For example, we're supposed to plan date nights. This has mostly translated into me planning date nights. So recently, a friend of his bought him a ticket to the Dead Milkmen show next week. His big idea for date night is hey, I'll spring for you to go too. Gee, thanks. You, me, and two people I don't know seeing a band whose music I don't know outside of two songs. Not exactly my dream date.
Of course I can't tell him this. And I'm sure MC will say it's his attempt to share something of himself with me, blah blah blah. But here's the deal--I feel like the last almost 3 years have been about him. Him and the A, him and his drinking (which was during our marriage as well), him him HIM. I'm ready for a little attention to US. I'm tired of settling for half assed because its makes him feel good. When do I get to feel good? I tell him very honestly what I need emotionally, financially, etc from him, and yet he still puts more effort into "performing" than finding real work. He takes odd jobs that keep him in pocket money, but contributes nothing to the household bottom line. He justifies it by saying " we'll at least I'm not taking away from the family by needing money from you." Well good! So he gets to work just enough to buy beer and cigarettes, while I pay all household expenses. Must be nice.
The sad part is, it's not malicious. I think he's NPD in the extreme, and truly has no idea how lame his so called effort really is. Sometimes I think, maybe my expectations are too high? But I hear other married me talk about their wives and families, and it seems like they all understand their role in taking care of their families. They may grumble about money or whatever, but I don't see any other men expecting their wives to be okay with what XH expects praise for doing.
I'm venting because I'm frustrated. I sincerely believe he wants to do the right thing, but his thought processes are just so messed up. I try REALLY hard to be supportive and celebrate the small wins, but after an A, OC, alcoholism, and all points in between, when is it my turn?? Just seems like the BS's end up doing most of the heavy lifting
This too shall pass
I edit a lot because that stupid box is so small!
I'm emotionally exhausted after a year of false R and the idea of going back and doing it again is... daunting. But I'm NOT going to "do it again" I'm going to do it better this time and that means no more stuffing down feelings of "well, I guess he's trying... sorta?" because that ended up being toxic for us. He got away with doing less and less "work" and I let the bar slip lower and lower and lower...
But I'm obviously projecting, lol. Yes, R is exhausting. Absolutely.
A year of false R. I grew and worked, he didn't. He took off his wedding ring during an alcoholic relapse, I packed and left the next day. I went back 8 weeks later, working hard
The challenge is that there's SO MUCH he needs me to accept--as if the A and OC aren't enough. His "artistic" endeavors are very important to him, but huge triggers for me. The performance community he's in is almost all women; scantily clad women (burlesque dancers). It is a misery for me when he does these shows. That entire part of his life is a new manifestation taken on during our separation, which he loves and makes me awash with worry. He keeps in full contact, sends photos, and I pick him up, but ugh. I just hate it. It represents the last two miserable years, and I want nothing to do with it. He'd like me to be a part of it. A problem.
So again, WHEN does HE ave to accept some of my terms?? You can't swing a grumpy cat around here without hitting something *I* have to accept. When's it his turn?
Have you considered setting up some behavioral requirements for R? IMO, they need to include: 1) set up dates; 2) no drinking; 3) IC to change his whole life.
Maybe I'd add: 4) finding a job that allows him to contribute to family expenses; 5) joining a different performing community.
He doesn't need any empathy to do these things, and they're observable, so you know when he's meeting requirements and when he's not. And if your MC says you're being too hard on the poor boy, leave - maybe get a new MC, but maybe tell him to find a new MC while you go find a lawyer.... (This MC sounds worse than useless - it sounds like s/he's actually enabling your H's childlike behavior.
Also, how do you know he's not cheating?
This stops when you make it stop. Yes, it risks your M, but you don't sound very happy in your M anyway.
I, also, was the one that did most of the 'heavy lifting' when it came to my M and the R after the A. It wasn't until I realized how freaking exhausted I was and how it was affecting my DD that I finally sat my WH down and told him point blank that I was done with it. I told him that if he wanted our M to work as much as he said he did then he needed to show me. I told him that I would no longer be the one making appointments for MC, no longer setting up date nights and babysitters, etc... The important thing was that I followed through. I stopped doing all of it.
Actions not words.
I'm not as exhausted and our M is better for it. I agree with everyone else that you need to sit his a@@ down and tell him that you will no longer be the one doing all of the lifting. Then you need to step back and see if he gets it or not.
BS do most of the heavy lifting, until they decide they don't want to do it any more.
Absolutely. It wasn't until I gave up on the M that WH started stepping up. We still have LOTS of steps backwards, but also forward.
I was an emotional basketcase in the beginning and I naively believed what my WH said after DDay1,2,3,4. Now I just don't trust him at all and he knows this.
My WH has a lot of NPD tendencies and is personality disordered. When he is possessing those traits or being selfish I do call him out on it.
Passive aggressiveness isn't flying anymore and neither is the conflict avoidance. WH doesn't get to avoid things anymore or I'll call him out on that too.
I'm feeling angry a lot lately. XWH is making most of the right efforts, but lately I feel like the effort is 1) not enough, 2) not quick enough, and 3) on his terms, not mine.
My WH is trying. BUT - there is always that but it seems :-( I am working wicked hard on trying to let go and make him steer the R ship. I can't do it anymore. I did it the first 6 months while he was still lying to me. It's his turn to step up to the plate or bow out. It's really hard to get to the point of being willing to lose my M if he doesn't do what I need. Not an easy process but slowly I am finding me along the way.