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I would say that a few of your marriage issues are getting solved. The wife is thinner and she is willing to have you pay for her schooling so perhaps she can work someday.

Many of your marital issues have not really been resolved. There has been no recovery from her abusive ways for one example.

There has been no restitution or remorse for her blowing your life savings and having to move to a cheaper town and having to get a new job.

Until these other issues are resolved, you will not feel good about yourself. Because you are living with a toxic wife. Who does not love you. That alone would depress anyone.

What I want to know is which comes first?

Did you marry and stay with this toxic wife BECAUSE your self esteem was low?

OR

Did you marry and stay with this toxic abusive wife AND THEN your self esteem became so low you cannot leave her?

Last edited by Bubbles4U; 09/14/10 11:34 AM.
Bubbles4U #2426880 09/14/10 05:33 PM
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Bubbles:

The former.

Jilly:

Nice to "see" you. BTDT on therapy. I need a new brain.


When you can see it coming, duck!
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Hold: I have been reading Marriagebuilders since 2001. I hardly ever post, because I am not much of a talker.

But I have followed your story since the beginning 8 yrs ago. I liked you, and hoped against hope that things would change for you. But all I can say now is

STOP IT!!!

No matter what happens for the two of you as individuals (and I do feel that one or both of you can change/improve), your relationship is not going to get any better. It has been too long and patterns too ingrained. So maybe just suck it up and deal with it until you are ready to leave?

Caroleena #2427477 09/16/10 10:25 AM
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Actually, our relationship HAS gotten better. She made herself available again today. I turned her down because I wasn't in the mood, but asked her to snuggle and she complied until my morning breath forced her to seek fresh air. We had a pleasant dinner with S15 last night.

I may never leave. We are getting along better and better. My sex drive has substantially declined. She is meeting my need for AS. She is going back to school and "threatens" to get a job when she graduates.

No, the problem now is not my marriage. It is me. it is work. And my community service. My depression. And fatalistic attitude.

You are correct that I don't need to work on my marriage at this point. Not because it has irretrievably failed. But rather because it has gotten good enough that other concerns are more pressing.

And as for why I come here, after telling myself for 15 years (not without justification) that my marriage stinks, I need to keep reminding myself that within the past few months it has gotten better. So that my internal emotions match up with the new and improved reality. Hopefully that will help motivate me to improve other areas of my life.


When you can see it coming, duck!
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Had a nice weekend. Mrs. Hold cooked yummy food for us before the fast and more yummy food to help us break the fast.

With sex off the table, we get along much better.


When you can see it coming, duck!
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Just wanted to give everyone a head's up. Make peace with your Maker. The end of times has come.

This morning, on her way out to the gym (I was still in bed), Mrs. Hold leaned over, gave me a kiss on the forehead, and said "FYI, the gym is closed tomorrow, so I don't have any exercise class in the morning. Just so you know."

We now have definitive proof that ANYTHING is possible if you wait long enough.


When you can see it coming, duck!
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Mrs. Hold just called. She got hired part time by Weight Watchers. I think there were a dozen people or more applying for the job. They said she is their dream come true. She lost over 50 pounds, reached her goal weight, and has kept it off for a while. They offered her as many receptionist shifts as she wants to take. In this economy, I consider it quite an accomplishment to get hired at pretty much any job.

Kudos to her.


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Fantastic news, hold.


Marriage is the triumph of imagination over intelligence. Second marriage is the triumph of hope over experience.
(Oscar Wilde)
CWMI #2429161 09/22/10 05:30 PM
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Hold, it is an interesting view of relationship behaviour, that when you stopped harrassing your wife for sex she is now initiating it with you.

Be wrong to refuse tomorrow

Good luck

Last edited by Jackblack; 09/22/10 05:31 PM.
Jackblack #2429170 09/22/10 06:33 PM
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I do not intend to refuse tomorrow, if she does indeed initiate.

Yes, the relationship dynamic is interesting. And complex. We had "vacations" from sex and mutual celibacy agreements in the past. Some of them lasted many months. None of them motivated her to initiate at any point. So the change in her behavior is not caused solely by the reduced pressure for sex.

It seems that a combination of age, time together, my withdrawing in general, our children getting older and needing her less, the realization that I might choose to leave when the kids do, her coming to accept that I am never going to meet her financial goals, perhaps some unconscious recognition that perhaps her behavior played some role in my lack of motivation, and who knows what else have combined to produce a very favorable result which I do not think would have been available in prior years.

I am trying very hard to let go of the resentment and appreciate what she now offers. That is why I focus on only posting positive interactions. Please call me on it if I slip back into old bad habits.


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HOLD, I suspect, as you said, it is a combination of timing, aging, personal growth (yes, on both your parts!), and perhaps, the old adage that it is when we finally give up looking for what we truly desire, that we find it. I suspect, that even during the times when there were celibacy agreements, your desire was very much still in place. You as well as I know that we humans, and perhaps especially women, have uncanny sensory abilities, or gut instincts, when it comes to sensing what people really want from us right? I suspect Mrs HOLD sensed your true desire. Is it odd that you would have to die to your desire in order for her to find it for you? Yes, but it's far from the first time I've seen this happen, in both my own life and in the lives of others I've known. The bible puts it similarly, "For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it." It is when we get the point where we are truly willing to give up, that we oftentimes find what is we were looking for. I pray this string of blessing continues for you HOLD, I really do! smile


God Bless,

HitchHiker

All I want to do is learn to think like God thinks. , I want to know Gods thoughts; all the rest are just details. , When the solution is simple, God is answering. - Albert Einstein

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HitchHiker:

I thnk you are correct.

I also think my wife gave up some magical thinking. I asked her why she used to overspend. She said "I always figured you would eventually start making lots more money, and the debt I ran up wouldn't matter because you would be able to pay it off. So I figured it was OK to overspend." Now she sees that I probably won't ever make more money, so she feels a need to be more frugal, get a job, etc.

Moreover, she had to decide whether she was going to stay with me. Whether she liked me enough apart from the money to stay. She could have taken her hot new (or returned to) body on the road and found someone else. She chose to stay. So to the extent that she was withholding herself physically and emotionally until I made more money, if she was going to stay, that had to end.

I hope that I too can end some of my magical thinking and deal with the world more realistically as well.

Edited to add: and for the curious, yes she came back to bed after dropping the kids at the bus, and yes, we celebrated the festival of Sukkot by making a marital mitzvah.


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Hold, this seems a hopeful turn. Perhaps you two can finally stop looking at each other through a fog of hopes, dreams and expectations and actually SEE each other for what you are. When you can do that, perhaps you can attempt to create REAL intimacy between you without the pressures of what you each WANT the other to be, by accepting what you are.

Maybe starting from a foundation of truth and reality(as opposed to hopes), THEN you can begin to build and shape yourselves as MB would have you change for one another.

Last edited by Vibrissa; 09/23/10 09:21 AM.

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HIYA!
Vibrissa #2429484 09/23/10 03:48 PM
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Perhaps you two can finally stop looking at each other through a fog of hopes, dreams and expectations and actually SEE each other for what you are. When you can do that, perhaps you can attempt to create REAL intimacy between you without the pressures of what you each WANT the other to be, by accepting what you are.

Maybe starting from a foundation of truth and reality(as opposed to hopes), THEN you can begin to build and shape yourselves as MB would have you change for one another.

I really like how you put this Vibrissa. It is so true in so many marriages and relationships.

Last edited by Bubbles4U; 09/23/10 03:48 PM.
Bubbles4U #2429660 09/24/10 10:30 AM
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Originally Posted By: Bubbles4U
Perhaps you two can finally stop looking at each other through a fog of hopes, dreams and expectations and actually SEE each other for what you are. When you can do that, perhaps you can attempt to create REAL intimacy between you without the pressures of what you each WANT the other to be, by accepting what you are.

Maybe starting from a foundation of truth and reality(as opposed to hopes), THEN you can begin to build and shape yourselves as MB would have you change for one another.

I really like how you put this Vibrissa. It is so true in so many marriages and relationships.


Good luck with that idea. Sure it can happen at the rate of probability that person A baggages + person B baggages can be handled by each person.

Last edited by Still_JM; 09/24/10 10:31 AM.

-- Still JM --

Met `82, Steady May`86, Married Jul`95. D12, S9, D3. MB`ing since Apr`02 to fall back "in love."

05.20.06: "If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you'll most certainly be right."
Still_JM #2429665 09/24/10 10:45 AM
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But you can't BEGIN to change if you don't accept that THIS is how much baggage there is in your marriage.

Hold's problem is that both went in to the marriage with high expectations and little understanding of WHO it was they married. It has been said that expectations are premeditated resentments. And they are living the truth of that statement.

Neither of them WANT to change because BOTH of them want the other to live up to their HIGH expectations. Expectations that were set so high, the other couldn't reach them. Now were they too high for a typical marriage, who knows. But for these two people, in this marriage they WERE too high.

Why were they too high? Because NEITHER of them actually KNEW the other when they married. They didn't marry one another, they married their HOPES of one another.

This is why radical honesty is so important BEFORE marriage.

If I had gone into my marriage expecting my DH to be a CEO of a Fortune 500 I would be miserable right now, because that is NOT who he is. That is something I discovered about him through dating. If that was important to me, I would have left.

Instead I married someone who has less earning potential than a CEO but to whom family is paramount. That is who he IS, and that is what I like, thus my expectations of him meet what he can reasonably achieve.

Hold's and his wife harbored unattainable expectations for one another, creating this hole of resentment in which they continually stew. They both have high needs for something the other just cannot provide in an acceptable fashion. Because there was no honesty and no acceptance for who they are and thus, what they can achieve.

Maybe they can't accept the baggage they have accumulated between them. That is also a result of their initial dishonesty. (And I'm not saying they lied to each other, but it seems they didn't reveal their true selves to one another before marriage)

When one spouse cannot meet another's needs, a negotiation must ensue. A negotiation requires a Giver along with a Taker. Hold and his wife have never been able to POJA a satisfactory negotiation of their needs in this marriage because their EXPECTATIONS of one another created a fog which kept them from TRULY seeing one another and goals they could conceivably reach. Thus they weren't able to give and find mutual enthusiasm. Each held too tightly to the Dream they had of each other and EXPECTED their needs be met. The couldn't give and thus no negotiation was possible and no POJA was achieved.

Maybe, now that the fog of their expectations is trying to lift, they can see ACHIEVABLE goals, which may not be as high as their expected goals when they entered into this marriage, but may be high enough to provide mutual enjoyment, happiness, and even love.

For so long they've been married to the mirage of one another. Now, maybe, they can see their real spouse and find actual, achievable paths to their happiness.

I see it as a hopeful start.


Me & DH: 28
Married 8/20/05
1DD, 9 mo.
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HIYA!
Vibrissa #2429757 09/24/10 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted By: Vibrissa
And I'm not saying they lied to each other, but it seems they didn't reveal their true selves to one another before marriage


Untrue, at least as to me. I was very explicit as to my earning potential. I told her I had not been as successful as I hoped up to that time, that I was not on track to make partner, and that I would probably never make partner at a top tier firm and never earn the kind of money that many of my classmates would earn. I admitted that I lacked the drive and ambition required to get to the top. I told her I had issues with self esteem that made it unlikely I would turn things around positively, and that the #1 thing she could do to help me with my self esteem was to have lots of sex with me. I revealed EVERYTHING.

In fact, I can distinctly remember going to an out of town wedding with her shortly before we got engaged. Everyone thought we were going to get engaged at the wedding (swept up in the "marriage fever"). I had recently poured out the above in excurciating detail to her, and figured the wedding was our last hurrah together. I figured she was going to dump me when we got back, but was saving me the embarrassment of going to the wedding alone. I remember being surprised when she wanted to stay with me when we got back.

She told me "smart is sexy" and said that meeting my need for SF would not be a problem for her. I think she believed that. But I think she was mistaken as to my statements - she thought I was being modest and did not take my warnings seriously. And I think she was not being honest with herself. In that I think her sexual history has more impact on her behavior than she is ready to admit.

The only part where I think she was intentionally dishonest was in not admitting that she had been raped. She feared I would see her as damaged goods if she told me. And she had convinced herself they didn't affect her, so she thought the omission was no big deal.

In any event, we both have come to learn additional truths about each other. More from experience than from verbal discussion. She has chosen to be more available despite my not meeting her EN for FS. So I have chosen to let go of some of my resentment.

As you say, recent events are a hopeful start.


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I am sorry you both married for anything like "earning power". Geeze it sounds so cold. Do human beings look at potental spouses for the fatness of thier wallet's?

It just seems so wrong to me. That would be a marriage based on material things instead of deeper values of love and care and creating a family. And this is not what I think marriage should ba aboue.

Bubbles4U #2430008 09/25/10 04:00 PM
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Bubbles, attractive spouse and finacial security are fundament hardwired drivers in all of nature and especially in our society.

The emotional need of finacial security is not mutually exclusive from love, care and family. It is directly connected.

Last edited by Jackblack; 09/25/10 04:01 PM.
Jackblack #2430033 09/25/10 07:31 PM
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Yes, financial security is important. But why do women need men to be WEALTHY so they can blow all that money on junk asap?

Financial security is good for families but women can work just as well as men to help.

If a person has all they need in life, a house, clothing, food, etc why can't they be happy with that?

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