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Am I expecting too much? WS input appreciated

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cantaccept posted 6/14/2013 07:44 AM

Positive things he is doing,

Sober for 2 weeks, this is huge
Reading a few times a week with me
Accountable, transparent, NC
Willing to discuss a
Tells me he loves me
IC for 16 weeks

Things that make me nervous

Does not like me to read, calls it obsessive
Tells me I am not getting better but getting worse
Told me I am stuck in my own head, woe is me attitude

Things I asked for

For him to take a proactive approach to learn what will help me.

For him to read on his own without my prompting. (Read How to Heal Your Spouse Together) He took 3 months to read half and I couldn't take it anymore.

For him to actively do things to make me feel cared for. More of an effort in household chores, cooking on days that I work.

More direct, specific apologies.

Tell me why he loves me now.

A love letter, a playlist of songs that I can feel are mine.

I want to feel special again, it's been a long time since I have felt that.

Am I asking too much? Being realistic. I appreciate the efforts he is making and tell him. There just seems to be so much hurt I feel like a self absorbed bottomless pit.

BaxtersBFF posted 6/14/2013 08:01 AM

Does he mean that your reading on SI is obsessive? Or just reading in general?

The sobriety is probably one of the biggest positive things he's done, and that really is something to be proud of. The rest of the things you list is also good.

The three things that make you nervous are troubling. They are not supportive words, and imply that he thinks you should get over it and that he just wants to forget all about it. Not good. Have you had the conversation with him that if he did these last few things that you probably wouldn't be feeling nervous about them? It's his actions that you have to go on here, and if you are still having issues, that would indicate that he isn't doing what he needs to do you to allow you to feel safe.

TrustGone posted 6/14/2013 08:06 AM

Only you can say what is enough to help you heal. It sounds like your WH still needs to work on some things in order to show you he is willing to R.. I know personally that my WH#2 is not doing what I need him to do even though he has done a few things to appease me, he needs to do so much more to help me heal from his LTA. If he doesn't do the things I need him to do then I do not consider us in R.

cantaccept posted 6/14/2013 08:29 AM


He feels that all of my reading is over the top. I read everyday, on SI and other books on infidelity, forgiveness, whatever I can get my hands on.

He feels the reading is not helping me and making me worse. I have tried to explain that I don't absorb everything the first time. Also, I am looking for relief, I think if he were reading I wouldn't feel such a need to. Don't know if that makes any sense.

This morning he asked me what I needed to feel better and I told him to see him actively seeking information as to how to help me would mean a lot to me. He became defensive and said that all the answers are between us and talking to each other is the answer.

Our relationship has been abusive and I have never even thought of what I needed before. This is new to me and I now realize so necessary.

It is hard to know or to feel what is asking too much. Asking feels so selfish and being turned down feels like rejection.

The reading together is helpful but I feel that he should take more action. Thinking "if you love me you will do whatever it takes to help me heal, prove that you choose to be with me.

He left me for her, I want to know, feel that I am his choice, that I am valuable to him.

How do you show that? I don't know if it is even possible.

Even now when I ask him, "why were you so mean to me?" he says that is just how he was. Then turns it on me, you allowed it. Yes, I allowed it. But if you love someone don't you want to be nice to them? I chose not to leave, hoping, foolishly to have back the man I fell in love with, very disfunctional. I withdrew emotionally, self protection, that is his reason for a, he was lonely.

Sorry so long and confusing, so much to sort through, it seems one thought leads to another.

Missymomma posted 6/14/2013 08:52 AM

What are you doing to address your codependency? You did and do allow him to treat you badly. He does not get to decide what you need or how you should feel.

As you begin to change, he will give you a lot of flack. That is kind of normal when a codependent no longer allows their spouse to control them. It is threatening to an addict when the spouse start to redefine themselves. It seems reading and learning are exactly what you need to be doing. Your WH is absolutely wrong about being able to fix everything between yourselves. If that were true, there would have been no problems to begin with. It sounds like your WH is losing "control" of you and is pushing back.

Are you going to Al-Anon or CODA? What about your own IC? Really becoming strong in our own recovery as codependents is the best thing we can do when married to an addict.

cantaccept posted 6/14/2013 10:45 AM

I am in IC, working on foo issues, there are many. Trying so hard to not just know that I am worthy but to feel it. Does that make sense? It is easy to intellectually understand something but to apply it in the moment, to have it become a part of you is a struggle, especially when you feel threatened.

I see in my life I have never considered my needs, what makes me happy. My expectations were way too low. Everytime there was abuse I blamed myself, what was I doing to cause it. It gave me a false sense of control.

Be really good, be very kind, be careful what you say and how you say it, never hurt anyone else. Not such an awful thing unless you take it to such an extreme that you don't protect yourself and forgive too easily with no remorse and no change.

I have been reading about the cycle of emotional abuse, it seems to fit.

I was raised in an abusive home and this was "normal". As long as you weren't being physically assaulted the rest meant nothing. Not a good lesson to carry through your life. Instead of fighting back, protecting myself, I learned to be whatever would please others, make them love me.

You have to love and protect yourself first. If you don't no one else will and you are asking to be abused.

You can only be abused if you allow it.

My challenge, recognizing it. Sometimes I am not sure if it is abuse or I am being too sensitive.

Reading, IC, posting here.

I am not sure what else I can do as I attempt to learn this.

doesitgetbetter posted 6/14/2013 11:08 AM

I wanted all of those things and more in the early days as well. It took me a loooong time to realize that my H just wasn't the guy to write poems and love letters, and I was asking him to be and do something that he's not. I was setting him up for failure by trying to get him to fulfill my "fantasy husband" role.

I'm not saying it's wrong to want those things and to ask for them, not at all. What I am saying is you should ask yourself if he's ever done those things for you before. If he hasn't, then he's likely just not the guy that writes love letters and does things on his own. If he has, then there's no reason to not expect it again.

And honey, for a man who left you 2 months after you got married, he's not making near enough of an effort to win you back. You should still be planted firmly in the honeymoon, not dealing with the garbage and turmoil that comes from infidelity. They say it takes 2 to 5 years to heal from infidelity, and they are not exaggerating! He's got a loooong road ahead of him, and he better sit right in the saddle or he'll fall right off that horse.

ETA: Your feeling of worth isn't something that someone else can bestow upon you, it's something you have to have from within. Having your worth validated by an outside party is what helps many WS's become WS's to begin with. Your WS can't fix your self esteem, you have to work on that from within. He can certainly give you compliments and love you and show you he loves you, but no matter how much he showers you, you won't feel more valuable unless you believe it in yourself. I know from experience.

[This message edited by doesitgetbetter at 11:10 AM, June 14th (Friday)]

cantaccept posted 6/14/2013 12:13 PM

We actually have been married for 10 years not 2 months!

I am not looking for validation from anyone but my h.

He left me for her, treated me horribly, said hurtful things.

Now that he is back, I guess I am looking for reassurance about why. Why are you back? What do you see in me now that you didn't then? What do you see good in me?

I feel as if he stomped on me and needs to help rebuild me.
Isn't it natural to want your husband to show you that he values you? To do things for you just because it makes you happy? Especially after all this.

I know that my sense of worth is dependent on me. Learning to see and appreciate the good in me. It is going to take time.

I have changed so much because of this. Hopefully for the better in the long run. The one thing that I hate in myself now is how insecure I feel about my looks. Never really an issue for me before. Before I used to tell myself, I am not perfect but I am ok. My h is happy with me so that is what matters. I took more pride in what I could do rather than how I looked.

Now I look so critically at myself, fuss too much about hair makeup. Not who I used to be.

Lots of work to do.

doesitgetbetter posted 6/14/2013 14:18 PM

I apologize for getting the dates mixed up, there are a lot of them on your tag line.

Listen, I never said there was anything wrong with wanting your WS to make you feel wanted or loved or whatever. In fact, I said I felt that way as well. What I said was, if it's not in their character to do the things your asking (like flowers, notes, cards, poems, etc.) then it's probably not going to be in their character even after DDay to try to win us back.

I set those expectations on my H. While he was able to do a few of those romantic things, he was only able to do some of them, and only for a short period of time. I had to come to terms with the fact that what I was asking him to do what not part of who he was. If a person isn't romantic, it's incredibly difficult for them to TRY to be. If a person isn't complimentary, it's incredibly difficult for them to TRY to be. So if he's never been the kind to shower you with compliments and flowers before, it's not very likely that he'll suddenly turn into that person now because he's in the major dog house.

And I never intimated that you were trying to look for validation from anyone other than your WH. What I did say was that we need to find that validation within ourselves. Looking for it from ANYONE other than ourselves won't help fill that void that we have at all. How many times has a WS told their BS after DDay "you are so sexy", and the BS just rolls their eyes and says to themselves "then why'd you cheat?" It happens all the time! We know we can't believe what comes out of their mouth anyway, and if we don't feel sexy, we're certainly not going to believe it when they say it. We have to feel that within ourselves, we have to feel good about ourselves, it doesn't matter if WS builds us up or not, because there is nothing that the WS can say that will make us feel good about ourselves ever again.

Yes, he can tell you why he loves you. Yes, he can tell you why he wants to stay. Yes, he can read and find out what he can do to help you through this (although, you won't need everything that the books talk about, so this approach won't be very personalized and might not be what you need at all.... communication with him directly would probably serve you better). But the thing that helped me with my self esteem after years of therapy was letting go of expecting my H to heal ME. I had to heal myself, I had to work on my own self esteem, I had to feel beautiful again independent of my H. I don't seek validation from anyone else, OR from my H, I just seek it from myself. Once you get to that point, then the WH's doesn't really matter anymore. When one DOES get a compliment, then it's just the icing on the cake, not the entire meal.

He can't fix you, he can certainly help fix the marriage, but the BS needs to work on themselves. The WS needs to work on themselves. And both need to work on the M. It sucks, but it's how it is.

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