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:
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...
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.