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Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
Oh, and just so we can put a stake in the "Hold is a good husband" idea, I forgot that today is Mrs. Hold's birthday. Yes, I got her cards and signed them. Yes, I bought her a present. But I am away from home on a business trip today (bad enough, but she supports my career 100% - more than I do in many ways - so she said the trip was OK with her). When I called home, I forgot to say Happy Birthday. Twice. Finally around 5:00 I remembered. Turns out the kids had forgotten as well. So very bad day for Mrs. Hold on the love front. My very bad.

Nothing could communicate more clearly how I feel about her (and don't). Early in our marriage I made a very big deal about her birthday, Valentine's Day, our anniversary, etc. Now, today, I completely ignored it. Nuff said.


Does SHE care that you didn't say hb to her until 5:00? I wouldn't say you 'forgot'...if you bought cards and a gift ahead of time, that is a far cry from forgetting. But how does she feel about it?

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Yes, she cared. She was very sad. She was snippy and basically hung up on me during call #2. I was having lunch with another lawyer from my firm and then we had a client meeting, so I didn't call her back. After the meeting, I realized why she was snippy. I called her. She admitted how much it hurt that D13 and I forgot to wish her happy birthday. I had D13 get the cards I left in her room, and we sang happy birthday. But Mrs. Hold was still sad. Quite understandably, in my view.


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Sure she is sad, unfortunately she has made you extremely sad too. For the entire years of your marriage. She has abused you.

Bubbles4U #2466197 01/20/11 08:09 AM
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Bubbles, the thing is until Hold has more self-esteem, nothing will change. It seems as though he doesn't view himself as attractive or having to offer the female population much except maybe a paycheck. And so he assumes that if he leaves his wife, he won't find anyone else anyway (and be alone) and that it will negatively impact the kids.

I could be wrong, but that's how I see it.


Husband (me) 39
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Daughter 21
Daughter 19
Son 14
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Son 8 (autistic)

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KT is correct. That is exactly how I see it. No woman has ever expressed interest in me except for my paycheck. I used to think they were making a mistake to reject me. I figured they were unable to look past the unattractive physical exterior, and that once a woman got to know me well, she would realize I was a great guy on the inside and be very attracted to me. Then I got married, and the better she got to know me, the less attractive Mrs. Hold found me. So now I figure the other women were correct to reject me. That I am not attractive on the inside, either. So I better stay with Mrs. Hold unless I want to be alone.


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Originally Posted By: ConstantProcess
staring into each others eyes and being in your own world with your spouse, or discussing each others hopes and fears as they pertain to each other.


This passage by ConstantProcess shows why MB never worked for me and Mrs. Hold. I see now why UA is such an important aspect of MB. The time together allows a couple to calibrate WHAT hopes and fears they have and HOW they are going to help each other overcome their fears and achieve their hoped-for dreams.

UA does not work that way for Mrs. Hold and I. We have each made it clear that we are not interested in helping the other person achieve their dreams. For both of us, the other person's dream is not something we are willing to work toward. You might have thought that we would have figured that out before we got married. Or that knowing that now, we wouldn't want to remain married.

But we are both very good at pretending that reality doesn't exist.


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Mrs. Hold got a part time job today in the field she is studying. Hurray for her! She can work from home, and do as much or as little as he can handle. This will give her an experience line on her resume, for when she is ready for a full time job (after she gets her certificate and the kids graduate). She really is getting her act together. Soon I may be tested as to whether I really want what I have been wishing for.


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How does her getting a job get you sex?


Marriage is the triumph of imagination over intelligence. Second marriage is the triumph of hope over experience.
(Oscar Wilde)
CWMI #2468560 01/26/11 03:39 PM
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It doesn't get me sex, silly. I don't wish for sex any more. I feel worse after we have sex.


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Mrs. Hold announced today that she does not feel emotionally safe with me, so sex is off the table. I understand why. But think about it. That means she feels even less inclined toward sex than she has the last 18 years. And it means we have an even higher mountain to climb to get back together. So for those of you think going into withdrawal can't make it worse, you are wrong. Your spouse can become even more averse to sex.


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Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
Mrs. Hold announced today that she does not feel emotionally safe with me, so sex is off the table. I understand why. But think about it. That means she feels even less inclined toward sex than she has the last 18 years. And it means we have an even higher mountain to climb to get back together. So for those of you think going into withdrawal can't make it worse, you are wrong. Your spouse can become even more averse to sex.


Hold - this is pure manipulation. Lack of feeling safe implies that you have threatened her. Which you haven't.

Ask her specifically what you've done to make her feel unsafe. Get some openness and honesty going. You're not her daddy and emotional needs don't go one way. Since she's stepping up in other areas of her life (finally) you know your day of reckoning is coming. But this manipulation isn't entirely honest.

I think the two of you need a time out from "relationship" and just need to take a weekend at a park, walking, talking about life instead of the relationship.

She's not ready to be emotionally honest and therefore isn't safe to you. when she's ready to own the source of her pain (herself) and talk with you about that, then you two will get somewhere. As you can read by your posts, you recognize that you are the source of your pain already. So you're ready for this conversation when she is.

For now, I'd acknowledge that you hear her, but don't understand since you haven't threatened her, beat her, yelled at her or otherwise abused her.


Cafe Plan B link http://forum.marriagebuilders.com/ubbt/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2182650&page=1

The ? that made recovery possible: "Which lovebuster do I do the most that hurts the worst"?

The statement that signaled my personal recovery and the turning point in our marriage recovery: "I don't need to be married that badly!"

If you're interested in saving your relationship, you'll work on it when it's convenient. If you're committed, you'll accept no excuses.
KaylaAndy #2468967 01/27/11 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted By: KaylaAndy
Hold - this is pure manipulation. Lack of feeling safe implies that you have threatened her. Which you haven't.

For now, I'd acknowledge that you hear her, but don't understand since you haven't threatened her, beat her, yelled at her or otherwise abused her.


Yes.

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You mean forgetting to wish her a happy birthday on her birthday is not abusive?


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Oh My GOSH! Hold. You didn't? (lol).

Of course not. You didn't forget - you had the presents upstairs which required caring and forethought.

Give yourself some credit. You can only be sarcastic like that when you know full well you're being played by a manipulator using code language to elicit guilt on someone who hates feeling guilty.


Cafe Plan B link http://forum.marriagebuilders.com/ubbt/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2182650&page=1

The ? that made recovery possible: "Which lovebuster do I do the most that hurts the worst"?

The statement that signaled my personal recovery and the turning point in our marriage recovery: "I don't need to be married that badly!"

If you're interested in saving your relationship, you'll work on it when it's convenient. If you're committed, you'll accept no excuses.
KaylaAndy #2469143 01/28/11 03:50 AM
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You bought her presents and cards, then you didn't forget.

OK she was a little sad, but she's a grown up and surely should have just been able to say on the very first phone call "Erm, are you forgetting something? Where's my Happy Birthday?"

Maybe I'm an odd female (well I know I am) but I can't see that this is a big deal at all. It just sounds so passive aggressive to stay quiet on the phone and not just tell you she wanted to hear those words.


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D13's birthday approaches. Mrs. Hold wants to make it special. Apparently going to NYC, where my Mom has flown up to visit, and going to a theme restaurant + entertainment for dinner with my sis, BIL and nephew is not special enough (to her credit, we did POJA the restaurant and me paying for everyone). Later that day (after we POJA), Mrs. Hold went into D13's room to see hwo she is doing. D13 seems not impressed by the birthday plans. Mrs. Hold suggests D13 invite a friend. D13 complains she has no friends. Mrs. Hold suggests inviting the entire swimming team (6 girls). That means several more expensive dinners and 2 hotel rooms so they can stay over in NYC. That idea perks up D13. Then Mrs. Hold invites me into the room to see what I think. I feel ambushed. Yet again. By an expensive request for the kids.

This morning I commented that emotional safety works both ways. That I have told her many times how much I hate her guts (yes, I used those words) when she discusses something with the kids that is expensive without checking with me first. She said "my child was upset and I panicked and that was the only thing that I could think of that would help her feel better". I replied "so it is OK to solve the problem by putting me in a no win situation where all my choices are bad, despite knowing how much I hate when you do that". She said something like "well, we had discussed bits and pieces of it earlier." I said "yes, but dinner for 14 is not dinner for 8, and 2 hotel rooms is not 1 hotel room. This is the same feeling as when I ask you for sex. You feel trapped. You feel like I don't care about your feelings and I just want to get my rocks off and it could be anyone." She started crying, said "is that how you think I feel", and ran out of the room. Then it was time for her to go to work. She left. I feel guilty. But I don't think I should feel guilty. Thoughts?


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Hold, man, I can so relate! D14 goes to school with kids who have the best phones, DJs at their parties, and go to $75 concerts. Their hangout has the most expensive movie theater in town, $7.50 for kids, $9.50 for 3D. Do I want to try to keep up with that? But she doesn't want to stand out. I want to throw her a party for her birthday, because she's been down, but she doesn't want one here, because we don't have a pool. Huh? It'll be February, what do you need a pool for? But I guess she's embarrassed she's the only one who doesn't?

Do you see that it's the expectations that are the issue, not your, D13's, and Mrs. H's confusion with them? About the "feeling guilty," how about just deciding not to "go there"? You guys can work this out together. You're not trapped. Nothing is set in stone. They were brainstorming solutions, and calling you in. There are no bad guys here.


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I think that you just have to deal with being seen as the bad guy right now. You can tell your wife and daughter together how much you feel you can afford to spend on her birthday celebrations and all of you brainstorm together.

You can do this without love busting, and be a caring but responsible adult. Its not within your control how they react to it, only how you behave.

ETA: Just seen NED's reply. She said it better than I did. I agree with her.

Last edited by Rosycheeks; 01/28/11 09:09 AM.

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Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
D13's birthday approaches. Mrs. Hold wants to make it special. Apparently going to NYC, where my Mom has flown up to visit, and going to a theme restaurant + entertainment for dinner with my sis, BIL and nephew is not special enough (to her credit, we did POJA the restaurant and me paying for everyone). Later that day (after we POJA), Mrs. Hold went into D13's room to see hwo she is doing. D13 seems not impressed by the birthday plans. Mrs. Hold suggests D13 invite a friend. D13 complains she has no friends. Mrs. Hold suggests inviting the entire swimming team (6 girls). That means several more expensive dinners and 2 hotel rooms so they can stay over in NYC. That idea perks up D13. Then Mrs. Hold invites me into the room to see what I think. I feel ambushed. Yet again. By an expensive request for the kids.


Somehow I have a problem with adults taking direction from their children on defining things like this. Are we really in the business of catering to children when it comes to shaping their worldviews on what is important? Are we not indirectly teaching a lesson here to find your value outside of yourself rather than defining our worldview from our internal values and living those values from the inside out? It's all about bling bling and not about what truly matters it seems. Just spouting off here, but I increasingly find the concept of "making kids happy" by doing whatever they want to be a long term guarantee for struggles with depression for both the parents and the children as a result of basing self esteem on things and values external to ourselves.

Quote:
This morning I commented that emotional safety works both ways. That I have told her many times how much I hate her guts (yes, I used those words) when she discusses something with the kids that is expensive without checking with me first. She said "my child was upset and I panicked and that was the only thing that I could think of that would help her feel better". I replied "so it is OK to solve the problem by putting me in a no win situation where all my choices are bad, despite knowing how much I hate when you do that". She said something like "well, we had discussed bits and pieces of it earlier." I said "yes, but dinner for 14 is not dinner for 8, and 2 hotel rooms is not 1 hotel room. This is the same feeling as when I ask you for sex. You feel trapped. You feel like I don't care about your feelings and I just want to get my rocks off and it could be anyone." She started crying, said "is that how you think I feel", and ran out of the room. Then it was time for her to go to work. She left. I feel guilty. But I don't think I should feel guilty. Thoughts?


First off, I'd say don't lose the opportunity to follow up on exactly what Mrs HOLD meant when she started crying and said "Is that how you think I feel?" Obviously you have misinterpreted something here, so it will be valuable to find out what went wrong with your analogy at some point.

Secondly, what you've outlined above is a hot button issue between Mrs Hitch and I as well. Mrs Hitch is an HSP (at least I believe she is), or a Highly Sensitive Person (studies show as much as 20% of the population are HSPs). Empathic abilities and a general tendency to want to make other's happy at any expense comes with HSP territory IME and from what I've read. Specific to Mrs Hitch, she generally functions under the auspices of "it's better to apologize than to ask permission." So, I feel your pain. I'm oftentimes roped into situations like what you've outlined, where I feel trapped and I feel as if I'm the bad guy because I have to deliver disapointing news. This is IMHO mostly because I feel that Mrs Hitch has already indicated, with her words and/or her mannerisms, that she's OK with whatever our children want at that particular moment. So, I get to be the heavy and the cheapskate that says no because we cannot afford it. I've repeatedly asked for us two as adults to discuss such things prior to discussing them with the children, but my repeated requests have, for the most part, fallen on deaf ears with Mrs Hitch.

Should you feel guilty? Well, I'm not a big fan of guilt in general. Specific to your scenario, I think you need clarity on why what you said was offensive especially since it appears that you have misjudged in some way how she does in fact feel. You could apologize that there was a misunderstanding and express a desire to better understand her point of view. I generally find that taking a disarming approach via a heartfelt apology encourages our spouse to feel safe and to be open and honest about the misunderstanding.


Last edited by HitchHiker; 01/28/11 09:38 AM.

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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Yes Hitch, I do want to follow up on how she feels about sex. The opportunity to obtain additional insight on that topic arrives rarely, and I do not wish to pass up this one. I would have followed up this morning if she had not immediately gotten into her car to go to work.

As for the party, Mrs. Hold called to apologize. She said she doesn't want me to hate her guts, and she realizes what she did put me in an uncomfortable position. I thanked her for the apology. I said "instead of fancy restaurant and a hotel in NYC, how about the 4 of us go to NYC to see my Mom on Saturday, and then on Sunday D13 could have her swim team over for a low key birthday party at our house?" Mrs. Hold said she thought that was a fine idea, and we will bring it to D13 later today.


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