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Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
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.


You know, there are more than two options here. I know you know that. It's not either be miserably married or miserably divorced. You could always choose to be happy. That is a possibility, even for you.


Me: BS/FWW: 48
BS/WH: 50
DS: 30, 27, 25
DD: 28
OC: 10
BH and I are raising my OC together.
writer1 #2473354 02/07/11 11:22 PM
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Hold, perhaps now would be a good time to explain to Mrs. Hold that you're glad she, your DD, and her friends had a good time. However, you find it very hurtful, if not downright manipulative (and, frankly, it sounds to me like she did it on purpose to manipulate you), that she made big, expensive plans with DD before involving you. Consequently, the next time it happens, you will play the bad guy, you will pull the plug, and you will deal with the fallout.

Doesn't really matter if you believe your own words, as long as your W does.

When you explain these things to her, she will likely cop an attitude, right? When she does, don't engage her. Just tell her that now she knows without question where you stand, and then leave the room, if need be. If she gets angry, it's not because you're being a bad guy; it's because you're taking away a tool of manipulation. Don't worry; she'll survive

The thing that I don't see being addressed in all this is that now she is playing you against your kids. Apparently, she knows that she can manipulate you this way and is plenty willing to do so. Frankly, I find that reprehensible.

And please, don't respond to me with a justification of her behavior, or a description of how your unwillingness to improve yourself caused this. Your personality traits are neither a cause nor a justification of her behavior regarding this event.

On the other hand, considering how she has pulled these stunts before, and recent past behavior is the best indicator of future behavior...if you don't take a hard stand on the issue, then the next time, it really will be your fault as much as hers.

Sorry if I sound harsh, but I just couldn't let this go by without saying something.


You're just jealous because you can't hear the voices in my head!
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Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
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.



My DH has expressed this exact same sentiment (when he is drunk). He quickly retracts it the next day as he is afraid of his taker as well.

I have not advice except to say, at this point, I would welcome his taker. I really would.

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Good point. I will have the conversation tonight.

This morning Mrs. Hold stated that I would like her to feed me popcorn during a football game. I said "too bad that renders me unattractive in your eyes." She said "well, every relationship needs one romantic partner, we balance out. It doesn't work if you are both cats." I am so closed off to her, all I could hear when she was talking was a voice screaming in my head "BS, BS, BS".


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You will continue to hear that voice as long as you don't give it a voice. A respectful and compassionate voice but one nonetheless.

I believe that a romantic person sees romance in everything, and they could make feeding you popcorn while you watched football into a romantic gesture. Romance for me is all about touching and talking and eye contact and therefore can happen anywhere/anytime.


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Rosy, good point. But remember, in my marriage I am the romantic partner. She is basically saying "if you did not pursue me romantically, there would be no romance." She is correct that I would like it if she fed me popcorn. She is in no way shape or form offering to feed me popcorn. I am the puppy, she is the cat. I am Odie. She is Garfield. She knows me. That doesn't mean she respects, admires or is attracted to me.


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OK, sorry I misunderstood your post. I was assuming she was telling you you were unromantic. Sorry.


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Garfield loves Odie

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Originally Posted By: sunnydaze53
Garfield loves Odie


Garfield tolerates Odie right up until Odie is gone; only then does Garfield realize he gives a dang.


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Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
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.



Well, I fully hope that you are aware (completely) of how your decision to 1) live in a miserable marriage, and 2) refuse to improve the situation in one way (recovery), or another (divorce) is giving your children a warped vision of marriage which will one day shape how they behave in their own relationships.

If you are lucky, they will reject your poor example, if you are unlucky, what was good enough for you is good enough for them.


"An expert is a person who has made all the mistakes that can be made in a very narrow field." - Niels Bohr

"Smart people believe weird things because they are skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for non-smart reasons." - Michael Shermer

"Fair speech may hide a foul heart." - Samwise Gamgee LOTR
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Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
every relationship needs one romantic partner, we balance out. It doesn't work if you are both cats." I am so closed off to her, all I could hear when she was talking was a voice screaming in my head "BS, BS, BS".


Well, of course your head screamed "BS"; that's exactly what her statement is. Probably without malice, but it's just not true. In fact, I submit that the exact opposite is true. I believe a relationship works best if both partners are either cats or puppies, but not one of each.

Of course, there is a matter of degree where each makes an effort to accommodate the other, but diametric opposites are just painful to each other.

...actually, that's not quite right. I think it's more accurate to say that the "cat" will find the puppy annoying or be afraid of it. The "puppy" will feel rejected and abandoned by the cat. I believe that is the more painful experience.

As another "puppy" married to a "cat" (who, ironically, loves puppies and dislikes cats), this has been my experience. I'm guessing it is yours as well?


You're just jealous because you can't hear the voices in my head!
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Rosy: No problem. Usually it is the guy who is not romantic. In many ways, Mrs. Hold and I are gender reversed. If we had been smart, I would have stayed home with the kids and she would have worked outside the home. I think we would both have been happier that way. Oh well.

HHH: yes, I understand I am setting a bad example by not "going for the gold". My kids know I am miserable. Hopefully that will motivate them to choose differently.

CTF: yes, my experience of the cat-puppy dynamic is very similar to yours.


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Originally Posted By: holdingontoit
HHH: yes, I understand I am setting a bad example by not "going for the gold". My kids know I am miserable. Hopefully that will motivate them to choose differently.


Hold, I'm having a hard time buying into the concept of that you want to stay for the children but you're not willing to do what is necessary for their long term benefit. You can hope all you want that they're reject your example in favor of... something else but in all likelihood that won't be the case. You're defining marriage for them right now and you don't seem to care enough to change the message they're receiving. Extremely selfish IMO.

This is a concept that seems to define you: you don't want to do the work to have a good marriage, you don't want to do the work to be a good father (being a good example is integral to being a good father btw), you don't want to leave because you won't be happy and you won't be able to see your kids every day.

See where I'm going here? This isn't a new revelation for you... but I don't think I've ever understood why you do what you do (or don't do). You are miserable, you believe you will always be miserable no matter what you do. If that's the case, what motivates your actions? Can it really be selfishness if you think you will be exceedingly unhappy no matter what? Why doesn't the kid's welfare motivate you in that case if all things being equal, your life sucks. What motivates you right now to get out of bed and proceed along this fixed path you have set for yourself? Call me curious, I've been reading your thread for a long time and have yet to understand WHY.

Travis


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TCCG: Never said I was staying "for the kids". Am staying for me. To be with them.

What motivates me to get up every day? Not much. Just the perverse secondary payoff I get from punishing myself this way. It feeds my martyr complex. Staying home in bed and allowing it all to come crashing down would probably be healthier. But I don't have the guts to do that.

BTW, congratulations on taking a stand and moving on. Took guts. Kudos.


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Hold, after another yet another round of the same-old, I have to think that perhaps the way to address this situation is to do a brainstorming on what WOULD make you happy, or at least very content. It doesn't even have to be realistic.

What if you won the Powerball? Would that do it?
What if Mrs Hold transformed herself into a sexy, love-making minx?
What if your son invented the next social network site and became a gazillionaire?

At this point, I'd love to hear anything at all that would get you out of the gloom and doom scenario.

I have seen homeless bums that enjoy life better than you do.

EasyE #2474273 02/09/11 02:21 PM
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Easy, I don't think there is anything that would make me happy or content. That is why I keep thinking the real answer is ECT.


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Perhaps thinking is the problem.

You seem to now be making most of your decisions in the abstract. Which is fine, but can become problematic for people who have experienced many real failures, percieved failures or tend to be perfectionists.

These people tend to develop a bias, when considering choices, towards concluding failure is the likely result and thus stop doing anything.

I guess my point was instead of trying to think of what makes you happy, start doing things and see if any of them do make you happy.


Me 43 BH
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Married 20 years, No Kids, 2 Difficult Cats
D-day July, 2005
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rprynne #2474329 02/09/11 04:01 PM
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Good point. You are correct. I expect nothing will make me happy. So far, nothing has. That does not eliminate the possibility that something might. I guess that answers tccg's question about why I even bother to get out of bed. Maybe some day something I do will open the door to joy. Right now I would bet on ECT. But perhaps something less drastic may suffice.


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Have you seen a doctor?


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One thing that strikes me is, joy and happiness are things that seem to become more fleeting as one gets older.

There's a James Caan movie where he meets up with his former high school basketball coach, who is old and grizzled, and the coach says something like, "you can't understand the tastes of an old man. No matter what you eat, nothing tastes good anymore."

I don't think any person our age (middle age plus) regularly experiences the overwhelming, exuberant joy we did in our youth (understanding that you've mentioned you didn't have it then, either.)

Maybe a more realistic goal would be to seek a state of contentment.

Also, could it be that maybe part of your resistance in getting to a better spot emotionally is an overall feeling of resentment toward the powers-that-be, toward providence, that you did not receive an exuberant, joyful youth? That perhaps you feel it was a one-shot chance that has come and gone?

If so, that is quite a load to bear. And if so, I would imagine that forgiving yourself or whomever for that may allow you to move forward in a more positive way.

None of us here who know your story can deny that you made fabulous use of your time in your youth (Harvard Law Grad!)

I would say you made some very wise choices throughout your life.
You will always have the means to write your own ticket any way you want.

But I would assess that you have a lot of forgiving to do to get rid of that chip on your shoulder.

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