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Standing up for myself?

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Lulu38 posted 3/14/2013 00:38 AM

For years before my A, I felt parentified by my H. If we had disagreements, it was just too hard emotionally to deal with the reprocussions. So I would fold, give in or just have no opinion. I am coming to accept that my built up resentment was my fault. That's been a hard pill for me to swallow. I should have always come to him shared my feelings, thoughts and stood up for myself regardless of the outcome.

Post A, I am striving to have boundaries and stand up for myself. Which is great, unless it goes against how BH thinks. If I disagree, then I'm being selfish, not helping him heal, and told that this marriage is not equal. Then again, I start feeling like a child again. I tell myself "you caused this" or something similar over and over to try to pull myself out of it. I just want to feel equal in this marriage.

How do I put this all in perspective? I know I hurt BH bad, and I want to help him, be supportive and most importantly not cause BH more pain.

Hope this makes sence. 2x 4's welcome. Maybe my head is still up my butt. IDK. I do know I have lots of work to do

Paladin posted 3/14/2013 01:03 AM

Perhaps explain it just like you did here...

Not as an excuse...or a blane shift...but a root cause...a reason...

He needs to understand that he isnt the only one who needs to heal....you do too...

BaxtersBFF posted 3/14/2013 01:55 AM

I think there are many situations where the BS should be doing the same/similar work on themselves as the WS does. A's are the choice of the WS, but the situations of life and M do not happen in a vacuum. There are two parties in a M and both need to make sure they are being true to themselves and their spouses.

Just my two cents.

authenticnow posted 3/14/2013 05:41 AM

For years before my A, I felt parentified by my H. If we had disagreements, it was just too hard emotionally to deal with the reprocussions. So I would fold, give in or just have no opinion. I am coming to accept that my built up resentment was my fault. That's been a hard pill for me to swallow. I should have always come to him shared my feelings, thoughts and stood up for myself regardless of the outcome.
Lulu, I could have written that.

I completely understand the feelings you are experiencing now.

I remember being afraid that when my BH said he wanted to R, that things would go back to the way they were pre-A, and I knew I was grateful he was willing to R, but fearful that our pre-A marital issues wouldn't be addressed. Because my thinking was, what right did I have to request any type of change from him after what I did?

I remember fearfully discussing these thoughts with him, trying so hard not to sound like I was blaming him or justifying my As.

I think you should talk to your BH when you aren't 'in a moment'. Bring up a discussion exclusively to discuss your fears. My BH was receptive to it. He understood that he had some changes of his own that he needed to work on. Discussing these things as we tweaked our marriage through the R process, became a valuable tool in the repairing of the marriage.

Our d-day was almost 6 years ago, and even now we'll tell each other if something is up. I refuse to let myself build up resentment, I WILL communicate my feelings. (I learned a lot in IC about how to do this effectively!)

Just this past weekend something came up that put me back emotionally to a place that got me to resentment early in our M. After thinking about it, I just brought it up. He explained and reassured, and it was gone.

I hope your BH is receptive to it. There is a quote I read on here once that was very powerful for me. It is, "Speak your truth, even if your voice shakes." For a WS, that doesn't only include no TT, no more lying. I think it means to be true, always, to yourself and others, no matter how scary it may be.

[This message edited by authenticnow at 5:41 AM, March 14th (Thursday)]

heforgotme posted 3/14/2013 10:18 AM

Thank you for this post. I cannot believe that this has not come up in our R process.

We were kinda like this. In the years before D-Day, I was very much the "parent" and he was very much the "child". Like one of those adult children who moves back home to live in your basement. Eats the food you cooked, plays computer games all night, and sleeps all day. Nothing much constructive done ever. So, I was thrust into the position of being his "mother". Which is certainly never what I intended or wanted when I got married.

He hated it. He would complain that I treated him like a child, but would do nothing to change the behaviors that necessitated that.

I hated it. I wanted a partner. And I needed help with running our family. But I could never convince him of the importance.

This is not who my husband really is. He was foggy way before the A started. He is not this way at all now. But he definitely was then.

So, your situation is probably completely different, but I would just say that before you decide that the problem is that your BS acts like a parent, I would make sure that you are totally acting like a "grown-up". I'm sure you are, but I thought it was worth a mention just in case.

Good luck and thanks again for the post. We will definitely be talking about this.

uncertainone posted 3/14/2013 10:54 AM

So, I was thrust into the position of being his "mother

No, you weren't. You accepted that role. I've seen so many relationships with this dynamic from both male and female.

There is buy in from both parties and something gained from it for both as well.

You claim he complained that you treated him like a child but wouldn't change the behaviors that necessitated it. His behavior didn't "necessitate" anything. You could have left, taken care of yourself and left him to his own devices.

The parent child dynamic only works when one agrees to be a child and the other a parent. Considering how children act toward their parents an affair is right up the rebel without a cause alley.

Don't own another's choices. Don't excuse your own by theirs either.

You don't like being a parent, don't be.

Lulu, part of healing is to make sure our actions and choices are healthy. I know if you don't have experience speaking up and just letting go of outcomes it can be terrifying. It gets easier.

It's very understandable for your BH to feel raw and in pain. Stating something quietly but firmly is necessary, though, and an affair is not a pass to whip out forever.

I would be consistent, honest, transparent. Answer questions without being defensive.

AN gave great advice. If you disagree with something that isn't affair related and he ties it in there is nothing wrong with acknowledging his pain and your responsibility for it as well as restating your stance then let it go.

I know it sounds counterintuitive at times but no one can walk on you without your permission. That's a simple truth. Don't give permission.

Allthatineed posted 3/14/2013 14:36 PM

If we had disagreements, it was just too hard emotionally to deal with the reprocussions. So I would fold, give in or just have no opinion. I am coming to accept that my built up resentment was my fault.

Some info on "conflict modes" might help. Thomas-Kilmann would place people into one of 5 primary conflict personality types.

Competing (assertive, uncooperative), Avoiding (unassertive, uncooperative), Accommodating (unassertive, cooperative), Collaborating (assertive, cooperative), and Compromising (intermediate assertiveness and cooperativeness).

Sounds like your mode is accomodating. That style would make you feel unsatisifed after the conflict, thus the resentment.

Me? I'm the competitive style. Lawyer my way to win the conflict. This, by the way, is a terrible conflict mode when you are the WS trying to heal things. Results in defensiveness, reframing the truth, etc.

Anyhow -- if there is a best conflict mode its collaborator. Assert your opinions, dont fold, but be cooperative. Look for win-win. My gut tells me that healthy R needs both WS and BS to try to use collaboration.

Hope this was a useful tidbit of free internet advice.

Lulu38 posted 3/14/2013 17:43 PM

Thanks all for the replies, good food for thought.

UO- you are right, it does get easier. I have been making the effort to go to him especially when I really don't want to. When I do, it feels good to at least get it out there and not feel like I'm keeping anything regardless of his reaction. It is very scary though.

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