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Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
CFIO:

I took various anti-depressants over a period of about 14 years. Never made the depression go away. Suffered side effects (sexual, weight gain). So I stopped the ADs. But I am in a deep hole these days, so maybe I should go back on.


This is telling Hold...

As I tell my patients "If you keep hitting yourself with a hammer... don't expect that any medication is going to make the pain go away."

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Hey HOI. I don't know who Cantfigureitout is, b/c I haven't been here in years, but I agree with him/her.

Turns out after lots of expensive therapy, I was never depressed. That's how normal people react to ongoing, unchanging stress.

Hope you are otherwise doing well.

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Originally Posted By: Cantfigureitout


This is telling Hold...

As I tell my patients "If you keep hitting yourself with a hammer... don't expect that any medication is going to make the pain go away."


Boy howdy, do I ever agree with this. A bad marriage is a sure fire cause of depression. I suffered from depression most of my adult life and attribute it to 2 things: a) bad marriage and b) poor nutrition. Some people are very sensitive to bad nutrition and I am one of them. Cleaning up my diet and taking Omega 3 worked wonders for me.

Making those changes changed my life dramatically while taking Paxil and yapping my head off to a counselor made absolutely no difference.


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

Exposure 101


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hold..

You were asked what your wife's reaction was to your rejection of her trying to be nice and connect with you. If you answered, I didn't see it.

You have described how you are sabotaging your wife's positive response to the hard work you seemed to be doing to restore your marriage. Several other men here describe themselves doing the same thing.

Dr. David Schnarch describes in his books how many times a couple comes to him with one partner very dissatisfied with their sex life, and the counseling and behavior changes at home quickly reveal that the "less sexual" partner is actually more sexual, and the complaining one is actually afraid of wide open change. They want just a little change, a little more SF, on their terms, but they are afraid of their spouse becoming truly uninhibited and sexual on their own terms.

I am not making that diagnosis of you, but just asking you to think about how much change you are prepared to encounter from your wife. Look at how you are blocking her attempts to connect with you by your rejection of her sharing her intimate thoughts with you. The next time you think you want her to behave a certain way in a situation, try to visualize how you will react in a positive manner to her, and keep the connection going.

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My wife teared up when I told her how negative I feel. I called her later to thank her for reaching out to me. She said she was glad I called, because it was very distressing to her to hear how I felt.

I sabotague everything in my life, not just my relationship with my wife. And I am not doing hard work to restore my marriage. I stopped doing that in 2005. I am now just cartaking our roomate status until the kids are out of the house.

It is very possible that my wife is the more sexual of the two of us. She has far more sexual experience than I do. She probably realizes more than I the lousy quality of the sex we have, since she may have experience with good sex with someone else whereas I don't (I have had sex with others but pretty much all of it was bad).

What I am afraid of is not that she will want to be more sexual with me. I am worried that she will want to be sexual with someone else. I am certainly blocking her attempts at intimacy. Not because I don't want us to become more sexual. But because I don't want her to get her ENs met. I don't trust that she will eventually meet my need for SF if I meet her other needs. So I am blocking her out unless and until she provides substantially more sex.

I know it doesn't work that way. I know we have to share Conversation and Undivided Attention before she will be in the mood for sex. I know Dr. Harley would say my behavior is almost guaranteed to NOT produce the outcome I say I desire.

That makes sense. Every day I choose behavior that prevents me from being successful at work. Not surprising that I also choose behavior that prevents my marriage from improving.

I am a mess, and my problems go far beyond what MB addresses. I need professional help.


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Does it make sense? Yes, in that it all fits together, and everything you just said is what I suspected.

Does it make sense? No, in that all the reality of what is happening is so filtered through prisms of anger, resentment, self-doubt, conjecture, mindreading, and disrespective judgements about yourself and your wife. Your responses to her changing the way you want her to change are not what they should be, and not what you want them to be, but they are polluted by the same baggage that distort your vision.

Like the posts in other threads said about the importance of SF to men, and how rejection spills over into the rest of their lives, I bet you other attitude and productivity problems at work would vanish right along with the repair of your love life.

You need to decide you want to be happily married, instead of sitting around marking the calendar towards the fantasy exit "when the children are grown". Half-hearted efforts come from lack of commitment, and they are just jerking your wife around.

You laid it all out in black and white for a complete stranger to read. Lay it out for her. You may need some professional help to put the two of you in a room together so you can do that without either one of you losing self control.

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Last night Mrs. Hold found a comparatively affordable cruise. Still, with airfare and shore excursions it will cost $5000+. If S15's AAU team makes nationals, it is about $2000 for him and a parent to go to Little Rock for a week. If D13's swim team makes nationals, it is about $1500 for her and a parent to go to Buffalo for a week. We do not have $8000+ for our summer travel budget. We live paycheck to paycheck as it is. She got very snippy at me when I expressed hesitation to sign up for the cruise.

If I were more productive at work, I could afford to do all of this. I can't believe I get more "payoff" from denying her ENs than from creating some great memories with my kids. They will be out of the house soon and I will regret being so self-absorbed.

Originally Posted By: retread
Half-hearted efforts come from lack of commitment, and they are just jerking your wife around.


Isn't that the point?


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Yesterday Mrs. Hold said "I know we can't afford to go on the kind of vacation I want this year. How about we go away for a long weekend locally this year and do the big trip next summer? You could set aside money from your paycheck each week and have a bunch saved up by next summer."

Doesn't address our credit card debt, but at least she is offering a reality-based solution. I was very happy to hear this. First time I have felt like I had a financial partner rather than an adversary in the past 10 years. Told her so. She was upset to hear I have felt alone and beset for 10 years, but glad to hear I liked her suggestion.

Mrs. Hold is in NY today seeing a movie with MY mom (yesterday was nephew's b-day so we were all together but kids and I drove home last night for S15's b-ball game). My wife stayed over my sister's so she could spend the day with my mom. Good, I guess.


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Perhaps the credit card debt seems so insurmountable that she thinks it will never be paid off, so why even try? Not a rational attitude, but one that many people have.

I like the idea of putting money aside each week for holidays. Being able to delay gratification for over a year is indeed a good sign that she is coming closer to understanding what you both need to do.

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Pleasant sex session this morning. I teased Mrs. Hold afterward "we should not do this again anytime soon". She looked at me curiously and said "why not". I laughed and said "oh, so you don't mind if we do?" She blushed.

She actually has a pretty good record of saying yes the past few months on the rare occassions when I initiate. Maybe I should initiate more often.


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YAY!!!!!!!

I'm really happy for you Hold! I think it's great that your wife is stepping up to the plate and attempting to be more of a financial partner with you.



(and you thought I was talking about the sex, didn't you?)

smile



Actually, I would not be surprised if the two things are very interrelated for her. Financial issues and sex issue. Money and sex are both synonomous with power. It's no surprise that as she reached out on the money thing she also became more receptive on the sex side too. As you stopped holding $$ over her head, she stopped holding sex over your head.

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Actually, I would not be surprised if the two things are very interrelated for her. Financial issues and sex issue. Money and sex are both synonomous with power. It's no surprise that as she reached out on the money thing she also became more receptive on the sex side too. As you stopped holding $$ over her head, she stopped holding sex over your head.

That's a very interesting observation, and could very well be true.

Hold...have you taken a look lately at the number of views on this thread? lol You're a popular dude around here.


Sooly

"Stop yappin and make it happen."
"The will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not protect you."

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I really need to get back to IC and AD meds. I am dead inside. My wife is happy. Giggling like a school girl. Clapping her hands and jumping up and down. It got so bad S15 told her to calm down and stop acting like an 8 year old at their birthday party.

I don't even have the energy to resent her for being happy. I am not angry. Just empty inside.


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Go to the doctor. Very soon. I will go ahead and say that I have worried about you (but not in a weird way). Feeling dead is actually worse than feeling depressed, and you do NOT want to land in a hopsital where they lock up your toothbrush and take all the drawstrings out of your clothing (BTDT).

So, bye. Get off the computer now. Call your doctor.

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Mrs. Hold has been very caring lately. Not meeting my ENs. But caring in her way. Verbally gentle instead of complaining harshly. Since I am staying in the marriage, I need to forgive her and myself. Not easy. I don't think she will ever meet my ENs. But I have to let her try. Boy, this is going to hurt.

On a happier note, grades for 3rd marking period arrived last Friday. Of a possible 14 grades in academic subjects, S15 and D13 received 8 A+s, 5 As,and 1 A-. Plus we were watching a tv program in which they were discussing teenage pregnancy, and D13 said "I have no interest in boy spit at this time, and when I do, I will not only make him wear a condom but I will take Daddy's advice and completely dip myself in plastic before I let him touch anything."

So I think our parenting is going well and my choice to stay married these past 10 years has been at least partly for the good. Which is why I really have to get back into the marriage game.


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Had a nice evening and morning with Mrs. Hold. She clearly is trying to be pleasant. It cannot be fun to be married to a depressed person who is professionally far less successful than either of us expected. She is trying to show grace. I need to do the same.


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The "Boy spit" comment made me laugh. That's how DD14 feels (thank you Lord). DS12 doesn't talk much, but as far as I know he doesn't have a girlfriend. Ugh.

I am glad your W is trying to be sensitive. Have you been to the dr????

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I wanted Mrs. Hold to join me in bed this morning. She was planning on going to exercise class. She asid "I will stay with you if you want. I can go to a later class. Not to do that {shrug, sour face, dismissive hand motion}. But lie there and hold your hand for a while."

I called her later to discuss logistics for tonight. After we talked a while I thanked her for the morning's offer. I said "it was not the offer I wished for, but it was an indication of your care and concern."

She said I overanalyze too much and bring our relationship up too often and I am freaking her out. I agreed and thanked her for the information. I told her "you are the primary focus of my attention every waking moment. I realize that is an overwhelming burden to bear. I need to take my focus off you, and focus on other areas of my life."

She remained silent. I wished her a nice day and hung up.

Unless I somehow find a way to make hundreds of thousands of dollars a year more than I make now, which is inconceivable while I continue my obsessive navel gazing, she will never be motivated to meet my ENs. While she refrains from meeting my ENs, I remain ineffective at all areas of life. This stinks. But not enough for me to choose differently.


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Hold, I don't know you or Mrs. Hold personally and I don't know the details of your past being that I've only been here for a little over a year. From what I gather, Mrs. Hold has not been interested in sex for almost the entire marriage, has vastly overspent and lied about it, did not want to go to MC or do the homework necessary, all of which aided in your spiral down into withdrawal and depression.

That's my outsider's view in 25 words or less. LOL

Now I'm going to go out on a limb and make some big [censored] assumptions (which will probably be wrong, but maybe there will be something in there that will allow you to take a new view).

I see Mrs. Hold as someone who has major self esteem issues. How and why they developed, well I don't know and...there's not much you or she can do to change that. How she appears to deal with them is to hide. She used to use food. She avoids sex because it's too much "out there" and leaves her to vulnerable. I guess you could even say that being fat gave her an extra layer of protection.

But now she's dealing with the weight issue. Pardon the pun, but that's huge. She has a new body image, physically. Mentally she is trying to catch up. She still appears to be very uncomfortable with the entire intimate nature of sex...she can't even *say* it; she has to communicate via hand motions and facial expressions.

It would be ideal if she could really get on board the MB program and realize that SF is a huge need for you and she needs to do whatever she can to meet it. She already is meeting other, less important needs of yours quite well...DS, FC, right?

I might get flamed for saying this...especially from the other guys on the board who insist SF is a valid and important need for men. I don't disagree (and I agree it is for women too, just not in the same way, perhaps). But I thought I'd throw it out there....

What if you tried to NOT equate everything back in your life to sex. What if you tried to figure out what other needs SF fills besides the obvious and focus a bit on those? When you have SF you are of course getting sex. But are you not also getting affection and admiration? And perhaps conversation? And recreational companionship?

I'm not suggesting you bury your need for SF. Just realize that there might be other needs of yours that are getting wrapped up in SF and try to figure out other areas of your life where those needs can be met *in addition* to being met in the SF area. Perhaps Mrs. Hold would be more than willing to step up to the plate and ramp up Admiration, Affection, Conversation.

Perhaps you can pull back on the degree of honesty. I'm not suggesting don't be honest with her. But this statement:
Quote:
I told her "you are the primary focus of my attention every waking moment. I realize that is an overwhelming burden to bear. I need to take my focus off you, and focus on other areas of my life."
right after she admitted to you that she was freaked out...

probably freaked her out more.

Maybe you could have just told her that she is the major focus of your attention and thoughts and left it at that, without sharing what you think you need to do?

Sometimes I try to put myself in Mrs. Hold's position and I empathize with her because I immediately feel a lot of *pressure*...that the success in your life is totally dependent upon HER. I feel a lot of this in my own marriage, so I might be projecting. I can tell you that I wind up feeling resentful about it.

I wish that my husband could base his self-esteem on well..himself!

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[quote=OurHouse

I wish that my husband could base his self-esteem on well..himself! [/quote]


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