exploring the childhood stuff and how to deal with it. I was reading a ton of books on the subject, and on dropping the associated defensiveness, but stopped when it became clear where we were headed.

I bought B a book on forgiveness, but she never opened it, and pointedly left it upstairs when she moved downstairs.

As far as AD's - I don't think I need that again. I'm really through the worst of it already. The worst was very bad - the fun thing about childhood abandonment "stuff" is that when someone is leaving you really truly feel like you are going to die. Not on an intellectual level - on a gut level that floods you with adrenaline constantly.

Thankfully, the worst of that is over.

And what the heck ... I've lost about 33 pounds on the "adrenaline diet", so it's all good.

I wish I could get B to talk to the Harleys, just to get her one outside voice to speak in favor of commitment and possibility, but her anger want to stay alive.

MH

Last edited by MiserableHubby; 03/09/09 10:11 AM.

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More likely impossible that she doesn't have issues she's not addressing.

Working on yourself is the best way to work on your marriage, but I'm sure you know that. IC is good, volunteering is even better - it takes the focus off of yourself and allows you to be who you are without thinking about it, but also to grow and learn by helping others who are in worse shape than you.

Don't give up, keep working, but realize that 4 months in IC talk is just seconds compared to the time it will take to really get anywhere. After all, you spent 18 years forming the person who is now you. What have you done to address your past issues? Have you talked to your parents or other responsible people in your life? It can be very freeing to do so. And you usually get another side of your story you weren't prepared for.

I spent 40 years feeling inadequate because of a memory of my older brother getting to go to a special academy, which happened right after we took IQ tests. In my mind, I was stupid so I couldn't go there with him. Just a month ago, I spoke to my mom about it, and she told me that I actually scored higher than him, we both had genius IQs, it was just that he was such a hellion that the public school kicked him out! If I had only talked about it to her decades ago, I could have spared myself a lot of inferiority complex.

In other words, look for out of the box ways to address your issues.

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Thanks, MH. I am so relieved to hear that the worst is over. It's been really helpful for me to remember that, too, that our lives are getting better and better every day. I think that you will find that the despair is something you can kick, too. It sounds like you have looked at the question of whether you are getting enough support, and I'm glad that you are taking the action that you need. And cat, Kudos to you!


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 Originally Posted By: catperson
More likely impossible that she doesn't have issues she's not addressing.

Well, that's what I think too. Too bad she doesn't think so.
 Quote:

Working on yourself is the best way to work on your marriage, but I'm sure you know that. IC is good, volunteering is even better - it takes the focus off of yourself and allows you to be who you are without thinking about it, but also to grow and learn by helping others who are in worse shape than you.

Don't give up, keep working, but realize that 4 months in IC talk is just seconds compared to the time it will take to really get anywhere. After all, you spent 18 years forming the person who is now you.

More like 43 years since my parents' divorce when I was eight.
 Quote:

What have you done to address your past issues? Have you talked to your parents or other responsible people in your life? It can be very freeing to do so. And you usually get another side of your story you weren't prepared for.

Yes, I've done that. Two weeks ago I spent an afternoon with my father and we talked about that period of time. I also talked with my sister, who's three years older than me, and had much better memories of the whole thing (I have *none* from age eight to ten or so). I just shut down, and stayed that way.

Another thing that I've tried is to have a dialog between my "adult self" and the "Lost Boy" (as I call him). This is something recommended in several books that I've read, as well as by the therapist that I've been seeing. The idea is that I'm supposed to comfort and reassure him, the way that he was not comforted back then. It's not really worked all that well yet -- I just end up in tears, repeating "Why did you leave?" and not able to get much beyond that. The visit with my father was also supposed to be like this, but he couldn't quite manage it either --- we're both a bit too "rational" to be able to pull it off.

He left because my mother was having an affair and told him it was over and she wanted to marry the OM. He told me that he's always regretted not telling her that if she wanted to go, then go, but the kids stay.

She did marry the OM, and they're still together. He's not a bad guy, but it was a bad situation for my sister and I to be in.

 Quote:

I spent 40 years feeling inadequate because of a memory of my older brother getting to go to a special academy, which happened right after we took IQ tests. In my mind, I was stupid so I couldn't go there with him. Just a month ago, I spoke to my mom about it, and she told me that I actually scored higher than him, we both had genius IQs, it was just that he was such a hellion that the public school kicked him out! If I had only talked about it to her decades ago, I could have spared myself a lot of inferiority complex.


Wow! What a shame ... and yet how liberating now.

MH


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Please consider no longer referring to the litte boy, scared and crying inside. Your psychologist/therapist has allowed you to attribute your conduct to an event very long past in your history.

You say you've taken responsibility for the way you treated your wife, and yet you continue to reference your actions and feelings to "the little boy".

I do not mean this harshly, but far worse has happened to people than a difficult parental divorce - and yet they have grown up to be stand up people who do not abuse their spouses for being fat and make their lives a living misery.

Ulimately you decided how to treat her. It wasnt the "little boy inside" treating her like that. It was you. You didnt have to treat her that way, no matter what happened to you as an 8yr old. You chose to.

Also, I'm not surprised she doesnt want to make things work. As soon as you realised you probably arent going to get what you want you have managed to vilify her and point out how she too has failed you and the marriage. You are ignoring the advice of many on here that your job now is not to worry about her but to continue fixing yourself.

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IndigoSun,

My task is to learn to handle my own "stuff". You may ignore what you seem to consider to be "psychobabble" (as I did for too many years), but I've been forced to admit that there's a lot of truth in what I've read and learned in the last few months.

In any case, your post isn't terribly helpful, nor have you offered anything new; I've already got plenty of guilt and do not need any more.

MH


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I agree with everything IndigoSun wrote. You claim to be owning your "stuff" but pin in on your wounded inner child. I'd have very little respect for my H if that was his rationalization to treating me so poorly. Women typically don't love men they can't respect. It's been 3 yrs since your first post...I say it's too late. You were cruel to your W for years and still want to blame shift by claiming the cruelty wasn't REALLY you it was the lost 8 yr old boy in you.

It's too late IMO. Let your W be. She's sounds rational and realistic. She is making plans for a support system. Don't patronize her that she doesn't REALLY now how hard it will be to be a divorced single mother. She survived you.


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Many a good man has failed because he had a wishbone where his backbone should have been.

We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face... we must do that which we think we cannot.
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OK, let me try this, and see if it makes you two any happier.

I treated my wife badly because deep down, I'm a sh*t, and I'll always be a sh*t. And I *chose* to be a sh*t because I found it so amazingly rewarding and pleasant!

Since I'll always be a sh*t, there's no point in examining anything any further, nor in trying to understand why.

Does that work for you?

It used to work for me ... no, wait, that's not true at all. It NEVER worked for me, it made me and those around me terribly unhappy. Thinking that way and never questioning my own internal landscape caused me to ruin this marriage. If only I'd learned sooner, I could have started to change sooner ... if only ... if only.

Rather than dismissing psychology, you might do some reading. I certainly found it enlightening, and you just might as well.

I highly recommend this book by David Richo: When the Past is Present - Healing the Emotional Wounds that Sabotage our Relationships

You are right, it is indeed too late.

Anyway, enough with the attacks. Please stop.

MH

Last edited by MiserableHubby; 03/11/09 09:59 AM.

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 Originally Posted By: MiserableHubby
Anyway, enough with the attacks. Please stop.


Attacks? Try an observation from a third party that has no vested interest in your life whatsoever. But go ahead and call me or others 'meanies' because we don't agree with you. No one said you will always be sh*t but most here aren't going to tell you what you want to hear just so you feel better. Your attitude sucks but go ahead and throw yourself on the knife whining about how you will always be sh*t. It's very attractive.

I'll refrain for posting on your tread. Good day.


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Many a good man has failed because he had a wishbone where his backbone should have been.

We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face... we must do that which we think we cannot.
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MH, I'm a layperson psychologist; probably read a lot more than you have. And I do place a lot of strength on understanding our FOO to learn why we do what we do, just like you do. IMO, it is essential to know that FOO stuff. Because it becomes literally hardwired in our brains - we continue to do what worked in childhood because those synapses connected to those actions are strengthened through use and are the first available.

BUT. The whole point of learning that FOO stuff is in learning how to overcome it. Have you? Are you? In what way? How have you addressed your inner child? Have you gotten past your anger at your mistreatment, learned forgiveness for those who did it?

If not, you have no business worrying about what your wife does or doesn't do, because you are your own worst enemy. And hers.

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 Originally Posted By: catperson
MH, I'm a layperson psychologist; probably read a lot more than you have. And I do place a lot of strength on understanding our FOO to learn why we do what we do, just like you do. IMO, it is essential to know that FOO stuff. Because it becomes literally hardwired in our brains - we continue to do what worked in childhood because those synapses connected to those actions are strengthened through use and are the first available.

yes.
 Quote:
BUT. The whole point of learning that FOO stuff is in learning how to overcome it. Have you? Are you? In what way? How have you addressed your inner child? Have you gotten past your anger at your mistreatment, learned forgiveness for those who did it?

yes, yes, therapy sessions and "homework", not anger but fear, fear,fear, and the belief that I'm not worthy of love. Classic childhood abandonment issues.

Forgiveness? Not necessary, because I'm well aware that it wasn't intentional, nor was what happened so terrible - from an adult point of view. My father did not abandon me; it only *felt* that way to me then, and then somehow I got "stuck" there.
 Quote:

If not, you have no business worrying about what your wife does or doesn't do, because you are your own worst enemy. And hers.

I certainly have been our worst enemy. For years. I'm trying hard to fix that. Dealing with childhood abandonment issues while in the middle of an abandonment is no fun, but I guess that's the time that one is most likely to become aware of them, no?

Thanks for speaking up.

MH


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