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Thank you for the reply, Chris. I have been doing a bit better at the reverse babble. I started to do that last night, but then realized it was just hurting me more to even have to DO it, if that makes any sense.

Right now, I am trying to figure out how, or if, I should respond to his "me me me me" comments. How I painted *him* to the counselor, how *he works so hard*, how *he is more sick*, how *he is more tired*, how *his day was harder*, etc...

I want care in my marriage to be a 2 way street. The things going through my head right now are not pretty, not productive and downright freaking me out. Like having an RA to wake him up. Which I know is utterly stupid and I would not do it, but it is still going through my thoughts.


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Also, you need to practice sorting things out in your mind & then speaking clearly to your H about what you want.

For example...with the chips & bed thing - rather than lay there fuming, ask

Quote:
How would you feel about hanging out in the TV room downstairs right now so I can get some sleep? I am so beat.


Don't lay there fuming...assuming he's doing it to be a jerk (DJ!) and expecting him to read your mind (Emotional Dishinesty).

Ask me how I know about this...I dare you. LOL!

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Gdar,

Would you consider reading this link?

The Boomerang Relationship

Also, could you make a list of ways your H does meet ENs in the marriage (to see if he doesn't meet the right ones and is off target; or more like the article, doesn't meet majority on purpose; or if there's no room left except just one way to meet one EN?).

LA

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How do you know? How do you know? rotflmao

I have asked him before to please eat his chips someplace else. Many times. Especially when I am watching a show that is intense, and then he makes that awful Opening Chip Bag Sound, then the wolfing down the chips.

Now, if I was to have asked how he felt about eating in another room, no matter what my reason (and here comes a DJ, but I have BTDT), he gets PA on me "oh, so are you trying to get rid of me, you don't want me around - I can just go downstairs everynight if that is what you want". Seriously. He will say it in a jokingly "hurt" manner (passive aggressive).


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Originally Posted By: LovingAnyway
Gdar,

Would you consider reading this link?

The Boomerang Relationship

Also, could you make a list of ways your H does meet ENs in the marriage (to see if he doesn't meet the right ones and is off target; or more like the article, doesn't meet majority on purpose; or if there's no room left except just one way to meet one EN?).

LA


I already have this page bookmarked. Yes, our relationship is MUCH like that.


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Originally Posted By: Gdar
Originally Posted By: LovingAnyway
Gdar,

Would you consider reading this link?

The Boomerang Relationship

Also, could you make a list of ways your H does meet ENs in the marriage (to see if he doesn't meet the right ones and is off target; or more like the article, doesn't meet majority on purpose; or if there's no room left except just one way to meet one EN?).

LA


I already have this page bookmarked. Yes, our relationship is MUCH like that.


I also have the book Living with the Passive Aggressive Man". I have actaully learned some good tools reading that. Problem is, I have never been this... low before, and it is clouding my ability to deal with anything right now.


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LA, I am going to copy and paste from that page. This is 100% our relationship. Each and every word.

How the Woman's Needs Contributes to the Unhealthy Dynamics of the Relationship

Passive aggressive behavior does not happen in a vacuum; it requires a partner to bounce things off of. This problems exists between people--one who resists and one who get frustrated. The need for a woman to choose and remain with a passive aggressive partner is a dynamic that is set up in her childhood. The little girl learns this pattern in childhood observing her parents. One parent withdraws and frustrates the spouse who becomes angry. The little girl learns to take care of others and get depressed when they don't appreciate it. Desperately she wants the parents to change but cannot express her deep frustration.

When she grows up, the woman unconsciously chooses men who will play out the familiar patterns of her childhood of retreat and attack. She falls for the man's charm, his neediness or sense of poise and togetherness and ignores his real lack of connection with others. If the man's hostility and withdrawal is left unchallenged, the woman's doubt in herself grows. His failures become her failures. The harder she works on the relationship, the cleverer he is in eluding her. Her life is in continual uproar as she mulls over the inconsistencies in daily events. He feels threatened and insecure and withdraws, she gets angry. She gets angry, he withdraws and the unresolved conflict boomerangs between then. Relationships, which do not allow straight talk, frankness and appropriate expression of anger become destructive.

The woman living with a passive aggressive man goes back and forth between three roles--the Rescuer, the Victim or the Manager. Living with the passive aggressive man pushes the woman into frustration and anger as a major dynamic in day-to-day conflict. When she cannot get her needs met, she becomes the Blamer, the Bitch, and the Rager, which then makes the man feel very insecure in the relationship. She is caught in her role as a martyr-victim, codependent rescuer or controlling manager as she does not know how to do anything different. She rides the emotional roller coaster as she always wants more from her man--more commitment, more cooperation and more doing what he says he will do. Her self-esteem erodes as her frustration and anger turn to rage as she feels guilty about the intensity and destructiveness of her aggression. She may repeat choosing passive aggressive men in several relationships until she learns how her own neediness sets her up for relationship failure.


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I really would like to address last night, about how he turned my counseling session into him being the victim. I DO pick and choose my battles, but I feel he needs to know how hurtful this was. I am coming up short in a way to express this without him rolling his eyes with "what NOW".


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I am not expecting an apology. He never comes to me first (meaning he never communicates about our relationship first, he retreats and stays there, even if he has hurt me), so I sit here all day wondering when and if I will hear from him today. I am not expecting to, but I would like to. He is busy at work, so I am not sure if I should contact him about this. Ugh, I hate it when my days are consumed by this stuff. I cannot focus on anything else.


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Gdar, I think you're so tired (to the point of inertia) because you are at the final point we get to when the pain of not changing exceeds the pain of change.

I think you really want to stop the dance.

And you've refused again and again to stop doing the steps.

And now, you're ready to change the steps.

You caught the part where the P/A partner cannot continue the dance if you stop your half. The dance changes.

As for the interaction after counseling:

Originally Posted By: Gdar
Well, when I came home, he is just staring at me with this look on his face like he wants to ask me something. He is not looking at me in a "I care for you" way - I wish I could explain it. Then he asked me what we talked about. Ugh. Here we go. If it is true, is it still a DJ?

My H wanted to know what we talked about, meaning what *I* said about *him* to the counselor. I immediately started to shut down, because I knew this conversation would not go well. I did not feel like arguing, I did not feel like defending myself. I really wanted some actual concern from my H about how I am feeling and why I felt the need to see the counselor in the first place.

I explained that he insisted that I must do more for myself, and I must delegate more often, meaning getting more support from H to allow me to get a break. Before I got the chance to say anything else, he cuts me off with "I tell you to take off and see your friends ALL OF THE TIME". *Sigh* I asked if he could give me an example of when the last time he encouraged me to do something for myself (I said this very calm, I think I did the right thing here??? by asking him to give me examples?) He says "just a couple of weeks ago, a month tops" (which is not accurate and he could not come up with an example at all). The last time I left the house was a month ago after I emailed him and TOLD HIM that I was going to meet 2 friends for dinner because I was feeling cooped up.

Anyway, after he cut me off and then gave me no examples, he gets upset and says" I KNEW you what light you would paint me in to the counselor. I KNOW how you can be about this".

I got very upset, instantly flushed and I rolled my eyes (not cool, but it was the bet I could do at the time), but said simply "we did not talk about YOU, and in fact talked about ME" and left it at that. Conversation over.

Really? This is what I am left with? A husband who does not care about my mental health, but how I portrayed him to a freaking counselor? THAT was his concern!!! How did I end up in this place? I am so hurt. I do not even know what to do. This is what makes me want to just throw my arms up.


Did you skip over the P/A article where it says your H has a deep, abiding fear...a constant anxiety? Did you not see his courage in asking you about the session, or did your DJ set him up to be the bad guy, from the look in his eye through to the AO you had?

I'm sorry your MC sucks at IC. Would you consider a variation on what the MC asked of you? Would you please stop over-doing? Would you please stop crowding your equal spouse out of the marriage? Would you please stop blaming him for your choices...changing so many things about yourself to please him and betray yourself...and then point at him for making you do them?

Because that's what sucks your soul out, seeing him doing that to you...taking on the responsibility for your actions AND his...being his cause, control and cure. Drains all our energy, depresses us and we feel paralyzed after years of so much effort...

which I think is the way our real self signals us to stand still...

hold still...

You are not a human doing...you are a human being. And "being together" is truly the union...and neither of you really had that to even begin your marriage...you each already had a child from prior marriages, and added two more.

That is tough on anyone on this planet...the bonding, the trust and the enjoyment of each other has a whole new set of limitations...

Add to that...if you change the way you dress, speak, mannerisms, all for HIS happiness, that is the sacrifice that kills what little bonding you guys had...it betrays yourself and your H.

Did you tell him "I'm going to change this and will resent you because I think it will make you happy and leave me still empty"? I don't think so...I don't believe we fill our resentment well out in the open...because that would give our spouse the opportunity to say, "Oh, no! That won't meet my EN...if you do and you resent, I'd really rather you not choose to do that, 'k?"

Like organic POJA. Nope. We over do and square off just enough room for our partners to meet our ENs when we want them to, in the way we want them to...and they rebel.

When you don't pursue and you don't distance...you're standing still. Stop and stand still in your marriage.

You are focused on YOUR hurt, your pain, your frustration and your feelings...all of which are corrosive because you also have the DJ that he's not focused on them...

which is you putting onto him double responsibility, too...and yes, we're raised with the belief "that's" the union...and it's not. It's enmeshment, a power struggle, and our own actions keep draining our own love banks as we continue that struggle to make our spouse give us the response we want, to experience the pain enough to stop hurting us.

You are and have been damaging your marriage and your H. I think you really want to stop...and you don't see how much that proving him wrong and bad, harmful to you...you're really signaling wildly to yourself to see the harm you're doing. Because that is not who you really are, Gdar.

So please do for yourself...do differently. Take your focus off of making others happy (you're not that powerful) and breathe, stand still and think...what's my part? Can't be all or nothing...just your part? With the kids, relatives, your H...everyone.

Your part depends on your code, mostly. What you hold yourself to...you were appreciative of your H coming home so you could attend IC...maybe you just didn't relate your sincere statement of appreciation to him with a hug and a kiss...and a smile in your post. I dunno. If you hold yourself to stating your appreciation when you are...then you crossed that boundary and must amend.

If you believe it is wrong to crush pain into your loved ones...then you will stop yourself and amend when you do. When you justify doing it because of how deep your pain is and you firmly believe that your H made all that pain inside you and you must beat him enough to stop hurting you...then you don't really have that belief in your code. It would cross the boundary of consideration, acceptance, honesty...a lot of boundaries.

And it would entitle him to hurt you to get you to stop hurting him.

Which is why the hurt has no ending and no beginning...just floods and takes over...shown as anger, rejection, frustration, emotional torture. And you're both doing it.

Don't coach yourself into entitlement...coach yourself into looking inside and stopping this persistent dance...because it's not your H...you've had this same relationship throughout your life. And you're sick of it.

You are powerful...you choose your thoughts, perception, beliefs and perspective. Stop mind-reading--you do it critically and what you do to H, you do to yourself...part of the sickness is you do that to you...it's why you changed a bunch of who you are and how you acted...not H.

You are love. You are made of love, got it? The dance comes from fear and we keep yelling that it's love because we believe it's the dance of our marriage, our only one with our spouse. It's not. Reacting to our fears justifies so much harm, deceit and disconnection.

Act, don't react.

Your H had the courage to ask you about your IC session...mine did not and would not. Not even to this day. Doesn't mean your H is better...means that you haven't considered, given the pattern of the boomerang, how your H has changed in tiny ways...different decisions.

And you don't ask to know...and you keep telling yourself he sings the old song, when really, he has changed some of the words.

He fears. You know you don't make him fear...and his fears are as valid as yours are. His pain is as real as yours is...and I don't see either of you knowing this reality...both are real. You don't validate and he doesn't...and you hate that he doesn't...you feel ready for his attacks at any point...and so is he for yours.

And all of this means to me that you are both in a place to soar. Truly. Stop the dance so you can do the MB steps. The dance is the marital Love Buster. You can stand still and listen, question yourself, hear your automatic assumptions and thoughts...really hear how you're coaching yourself.

Over-doers are as sick as under-doers, 'k? Get healthy, balanced and in love with yourself...through kindness, compassion, consideration, respect, acceptance and appreciation...make those your code to really live by...not to prove you're worth loving because of your actions...because you're made of it, Gdar. And you act like you aren't...and the resentment is the acid we drink and believe the other person will keel over.

Yes, please do treat yourself better...your focus has been sucked down his throat...and it's yours. Pull it back, make time for yourself...listen, know and understand. Then share.

Judging instead of understanding...it's like carrying a gavel made from lead. Lay it down...get to your most basic honesty...like when you picked up your snack and came home to only one child in bed (broken promise) and you didn't say when you saw his expression, "I'm wishing you'd respond to me differently. I'm reading you and feeling tense and angry...because I'm choosing to disrespect myself and you."

You can take time-outs when you interact...you can with the kids, with relatives and your H. Whether you take the time out honestly (stating why and when and what you're doing) or not is solely on you. You may still expect your H to respond differently even when you aren't doing differently.

You can choose to not have the interaction until you know you can be in control of yourself, with your focus on your code...you could have answered, "I want to share it with you tomorrow at 8:30pm. If I were to tell you right now, I would LB you, harm you and think you were making me. That's not what I want."

That's true consideration for your marriage...not based on his possible response (you DJ'd it wasn't going to go well...as if you control the outcome and know it...when you only know your part, your half, your actions).

Your H cares about you...he has not left and filed for divorce and moved away with his kid, abandoning his others to you. He chooses each day to stay in your marriage. He experiences devastating rejection, pain and fear OF you...your judgment, constant failing, feeling taken over, undone and battered. And he chooses to stay. He is equally important in your marriage...he is NOT less than or a monster. He contributes to half the pain, suffering, resentment (and makes his own...tons...you guys have a lot in common)...and he is very afraid.

From both your prior marriages...comes the repeat. And it's super hard...very tough...and really revealing...helpful...formative and a great opportunity.

Unless you both have the belief that you gotta choose the right person carefully or the marriage won't work...

instead of making sure you're being the right person.

I believe you pick your battles and that you know you're battling instead of acting from love and respect. I think you're battling yourself and not seeing your H as he really is...for all actions, not just the hurtful ones.

So I asked for a list...and you gave direct responses...and no list.

My declarations may be totally bogus for ya...I see me in you...this was what my marriage was like...and it escalated, as crushing pain into each other so often does...and you're not me...please take what resonates in you and leave the rest. I believe in you. I know you're capable of standing still...even if at first, like a shark, feels like death.

Do it anyway. smile

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I don't see you apologize for your own boundary violations...and you may well do that...stop immediately when you AO and state what you did, why you did it and why and how you won't do it again.

I do see you looking at him, Gdar. Requiring of him.

Has your MC ever asked you both to consider:

"What you are most craving, you are least giving"?

LA

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LA, wow. Just wow. Thank you for taking the time to look inside of this. It is amazing to hear an outside perspective. Thank you.

Let me please clarify, he was not married before me, did not have kids. I came to this marriage with 2, then we had 2. Not sure how much difference that really makes, just wanted to clear that up.

This is true what you said:

Your H cares about you...he has not left and filed for divorce and moved away with his kid, abandoning his others to you. He chooses each day to stay in your marriage. He experiences devastating rejection, pain and fear OF you...your judgment, constant failing, feeling taken over, undone and battered. And he chooses to stay. He is equally important in your marriage...he is NOT less than or a monster. He contributes to half the pain, suffering, resentment (and makes his own...tons...you guys have a lot in common)...and he is very afraid.

He has as much said so when we were in counseling. I need to try harder. I AM sucked into my own vortex of frustration and fear. I want to feel loved and I have lost the way. I see the things I have changed about me to make him happy as sacrifices, or I did at the time of making them. They don't feel like that anymore, which is positive, and I need to remember that. You are right.

Addressing this: Also, could you make a list of ways your H does meet ENs in the marriage (to see if he doesn't meet the right ones and is off target; or more like the article, doesn't meet majority on purpose; or if there's no room left except just one way to meet one EN?).

Do you mean MY ENs? Well, lately I felt that he has not, so I am not sure how to answer that right now. I told him what I needed from him. I got 2 days of it. That is where I get lost. He will shower me meeting my ENs for a couple of days, and I swim in it, happy - I show him how happy it makes me. Then, I get several days of none of them being met. Sink or swim. Sink or swim. I feel like I am treading water, knowing that in a week, he will show up again.

ETA: my list

Affection
SF
Communication
Admiration

in no particular order

Last edited by Gdar; 05/26/10 01:40 PM. Reason: list

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I do have a hard time with the AOs. It is the hardest thing for me to overcome, I believe. Last night I felt I did my best at the time to avoid (more) by stepping out of the conversation. When I wanted needed compassion and concern for me, I felt I got he was more concerned with how he looked to the counselor. I know right now, I am probably beating a dead horse. I cannot help how that exchange made me feel and I wish I could see it differently. I am not myself. I truly am not myself.

Last edited by Gdar; 05/26/10 01:44 PM.

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Quote:
Now, if I was to have asked how he felt about eating in another room, no matter what my reason (and here comes a DJ, but I have BTDT), he gets PA on me "oh, so are you trying to get rid of me, you don't want me around - I can just go downstairs everynight if that is what you want"


I am married to a guy who has also perfected the PA technique. He doesn't eat chips in bed, but we have been in similar situations. I don't/can't/won't fume anymore. And when he says "are you trying to get rid of me"...etc., I answer honestly that "yes, I am. I would enjoy having you stay here but not with the chips. If you want to eat the chips, please eat them somewhere else. My feelings won't be hurt."

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Gdar...you are so welcome to what I have from my own life...I read your words and they were what was in my head for 15 years of marriage, six years ago. I promise you...you may not act to who you are...you are certainly loved.

You have never been not loved.

Sorry I messed up on the kids...I kinda just divided them up, eh?

See, my DH married me with two kids. How's that for thinking I can wear your skin?

And then we had one together.

I'm not touching the chips issue right now. smile

I found the other impactful website pdf that another poster on MB shared a couple of years ago...

What we are

I think it's our dance (hey, like "our song", eh?)...

You are a creative person, Gdar...have you ever heard your H or yourself do "repair attempts" during conflict? Where something strikes you as exaggerated and you kinda catch yourself being the exaggerator...and you reply with "You darn well know hyperbole is my middle name!"

And smile...and take a deep breath with a small half-smile as you look at him, when you're really looking inside you?

We are fantastically complex creatures. We keep telling ourselves we are not...that if only he'd do just this one thing, then I'd act differently...

and part of that is true...you know how you get love bank deposits...and they don't stay...you help drain your levels because you expect him to change and stay changed...

look at you...how often you revert...how hard you try...

please stop trying. Lift that load of lies from yourself.

Do differently. Not try. Do.

That's exactly what hits your love bank so seriously...that your H is capable, he does and quickly stops doing...go backs to not doing, like a tease.

Does that resonate in you? That maybe you do that, too?

And I hear you have come to love your changes...your look, your speech, your mannerisms...which is lovely. See, when we aren't listening to ourselves, we believe our lies...I'm only doing this to make him happy...and maybe some of those were permissions you didn't give yourself to just make you happy...

Complex...complicated...layers and layers...not simple creatures...with do have a simple mandate...to own our choices, for we have the greatest respect from our creator...the choice to even love him...no automatics, really...yet he created us with all these automatics we sponge up before we even know we have the choice over what we believe, how we act, and what we act from.

Give yourself a huge mental hug...often...and tell yourself you are human...which is a celebration and caution, isn't it?

About your list for H...can you please go through carefully, without reactivity and think of all ENs...you have one for FS...and when it's being met to your expectation, it doesn't hit your top five...the tricky part of listing our ENs...they change as our circumstances change...and FC may be a big EN for you when it's not being met...or DS...or RC...or Laughter (you can make up your own) or his very presence.

I was a huge discounter...full of yeahbuts. So I'm zoning in on this--NOT to dissuade you from seeing the whole picture, to really get his half (when your focus has made it the whole)...because you see yourself, have lived for, over-doing...and he does. He does.

And he doesn't. No argument for me. My only control is over my own perception, what I chose to filter out, not see or include, appreciate...understand...

and when I focus on lack...zoom in on it, lack expands...becomes my whole experience...

even when I'm living in abundance, too.

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Thank you again for that, LA. I really appreciate it. It is like reading a book while looking in the mirror. You are wearing my skin! smile Thanks for the laugh in the first portion of your post.

My H text me and asked me what time I would be by to p/u my son for his orthodontist appt. I told him what time. He replies that he would like to see me, and that he has a meeting (that starts at exactly the time I will be there to p/u son). I said that I will be there at the same time as the meeting, so ? (I was not picking up on his point). He then says that he would like me to come early so he can see me before his meeting, and I say I will try and thank him for wanting to see me, and that I would like to see him as well.

I text him when I was leaving the house and text him again when I got there. Sat there for 15 minutes before he came out. I was not mad, but a bit miffed that he asked me to come early, then I sat waiting. I did not say anything about it when he got in the car. He thanked me for coming and I told him he was welcome, and then asked if maybe he was too busy to talk since his meeting started in 2 minutes. He was on the phone as he came to the car, he told me he was expecting a call right back, and the meeting was in 2 minutes. I felt like I did what he wanted me to do, but he did not have the time for it. I did not comment. The way I usually approach this (because it has happened on several previous occasions) is me letting him know that I do not appreciate him asking me to come see him, then making me wait for 10-20 minutes. I used to wait for 5, then leave. Then he would call and ask why I did not wait. I thought I was doing the right thing, setting boundaries. I did what he asked, I showed up, I was protecting myself by not waiting.

This time I waited. This time I did not complain.

He is so stressed at work. Without outright asking me to, in his own way I think he was pleading with me to hang in there until the chaos dies down and the school year is over. 3 more weeks.... 3 more weeks...


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Married 7 years
4 kids (2 together)
Hoping for a Recovery
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 4,652
J
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Gdar, we are either the same person or we are married to the same person, or we are alter-egos in alternative universes...


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!)
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 989
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Originally Posted By: jayne241
Gdar, we are either the same person or we are married to the same person, or we are alter-egos in alternative universes...


I know, right? Crazy! It feels a bit better to have someone else feeling what I am feeling and being lost as to how to fix it, even with the steps laid out.


BS: 37
FWH: 37
EA: 2 months, ending June 08
Married 7 years
4 kids (2 together)
Hoping for a Recovery
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 4,652
J
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J
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 4,652
Steps? What steps? dontknow You got steps in your universe? skeptical


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!)
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 989
G
Gdar Offline OP
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Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 989
Ya know, stopping DJs, AO, SD, etc... to me those are steps.


BS: 37
FWH: 37
EA: 2 months, ending June 08
Married 7 years
4 kids (2 together)
Hoping for a Recovery
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