For me, especially as a woman who has always had a giver/ nurturer role in the relationship, it seems nearly impossible to reverse this pattern.
Can you share with me how you have been successful in doing this?
laughably simplistic or completely unrealistic
Sometimes the simpler things are the more effective ones. And Simple does not imply Easy.
I think it's about communication and being vulnerable (2 things I suck at)
As our communication has opened up, and I've (very) slowly allowed myself to be a little vulnerable my fear of conflict has lessened.
I may sound like I'm down playing our progress, but I am realistic. This is a long process.
Conflict scares the hell out of me, but I'm slowly learning how to face that fear.
It's gone past just our relationship.
I had a situation with my Sister and it really showed me how much I want to avoid conflict.
Honestly, it's taken a lot of work. And by no means have I arrived anywhere. I just scares me a little less.
We read a book called "The Marriage You've Always Dreamed Of" By Dr Greg Smalley
It dealt a lot with communication and really helped us.
"Your secrets keep you sick"
Example, maybe TMI: BH, for our entire marriage has preferred oral over actual sex. I have told him on multiple occasions that this makes me feel like he is using me as a release rather than sex being something affectionate. When he asked on Sunday I told him I'd really rather have actual sex. He asked again and I said no. He asked a third time and I said I resented his persistence. He asked a fourth time and I caved because I knew I'd get the cold shoulder for a week.
Communicating a feeling and firmly asserting yourself ( the laughable advice) doesn't work if the other person isn't receptive.
I know he is a BH, but what he is doing, and perhaps the "why" underneath his insistence, sounds a bit uncomfortable for me to hear. In terms of assertiveness, you CAN be assertive. If he pulls that, and doesn't respect your concerns and how you have clearly stated it makes you feel, then pick up your toys and go pull weeds in the garden for an hour or two. Maybe he'll come around...
Just my .02. YMMV. IMHO...
This is our pattern: He goes out on a Friday night with friends. I stay home. I feel resentful of his child free time. Normally I grin and bear it over and over again and then I blow up at him. But if I ask for my own time, he blows smoke up my ass and says yes but doesn't follow through or else flat out says no. This applies to just about every aspect of marriage from finances to sex to holidays.
I know that this cycle of me giving in/ never being on the receiving end makes me resentful and makes me emotionally unattached. And it's is in a big part my fault for enabling him in order to avoid a bad mood or argument. But it's like giving a kid a cookie in the grocery store so they stop whining. What kid is going to willingly and happily give up the cookie?
As a WS, this is especially hard since we fear angering our BS.
Very true but you will never know if they will eventually become receptive unless you persevere in your attempts to avoid conflict.
What defines us is how well we rise after falling.
Despite being a BS, he has what sounds like alot of his own shit to deal with...namely why he feels the need to undermine you and your marriage as you do the work toward repairing the damage you caused. I know I've never walked a mile in his shoes (well, not exactly, but...a long, long time ago...), but if he's using this OPPORTUNITY you both have to perpetuate negatives and do so while sitting on a high horse that seems patently unfair, and violating the spirit of joint healing.
Yup, I'm sitting on the outside looking in, and probably have made some erroneous assumptions and incorrect observations, but on this one point, I take issue with what he appears to be doing.
I will say one thing, on the TMI sub-topic, is that there is definitely more than one type of scrumptious cookie. Your BS might want to figure that one out! Sheesh, us guys sometimes...lol...
1. Self respect - if I am respecting my boundaries and my feelings I will give voice to those things that bother me or hit my boundaries.
2. Mindfulness - understanding our role and its impact on those around us and being mindful of the impact others have on us.
A great book I read for CA was "When anger scares you" by John Lynch. Great book for people with our condition!
Despite the fact that i am an ass hole, horrible father, and horrible husband; i LOVE and