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Cat:

I won't cut and paste. But I might have some more "drive by" honesty. Who knows, I might even slip up and have an entire conversation.

I should mention that D12 was in the room when Mrs. Hold asked me when I was moving back in. So I had to be brief in my responses. Especially since I felt somewhat ambushed in that setting.

Perhaps in a few weeks when Mrs. Hold is feeling better, and is able to stay up late enough for us to have a conversation without the kids overhearing, we can discuss this in more detail.

LAs point is the biggest one. I need to live in accordance with my "code". The fact that I feel so much anxiety over honesty shows that I am not doing so. Even as I say that staying married to Mrs. Hold is my highest priority. Obviously, I am lying to myself about that.

I know you are all praying that I find the motivation to stop doing that. Well, at least those of you who are not praying that I just "shut up already".


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I am not praying that you just 'shut up already', Hold. I would just like to see you right with yourself. If that means staying married until your kids are grown, great, but your unhappiness seems pretty clear and is hard to just ignore.

I want to be O&H with you, though, Hold. I sense that even when your kids are grown, you will not divorce your wife. I sense that you two will be so ingrained with each other that change will either seem too problematic and complicated or require too much energy.

I hope when you are deciding what to do with the rest of your life, that you will think about that at some point because I fear that years will turn into decades, and all this time when you could have been strengthening your marriage and willfully chose not to, will be wasted because although the marriage will still be intact, it will not be any happier. We can only expect from our marriages what we put into them. Things just don't improve spontaneously; they don't. They can't. It takes conscious effort.

On your deathbed, will you be saying "I wish I'd spent more time being unhappy"?


Last edited by Soolee; 11/24/09 07:21 AM.

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Maybe some day, Hold, it will not be enough to come here and "medicate your angst" and actual changes will need to take place for you make a move in your favor. I don't think you hope for that but we can. I mean this in the nicest possible way.


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So last night I asked Mrs. Hold why she wants me to come back to the bed. She said "I like having you here." I asked her what she likes about it, since she constantly complains about my odor, body heat, breathing, talking, trying to touch her, etc. She said "we are married, you are supposed to be here." I said "there are no shoulds, and anyway I don't think you want to get into a discussion about what each of us is supposed to do because we are married."

I asked her whether she wanted me in her bed for appearances, so the children would not see our problems overtly. She said "that is part of it, but not the whole thing. I like having you here." I said "yes, I hear that you say you like me being here, but you don't seem to like me interacting with you. You don't want me right next to you. It appears to me that you want me a few feet away from you, but in the bed. As a matter of security. Kinda like D12 wants her blanket. A security device. A pet. Not a person." She nodded but said nothing.

So I asked her "what is in it for ME to come back to our bed. As you know, our marital bed has been a very stressful place for me. It triggers my anxiety." She said "sometimes it is stressful for me too." I said "yes, but you want me here anyway. I am not sure I want that. What is in it for me to be here?"

She said "I will be here." I said "yes, you and I will be together in bed, but that is what YOU want. What is in it for ME?" She said "you get to be next to your beautiful wife." I said "yes, you are beautiful. But you are my beautiful wife even when I am in the living room. That doesn't change as a result of where I am sitting."

We resolved to discuss this further on Thursday. Should be interesting, as she has so far offered me NOTHING to get me back into bed with her. I'll probably go back anyway. But it is interesting to discuss this with her calmly and watch her reaction. She appears to be VERY uncomfortable having this conversation. I care too, but as I am resigned to getting nothing from her, I am much less invested in her reaction than I otherwise would be.


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Originally Posted By: Soolee
I want to be O&H with you, though, Hold. I sense that even when your kids are grown, you will not divorce your wife. I sense that you two will be so ingrained with each other that change will either seem too problematic and complicated or require too much energy.


Yes, I anticipate that as well. Very possible given my fear of change.

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all this time when you could have been strengthening your marriage and willfully chose not to, will be wasted because although the marriage will still be intact, it will not be any happier.


Here is where we disagree. I do not think I could be strengthening my marriage. What I am missing out on is NOT working things out with Mrs. Hold. That will never happen. What I am missing out on is improving myself and my life so that I am better able to attract and relate to a healthy partner in the future. If I don't do the internal work, then I will only be attractive to predators and other wounded persons. Not to anyone healthy.

Quote:
On your deathbed, will you be saying "I wish I'd spent more time being unhappy"?


No, on my deathbed I expect to have many regrets. But that won't be one of them. I think I have become quite adept at racking up subjectively unhappy time, and I expect to have continued success in that area.


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Thank you for your response, Hold.

I see myself in you, Hold. The questions I ask you have been asked of me...and what I've asked of myself.

I learned I had life-long themes, those poles holding up the spiral staircase I am climbing...the patterns I kept running into in myself, giving me the same experience...

One was debt/gratitude...and another was abandonment/rejection. Would you consider you've carefully, through your meticulous cultivation of resentment, formed a climate of rejection for your marriage?

You're right about the ANTS...they are the entities that plow your fields of resentment, and they are excellent at their job.

Least they were for me...tireless, underpaid and seemingly rejected at every turn. They plowed on, though. They don't stop. Rejection feeds them more...because they think for you...they assume you don't mean it...you really want them to keep going to produce what you've trained your brain to hand you at every turn...more rejection, deeper resentment, an abiding entitlement.

I believe Mrs Hold is your true partner, your real mate in this life...you feed in her for her lines...very similar to your own. And through her, you truly can transcend your patterns...come to peace, joy and happiness. She's your ultimate path.

Believe it or not.

smile

And you are hers.

Living in a climate of rejection is rough...and secure. You can experience rejection moment by moment...and be right, smart, consistent. And miserable. And cause misery.

What woke me up was realizing I was causing misery, crushing pain into other people...which I didn't realize because I was too busy counting the ways I was being rejected (or could be, or had been) to see the pain I was dealing.

I don't know what your wake up point is...only you do. I do know the antidote for ANTS...when you crave freedom from them more than assured resentment through rejection.

Forgiveness and acceptance. Forgiving Mrs Hold for her prior behavior...so huge I think you might panic at the thought of it...accepting she really did hurt you mightily, repeatedly...and you really don't know why she did. No assumptions as to why--you don't know. Until she says why, you really don't know.

Forgiving yourself for doing great harm to her, as well...forgiving yourself for doing great harm, daily, to yourself...she couldn't earn your hurtful words and actions, nor could you, to yourself. You haven't been a child for a very long time, needing pain to learn what not to do...punishment isn't a growth choice, hasn't been. Has no redemption or reality...forgiveness and acceptance do.

And I believe you know these two potent antidotes. I wish you would choose to know them more intimately...within you...so you will see them in your wife, as well.

You didn't hear her ask you back, tell you she wanted you back in your shared bed...she didn't use the words you wanted, when you wanted them, stated in the way you would hear them. Please consider after a lifetime of rejecting others and feeling rejected, you won't hear...and she may be saying it, anyway. You smack her vulnerability down because you've practiced smacking down your own...you disguise a lot of cutting words in humor and mockery, and you feel mocked and rejected.

Reasonable to me...how else could you keep the resentment climate the exact right temperature otherwise? How else could you maintain the perspective that she was rejecting you, that you were only worthy of rejection?

We have weird comfort zones...and as you said, the lies we tell ourselves are the padding, the boundaries of that zone. Self-rejection will give you the life experience of rejection...and it isn't real.

Even though it really, really hurts.

I believe you're in this marriage because Mrs Hold really is the one you want to lead you out of this pattern; if she's the cause, she's the cure...the control of it. We make it into a hidden mandate...which transforms our best chance for growth into our best bet for continued rejection.

She can bring up you coming back to the bedroom in front of DD...and you can say, "I'll answer you privately." Your half is equal to hers...you have to keep judging and blaming to foment the rejection, maintain the diminishing returns of righteousness, besting her...

Or you can begin this minute and live differently. God didn't create you to design and maintain a life of rejection...you know he didn't...for by rejecting others, you reject him, too. Each time you smack down your wife's vulnerability, you do your own...and his presence in you.

And I know you know this. Is it His overwhelming forgiveness and acceptance, even his celebration of you, His fabulous creation, that you fear most?

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Hold - hoping I didn't offend you.

We had a death in our family last night. Not something any of us expected. A freak accident leads to a few broken bones...you expect to heal from something like that...then you develop internal bleeding and pneumonia, and your time is up...

Mortality and lost chances seem to be weighing heavy on my mind this morning. We take a lot for granted - that there will even be another chance, another tomorrow.

Every Sunday, when I kneel in church...I thank God for all my 'second' chances. I pray for guidance. I thank God for each new day, so that I can try again to be a better wife, a better mother, daughter, etc.

Some morning...I won't wake up - and I'm just hoping all my 'second' chances will amount to some measure of success - that I won't look down and shake my head at myself.

Last edited by Soolee; 11/24/09 09:41 AM.

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Hold,
sorry to butt in. Someone told me you and I were in a similar situation, staying in a miserable marriage to keep the spouse from remarrying worse. Here is a quote from an email I sent my FWH yesterday:
"We can try to continue to keep this marriage together and I can look the other way at all of your indiscretions, but once it starts to spill over into my day-to-day, Im not going to be able to react calmly. Given the huge amount of sh-t-sandwich each of us has to swallow, any perceived effort to hand more of the sandwich to me will not be met well.
We can stay together to keep you from remarrying a teenager and to keep me from shacking up with some drunk (since thats the way well always view each other) but we both have to stay out of each others way."
When I read your posts, I get the feeling we are on similar paths. Good luck to you, as I cannot find a path out. Just wanted to let you know I'm thinking about your situation.


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Originally Posted By: LovingAnyway
And through her, you truly can transcend your patterns...come to peace, joy and happiness. She's your ultimate path.
Believe it or not.


I do believe it. As to both of us. We could heal each other.

I simply no longer believe that success is possible. Personal. Professional. Marital. I don't bother trying, so failure is assured. But it is a comforting failure. A chosen failure.

I might some day choose to forgive Mrs. Hold. I will never forgive myself for quitting. At life.

Quote:
You didn't hear her ask you back, tell you she wanted you back in your shared bed...


Of course she wants me back. I understand she wants us to be together. ON HER TERMS. Just as I want us back together on my terms. We are the same. As you say, well matched.

Neither of us is willing to POJA. That is why I was so shocked last week when we did POJA on her getting her medicine. We simply do not negotiate. One or the other of us capitulates. I am sure I will capitulate on returning to the bed. And I will resent her. And I will resent me. And stay in my comfort zone.

Quote:
I believe you're in this marriage because Mrs Hold really is the one you want to lead you out of this pattern; if she's the cause, she's the cure...the control of it. We make it into a hidden mandate...which transforms our best chance for growth into our best bet for continued rejection.


I agree she could be the cure. As I could be hers. However, neither of us will ever choose to be so gracious to the other. Hence the need for us to split.

I understand that her rejecting me comes from pain and fear. And that her life experience makes it difficult for her to leave herself vulnerable to me. And that I should reach beyond the rejection to the part of her that loves me.

It is too late for that. Perhaps if she had been honest sooner I would have been of a mind to try. At this point I am perfectly willing for the scared lonely abused traumatized little girl to continue cowering in the corner. It is what I have been doing my whole life. I am not motivated to help her climb the steps out of the dank cold dark basement. Rather, I am pleased to have some company down here.

I don't think anyone has to worry that I will look down from Heaven with regret or that God is celebrating anything about me. I may have regrets, but I will be looking up from below.


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Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
I am here because this is part of how I medicate my angst from continually making stupid choices.

This is going to impact my kids no matter what. No way to insulate them. No one said anything about insulting them and you are deflecting from the real problem -- how to tell them the truth AND teach them what they see/hear is not healthy. You are one smart person Hold...law school is not easy and it takes a bright and quick person to make it through AND make a living at it...so I know exactly what you are doing when you start making statements like this one. I am aiming for "by the time you guys divorced, we wished you had done it sooner" Wow, that's setting the bar a little low don't you think? . From what I have read of the studies of divorce and children, that tends to produce marginally better outcomes than the kids who wished their parents had stayed together. From the studies you read, what was the median age of the children involved? As you know, there are many studies and to rely on a study that encompasses children of younger/tender years vs. those that are older would be meaningless to support your argument of withholding the truth from them. Still, it is a crap shoot no matter what you do. No it's not and you know it isn't. No way to predict how divorce will impact any particular child. This is what I call talking out of both sides of your mouth. You want to rely on this so you don't have to be truthful with your children. Yet all the while you keep insinuating and stating that you know how staying together will be most beneficial to your kids. Have you asked them? Have you been truthful with them? Have you explained anything to them?

Look, in a tiny corner of me I still hold out hope that Mrs. Hold and I will reconnect. Finally a little truth comes through as to why you still post here. Nothing bad happened by stating that truth did it Hold? Did your world fall apart? Did the internet crash? I am not willing to make any effort in that direction today. More of the "give me what I want, but don't expect me to do a darn thing about it -- it's your turn to make me into a better person. But maybe tomorrow I will be. There is no tomorrow...at least in my world, God didn't call me up and tell me I was guaranteed a tomorrow...did He for you? Every year my sex drive declines. Welcome to reality. Maybe at some point it will fall so low that I stop wanting sex. Your resentment isn't solely about sex, but that's all you want to focus on and hold against Mrs. Hold because you know it's the one thing that she has the toughest time providing. There's plenty more that could be worked on even without getting sex. Plenty more that should be worked on. Maybe then I will be able to let go of the resentment. No, you hold onto it like a security blanket. Getting sex will not "make" you let go of resentment. Who knows. You do.

If I were forced to make a move today, it would be to Plan D. Hence I refuse to move off the fence. Maybe some day I will choose to Plan A again. Maybe some day when the kids are closer to leaving I will be willing to have an honest talk with Mrs. Hold about what it would take for me to re-engage. For now, I do not feel safe entering into negotiations because I am unwilling to walk away. Very narrow minded way of thinking isn't it? There's lots of other things to do besides walk away and you know many of them -- yet you continue to choose only Plan D as your option because it allows you to stay in your coccoon and not do something to improve yourself and your marriage. I need to be wiling to leave. Why? Otherwise my negotiating position is fatally compromised. No it isn't. You may be a tax attorney, but you know there's more than one solution to every negotiation. And just because you may not get everything you want in a negotiation, it in no way fatally compromises your position.

Hopefully, she will put up with my withdrawal until then. Put your fate into her hands again huh? If not, I will probably regret not doing more at this time. Then again, I have so many regrets I may not even notice another. Time to stop the self-pity, don't you think?


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Diamonds:

I am not staying for the kids. I am staying for me. So that I get to be with them.

I know myself. If we divorce, I will not be as available. I am too weak to continually pick them up from activities and drop them off at their mother's home. Especially if she is not alone there.

To the extent I am lying about the impact on them, it is to justify that it is OK for me to stay married to their mother. Because that is what I want FOR ME. I am not saying it is clearly better for them. I am justifying doing what I want. With the idea that it is not more likely to harm them than is divorce. Which, given the evidence in both directions, is probably true.

Especially given their mother's historic irresponsible behavior. And mine. I predict our divorce would be a train wreck if we do it while the kids are still home. Yes, mature adults should be able to achieve a different result. But we are dealing with me and Mrs. Hold here. I don't think I am wrong to predict that an amicable divorce is unlikely.


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Quote:
I don't think anyone has to worry that I will look down from Heaven with regret or that God is celebrating anything about me. I may have regrets, but I will be looking up from below.


Hold! You do not get to say this!

You are not God, and you do not get to decide who gets to go to Heaven--even when thinking of yourself.

For goodness' sake! Isn't it enough that you've doomed yourself to be miserable in this life. Do you have to live with the belief that you are going to be miserable in the next?

I'm glad God isn't as harsh and judgmental towards us as we are towards ourselves...

(((Hold)))


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Hold,

I want to tell you something I did that helped me. Having issues with my marriage, unable to sleep and had the same feelings you did with SF from my wife. Finally one night, after not being able to sleep, prayed.

"God, I dont know what you want me to do. But I need peice and comfort in mylife and I'm tired of trying to control this out come on my own, I am giving my slef to you, I am yours, do with me what you will."

After this prayer I was able to sleep, I was able to have this weight lifted off me. I was able to look at my wife with a difference tone then I had before. I would never have thought this would have worked, but it did.

Now, are we have Sex like rabbits? No, but we are a lot better, she is more open to my advances and treating me kinder.

I just wished I would have asked for help much earlier. Give it a try, you have nothing to lose.


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So wierd to be loved but not feel loved. I could give Mrs. Hold the "ILYBNILWY" speech. Even though I am not having an affair. Then I realized. I am in love with my resentment. In love with my bitterness and frustration. Hence my heart is walled off from Mrs. Hold. Maybe that is why I keep coming here to declare my love of resentment. Maybe I am "exposing" myself.

I went to morning prayers today. I try to go one weekday morning every week. I have become a "regular" and get smiles and warm words from the others. Thanks to mnguy, I now have something new to pray for during the silent prayer.


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Hold you could tell her why argue over SF for 10 minutes,a half hour to a hour, over something thats only going to take a few minutes!

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We no longer argue over sex. No point. Spent 8 years arguing and produced no results other than to drive myself even more crazy. So I stopped fighting. And settled into seething resentment.

This is the dilemma and the corner I have painted myself into. I am not looking for sex. Yes, I am going to resent her for the lack of sex. But I am not going to ask for sex. Or negotiate for more sex.

I don't feel it is appropriate for me to ask her for sex. She is a rape victim. I am compounding her trauma by pressuring her for sex. She has to want it. For herself. She has to want to deal with the issues. Overcome her demons. Otherwise I am just as much of a jerk as the guys who raped her.

Yet how can I ask her to deal with her issued when I refuse to deal with mine? So we both just sit in our corners. Making no progress. Wondering why we are both so miserable. Well, I don't wonder. I know why I am miserable. What I don't know is what it will take for me to do something about it.


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Hi again Hold (my previous username is sexyat35).

You are a good lawyer Hold - and you're good at crafting arguments on this forum too. Anything anyone throws at you, you will counter. Heck sometimes, we're confused about what you need anymore!. Problem though is that your marriage is not a court of law. You don't need to win arguments there or here on these boards Hold.

And yes, we all know you love to hold on to your resentment, hold grudges, dish out passive-aggressive blows to your wife because you get a pay-off from seeing her squirm, suffer,etc. We get it. You admit to everyone that you are cruel and that you like to be cruel, both to yourself and Mrs. Hold.

So your wife still refuses SF with you? Good. IMPO, as long as you think you're entitled to it, I hope she continues to refuse. You need to change. Period.

I know I sound terrible, but the quicker your marriage goes down hill, the closer to happiness you will both be. Why do you wish for your marriage to rot - with both of you in it. How cruel Hold.

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Hold...I don't know much about divorce, but you certainly would, being a lawyer and all...would your wife be able to divorce you without your consent and force you out of the house?


Sooly

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Originally Posted By: mamma23
So your wife still refuses SF with you? Good. IMPO, as long as you think you're entitled to it, I hope she continues to refuse.


Exactly. Couldn't agree more. Given how I feel about her, it would be wrong for her to have sex with me.

And yes, I see the irony. What she needed from me earlier in our marriage was to remove the pressure for sex. Out of love. To give her time and space to heal. And to show her that I loved her regardless.

Now I have reached the place I needed to reach. No asking for sex. No expecting sex. Only one problem. I am not offering that out of love. I am offering it out of anger and frustration and resentment. And while I have removed the overt pressure for sex, I have also removed the caring and the concern and the love.

We might have thought that I have accomplished the hard part. Removing my expectations of sex. And that, having gotten here, it would be easy to offer the love part. But it isn't. I feel like a wimpy doormat if I offer her loving gestures. Such a shame. So close. And yet so far.

Quote:
You need to change. Period.


Agreed.

Quote:
I know I sound terrible, but the quicker your marriage goes down hill, the closer to happiness you will both be. Why do you wish for your marriage to rot - with both of you in it. How cruel Hold.


Does not sound terrible. Sounds accurate. I was planning on posting something along these lines today. Was thinking on the drive to work how stupid I am being. Thank you for beating me to it.

Mrs. Hold looked at me very lovingly as I walked out the door to work today. I realized what a tragedy it is that I cannot get over my resentment and bitterness. Then again, the loving looks partly come from newfound respect that I can "resist her charms". So far I have not found a way to resist her OTHER than through resentment and bitterness.


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Originally Posted By: Soolee
Hold...I don't know much about divorce, but you certainly would, being a lawyer and all...would your wife be able to divorce you without your consent and force you out of the house?


Yes, quite possibly. She can definitely divorce me unilaterally. Takes more time. But available. Getting me out of the house would also take time. But also doable. Especially if she alleges domestic violence. Gets a TRO. Forces me out of the house. Even if the TRO is later lifted, hard to get back in.


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