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Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
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.


Hmmm. I'm not certain she wants to talk about how she feels about sex based upon her response. I think she could have very easily wanted to discuss any of a range of different aspects that came up in your conversation. You made several different assumptions (a nice way of saying DJ's) as follows, "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."

Notice her response did not explicitly address how she feels about sex, she merely stated "is that how you think I feel." You inserted sex into the example, whereas what she reacted to and got emotional about, may in fact have nothing to do with sex in her own mind. You do yourself a discredit by assuming the next step is to ask her how she feels about sex. I understand why you want to, because this is the huge pain point for you, but I wouldn't approach the next conversation with sex as a precursor, I'd simply ask her if she could help you to understand what she meant when she said "is that how you think I feel?" If she chooses to bring up a sexual context, all the better, but I wouldn't bring it up yourself.

Quote:
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.


Excellent recovery from the initial misunderstanding. It is refreshing to see this happening between you two, as I've gotten the sense that this level of more healthy negotiation has only recently started to occur! 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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Oh yes, Hitch, I know I DJ her frequently. If we counselled with the Harleys, I would have to give up the DJs. At this point, I would rather DJ. Like I have said before, resentment is my mistress and I am not giving her up. I am as foggy as any WS. Happily married? Surely you jest.


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So of course, I come home to discover that Mrs. Hold has a migraine and is in no mood to talk.

I ask how the birthday situation is coming along. Seems Mrs. Hold and D13 have a new plan. Brunch and a shopping tour on Sunday morning in NYC. I ask what happened to family dinner in NYC Saturday and party with the girls in CT on Sunday. "Oh, the girls were too excited for me to take it away from them. They were telling me it is the greatest thing they have ever been invited to." I guess if you have to choose between disappointing a bunch of 13 year old girls, and disappointing your husband of 18+ years, it is a no brainer.

So were are back to 2 hotel rooms. I ask about dinner Saturday. "The place I picked is way too expensive. I found a cheaper place, but D13 is not enthusiastic. Maybe you can find something inexpensive she will like." We are 12 for dinner in Manhattan. Nothing is inexpensive in Manhattan. Back to being the bad guy.

I know. I should not be surprised. I have trained her that I will back down. If I don't change the dance, I can't complain that she tells the band to keep playing.


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Why is it that your wife is discussing and hashing out the details with your daughter? Decisions should be made by PARENTS. Yes, you can seek your children's input, but that is just what it is: input. Decisions are made by you and Mrs. Hold, not by Mrs. Hold and DD, and then come to you for the pocket book.

This is just poor boundaries all around.

Why are you going along with this?

Why not say "I'm sorry DD, your mother and I need to determine what it is we will be doing. Thank you for your input and suggestions, we'll let you know what it is we decide to do for your birthday."

And that is that.

She can handle disappointment. In fact, the lesson she would learn is more valuable than a 'fun' and extravagant birthday party. Parents are in charge, negotiation between partners is essential, you treat your spouse with love and respect.

Valuable lessons she will need in her own future relationships.

Look at your marriage.

Look at your daughter.

Do you want your daughter to experience the same misery you and your wife live in day in and day out? Because if so, you are giving her all the tools she needs to do just that.

She will model her future relationships on the examples you and your wife set.

Right now she is learning that men=pocketbook. You don't have to worry about their feelings or thoughts. You do what you want, and then let your husband know what the situation is. No negotiating, dictating.

Is that a lesson you want her to learn?

Your poor choices are going to affect her, for the rest of her life.

You DON'T have to go along with this.

"Sorry, DD, we've looked at it and we just can't afford it. We can do something else and have just as much fun, maybe we can do the girl's trip some other time."

"Mrs. Hold I am very hurt that you chose to plan this with your daughter instead of your husband. I am not a pocket book. We are going to have to re-POJA this issue, since you threw the last POJA out the window and I am not in agreement with the current plan. It hurts me when you value a simple party over our marriage. It makes me feel unsafe and unloved."

Another valuable lesson for DD to learn: living within your means. Sometimes you can't have all the fun things, sometimes you can't do all the exciting things. Joy can be found without extravagance and expense.

You CAN put your foot down.

I would suggest that your daughter NEEDS you to put your foot down. She needs boundaries. She needs to respect you - you are the model for her future husband, she needs to see that you have value.

Last edited by Vibrissa; 01/29/11 12:12 AM.

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Vibrissa #2469542 01/29/11 02:54 AM
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I agree completely with Vibs. You are setting up a bad situation for your daughters future husband. Just say "no". You set the schedule for the birthday. If your daughter gets upset, she will get over it.

I don't get it. You wear getting kicked around like a badge of honor. Be the bad guy for once. You're not getting respect out of this because you're not demanding respect. Geez...stop enjoying being miserable and put your foot down on this birthday thing.

Kids get disapointed all the time because they don't always get their way. It's called life.


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Hold, I used to make plans with my sister for the extended family, and then once we figured stuff out, she told our parents, and it was the same as you're describing, they were like, "That's not going to work," and then they decided something else. But my sister and I kept calling each other when it was time to plan, because somehow our parents would never make any decisions when we spoke to them, until we had a plan they could say Yes or No to. My mom kept saying, "Don't call [sister]!" It took until I got here with POJA to start trying different patterns. Now I decide with B what we're going to do, and then call them so they can say yea or nay doh2 Okay so I'm not there yet.

So I'm not surprised when DD does the same thing, makes plans without me, and leaves me to figure out which parts I am and am not enthusiastic with. If I'm just not there, like I'm at work, how can I participate in the planning when they're ready? I think the solution is to see these things as works-in-progress.

Like Hitch's W, your W is the one on the phone hearing the disappointment from the others, when she's not equipped to deal with that. Neither are you, it sounds like, but it doesn't affect you the same way, because you allow yourself to choose not the one listening to it on the phone. Where your W isn't allowing herself off the hook of being the mouthpiece.

I think it would help to reread Al Turtle's Passive Master stuff. No one wants to "be the bad guy."

So how about brainstorming some plans where everyone gets off the hook from being the bad guy? Maybe emailing a new invitation for what you all can do, saying sorry the other plans didn't work out. And that you feel bad already, so thanks for not giving me a hard time, too.


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Quote:
I ask what happened to family dinner in NYC Saturday and party with the girls in CT on Sunday. "Oh, the girls were too excited for me to take it away from them. They were telling me it is the greatest thing they have ever been invited to."


Nope...has nothing to do with "the girls". Your wife's main interest has ALWAYS been status. If this big doo-dah happens SHE is the one that is gonna come out of it one step higher (socially) than the other Moms. She is working off her own agenda.

Oh yeah...she is puffing herself up...feeding her own need for adulation...again at the expense of the family finances.

AND....why do kids have to have such extravagant parties?
What ever happend to slumber parties, pizza, chips, sodas, and all night movies fests?

If this is what is planned for her 13th, I guess you best get prepared for a Sweet 16 party of obscene and vulgar monetary displays.

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I am not willing to step in front of the party train. D13 and her friends are too excited. However, D13 has also expressed a desire for an expensive birthday present. I am going to tell her that since we spent so much money on the party, we cannot afford to get her the present.

And I am striving mightily to resist the temptation to say "I explained to your mother that we only had enough money for the party or the present, but not both. When I heard you guys talking about the party, I assumed your mother has explained that to you, and that you had chosen the party. So sorry for this misunderstanding. Next time I will make sure we are all on the same page. But that doesn't change the fact that we can't afford to get the present you wanted."


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Why can't you say that to your daughter, Hold? It sounds like information she should have. Perhaps you, your W, and your daughter can all sit down and have this talk.


Formerly nam here since 07/31/03 coastal, CT
nams #2470473 01/31/11 08:38 PM
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Hi there, Hold--
I'd ask how you've been, but, ha ha, I've been lurking on this thread forever.

In regard to your current situation, all I know is that when I was thirteen, disappointment was the norm. My parents had a way of making it awesome anyway, though on their own budget.

I wouldn't be too worried about disappointing your daughter. Somehow I think it's Mrs. Hold that is counting on the lavish trip.

Maybe, beyond all of this madness, you can separately get your daughter a nice little token from Dad.

What girl wouldn't cherish that?

Vibrissa #2470518 01/31/11 09:51 PM
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Originally Posted By: Vibrissa
Why is it that your wife is discussing and hashing out the details with your daughter? Decisions should be made by PARENTS. Yes, you can seek your children's input, but that is just what it is: input. Decisions are made by you and Mrs. Hold, not by Mrs. Hold and DD, and then come to you for the pocket book.

This is just poor boundaries all around.

Why are you going along with this?

Why not say "I'm sorry DD, your mother and I need to determine what it is we will be doing. Thank you for your input and suggestions, we'll let you know what it is we decide to do for your birthday."

And that is that.


Vibrissa,

EXCELLENT POST!!!! You did a better job of saying what I was trying to say in my initial response, which is that HOLD's approach is almost the polar opposite of what he should be doing to enforce healthy boundaries, and to actually promote a positive long term healthy outlook on life for his children.

Quote:
She can handle disappointment. In fact, the lesson she would learn is more valuable than a 'fun' and extravagant birthday party. Parents are in charge, negotiation between partners is essential, you treat your spouse with love and respect.

Valuable lessons she will need in her own future relationships.


This is what I meant when I wrote about actually reinforcing values from the inside out rather than the outside in. Short term pain, via confrontation/disappointment with his daughter, will in fact reinforce positive boundaries and life lessons that will translate into more happy and more emotionally healthy children over the long term. The current approach is putting the perverbial cart before the horse - the children have become the parents in this scenario. While it may be easier to adopt this model because it seems to make the kids happy, it's only a short term happiness at best, until the next "high" is required for the children to feel good not about who they are, but about what they get. Again, a key difference between living our core values from the inside out, versus trying to find our core values by the pursuit of "things" external to us.

Quote:
Look at your marriage.

Look at your daughter.

Do you want your daughter to experience the same misery you and your wife live in day in and day out? Because if so, you are giving her all the tools she needs to do just that.

She will model her future relationships on the examples you and your wife set.

Right now she is learning that men=pocketbook. You don't have to worry about their feelings or thoughts. You do what you want, and then let your husband know what the situation is. No negotiating, dictating.

Is that a lesson you want her to learn?

Your poor choices are going to affect her, for the rest of her life.

You DON'T have to go along with this.

"Sorry, DD, we've looked at it and we just can't afford it. We can do something else and have just as much fun, maybe we can do the girl's trip some other time."


The concepts you hit on here challenge what is at the heart of HOLD's current justification for maintaining his misery and for staying in his M. HOLD has maintained that he doesn't want to run any risk of not being with his kids (divorce), yet he continues to passive-aggressively punish Mrs HOLD for denying him what he wants (hence the DJ's being his mistress that he refuses to give up). I would be curious to get HOLD's input in regard to whether or not the reality is that he may in fact be doing more emotional harm to his own cherished children by staying married than if he were to cut his losses and get divorced. There are studies that show results either way (some studies have shown it's better for the children if the parents stay in a failed marriage, other studies show the opposite).

HOLD would probably agree with me that his justifications are self centered (it's about what HOLD wants - even at the possible expense of the long term emotional health of his own children), and extremely prideful (turtle pride - woe is me type approach to life). How do I know? Because I have struggled with the same inner battles of worthlessness, depression, and persistent pessimism that HOLD has. We both have depressive personalities. We both recognize the reasons why - at least intellectually, we are both otherwise intelligent and well educated individuals, and we are both fairly well accomplished in the eyes of most people career-wise (despite how we view ourselves).

So, with all that in mind, why don't guys like HOLD and I make better choices? Why do we keep making poor choices? If you can answer that question, then you are smarter than I am. smile

Quote:
"Mrs. Hold I am very hurt that you chose to plan this with your daughter instead of your husband. I am not a pocket book. We are going to have to re-POJA this issue, since you threw the last POJA out the window and I am not in agreement with the current plan. It hurts me when you value a simple party over our marriage. It makes me feel unsafe and unloved."


I'd surmise that there are a few reasons why. Probably the biggest reason is a lifetime of doing the above, and either not getting any response, or getting lip service that gives the appearance of understanding and agreement, only to see the same repetitive behaviors from our spouses again and again after the fact. In other words, no real change, no desire to change. Probably why we don't desire to change either. As HOLD has oftentimes said, if neither spouse is willing to really change, and neither spouse is willing to leave, then the status quo is the best that can be hoped for. Far from ideal yes.

Quote:
Another valuable lesson for DD to learn: living within your means. Sometimes you can't have all the fun things, sometimes you can't do all the exciting things. Joy can be found without extravagance and expense.

You CAN put your foot down.

I would suggest that your daughter NEEDS you to put your foot down. She needs boundaries. She needs to respect you - you are the model for her future husband, she needs to see that you have value.


Agreed, however if Mrs HOLD is either unable or unwilling to reinforce those agreed upon values, and in fact may passive-aggressively work against HOLD attempting to teach these types of life lessons to his children, it's a tough battle to say the least, and for a depressive like HOLD, it's a HUGE undertaking to fight that fight.

I know in my own lifelong marital struggles with my W's overspending on our children, on many occasions I've reached the point where I've simply given up fighting. As a depressive and a conflict avoider who struggles with anxiety, it is easier in the short term to simply withdraw. Over the long term I know it's not the right choice, and in fact the poor choices simply reinforce anxiety, depression, etc.

All of that said, I don't want to paint too ugly a picutre, so let me say, like in HOLD's case, Mrs Hitch and I have made some progress. Practically and logically I do see some progress - and therefore there is hope.

Probably the biggest struggle for me (and I'd guess potentially for HOLD), is that the financial issues are so raw because of the lifetime of dealing with them, that even in the face of logic, pragmatism, knowing some progress has been made, when setbacks occur (like with HOLD's current situation), it is extremely difficult to accept them and manage them constructively.


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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Hitch understands me perfectly. I have given up on overtly fighting with Mrs. Hold. It is too hard for me, and there is never any payoff. I just get my passive-aggressive digs in. If I am only going to get crumbs either way, I might as well create my own crumbs (no matter how bitter) rather than scurrying after Mrs. Hold and begging for her tasteless ones.

Yesterday she told me on the phone she made a big mistake this week with the party. I agreed with her. Then I came home, and she was very busy with paralegal work. She stayed up late and still was not finished. I understood that with her school work and other job she was trying to finish that project yesterday. But frankly, her prioritizing work over reconnecting with me completely undercut the apology.

It is snowing here yet again. Thank God I was able to make it out our steep driveway. I hope everyone stays warm and dry today.


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Mrs. Hold found a much less expensive restaurant for dinner Saturday. She paid for the hotel and most of the shopping by D14. So in the end I could live with the total cost. D14 and her friends had an awesome time.

Still, the entire episode left a bad taste in my mouth. I had to explode to get Mrs. Hold to meet me halfway on cost. I still hate her guts for putting me in that position.

I think Mrs. Hold feels very good about the weekend and thinks we put it together as a team. To me, I still feel angry and hurt and view the event as a lovebuster.


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But you paid up? You allowed it to happen. You can't blame her for that.


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And, have you told her how you feel about this?

Wait a minute, what was I thinking? Never mind. I already know the answer.


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Originally Posted By: Rosycheeks
But you paid up? You allowed it to happen. You can't blame her for that.


Correct. I don't blame her for the weekend happening. I "only" blame her for discussing it with D14 before she discussed it with me. If we had reached the eventual outcome as a result of POJA (before discussing it with D14), I would be very enthusiastic about the experience. Once she went "over my head" to D14, no good outcome was possible. I would not have been happier announcing "sorry, no trip to NYC, try again".

This is mostly my fault. I have trouble "letting go" of past hurts (hence my name). "Alls well that ends well" is not part of my psychology.


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I totally understand you being annoyed at her for talking to your daughter first. Just after that you chose to allow it to continue, and decided the best course of action was to go along with it, and so that was your choice.

I sometimes find it hard not to blame dh for decisions I've made because I've been unwilling to stand up for myself, but its not fair to do that.


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Rosy: I know. I don't have the guts to negotiate with my Taker, so I get angry when Mrs. Hold brings her Taker to the table. That is not wrong on her part. I know per MB she is supposed to bring her Taker to the table. As long as I refuse to have boundaries and refuse to allow my Taker to speak up during discussions, I will remain in this purgatory. No one is locking me in here. I choose to stay.


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Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
No one is locking me in here. I choose to stay.


Why?


Me: BS/FWW: 48
BS/WH: 50
DS: 30, 27, 25
DD: 28
OC: 10
BH and I are raising my OC together.
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Because I like living with my kids. I wasn't happy before we got married. I don't expect to be happy if we got divorced. If I am going to be miserable either way, might as well get to see my kids at night.


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