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Aubrie posted 7/26/2013 10:13 AM

It feels like we're stalling out.

We're at a point where QS needs to work on some personal issues. Things I cannot help with. The tools are there, the help is there. But he doesn't. Finds excuses why he can't/won't. So what happens? Whatever I do is interpreted as "bad" because of how he perceives it, due to the issues. I do A, it's wrong. I do B, it's wrong. Heck, I'll change it up. Do K, still wrong.

Everything is interpreted wrong, because of the underlying issues. Then it's turned into what a f***-up Aubrie is. And yes, I am. Will not deny that. Which then leads to the huge question in my mind, if I'm really that bad, why the crap live with me and be tortured day in and day out? If I'm really that bad, maybe I should just go so you'll find some peace. Then I can't hurt you anymore. But I digress.

And then we fight. And he retreats. And I'm expected to fix it. But I can't. Not all of it. Not this time. This is his baby. I wish to God I could fix it for him so he wouldn't have to face it. But I can't. My hands are tied.

Then I'm told that maybe he should just jump off a bridge. Awesome. My ex said the exact same thing. Cool. So in both relationships, both wanted to die, both threatened suicide. Consider yourselves warned SI. Friendship with me may result in suicidal tendencies. It was incredibly hurtful. Still crying thinking about it.

I get it ok? It's a protective reaction. Lash out then retreat so he doesn't get hurt further. It's an automatic defense mechanism. Self-protection. Ingrained in him for years.

I feel I'm in a minefield. I don't know what action will cause a reaction at any given time. It's always different. Sometimes I actually get it right and things go smoothly. But the rest of the time, it's wrong and chaos ensues. I can't chart this thing out. What was an issue yesterday isn't an issue today and vice versa. I don't know what to do. If I shut up and don't say anything, then "something must be up". If I open my mouth and talk, I'm a witch.

How exactly do I do this? How exactly do I navigate this? I'm at a loss. I don't know how to help him. I've tried to do what he asked, but it changes and shifts, and I'm back to square one.

QS is an amazing man. He really is. He's not a bad guy. For the most part, we can talk, and we do quite frequently. But this underlying thing is just killing us. It flares up quite a bit and leaves a bad taste in both of our mouths. I cannot figure out how to help him thru it, how to encourage him to work on it. Or if I even should. I guess I want to know if we can truly heal if this issue isn't resolved, can we find a happy medium to coexist or not, and what it will mean if we can't.

And please, go easy on the lumber today. Cannot handle it at this point in time.

longroadhome posted 7/26/2013 10:19 AM

I'm so sorry Aubrie. It's hurts to live through and it hurts to be the catalyst for all of that pain. No real advice, just saying I get it.

tryingandfailing posted 7/26/2013 10:22 AM

No advice, just wanted to say I could have written this 100 times in the past 3 years. If being with him is what you want, it will be worth the long journey. Hang in there--you aren't alone.

badchoice posted 7/26/2013 10:24 AM

"I guess I want to know if we can truly heal if this issue isn't resolved,"

I can relate, even though our situations are different, and its hard to manage and watch someone else suffer.

I really think that both sides, BS and WS have to heal their issues for a truly open and authentic M. Is 'coexist' really the goal you are striving for?

Good luck and
Hugs to you today.

[This message edited by badchoice at 10:25 AM, July 26th (Friday)]

Aubrie posted 7/26/2013 10:27 AM

Is 'coexist' really the goal you are striving for?
No. That's what is shredding me. I've seen glimpses of something really awesome, something really special between us. That is what I want. However, co-existing is probably going to be the best either of us get if we can't reach a solution to this.

cantaccept posted 7/26/2013 10:42 AM

Hi Aubrie,

BS here. I too have issues that I have to deal with, things from my foo that are mine to resolve, no fwh.

I find myself getting angry at him because his actions brought forth the pain of these old issues. Rationally I know that he did not cause these. I know that I had them before I ever met him. I have learned that these issues of mine contributed to the problems in our marriage.

I think that having to deal with this new pain from his actions and having all of the old denied pain hit at once is just sometimes overwhelming.

It is hard to be rational. I also realize that if we are to ever recover, become the couple we wish for I must deal with these issues.

I don't know if it helps, but I just wanted you to know how confusing it gets, everything feels so tangled together. Hard to keep perspective.

Sometimes my fwh gets frustrated with me because he doesn't see the actions from me that he wants to see. He wants to see me working on me. It is hard to see that in another sometimes, for me anyway most of the action is internal and changes in my basic belief system, trying to change old thought systems, that is hard to "see" until there are results, it doesn't mean that the work is not taking place.

I don't know what the issues are that you are talking about but, is he receiving IC? Do you see changes that are, maybe slowly, but going in the right direction.

I know for me there is so much more ahead of me to deal with for me to feel better. I seem to only be able to handle a few things at a time, resolve one then move on to the next, otherwise my brain goes on overload, sometimes it does that anyway!

I don't know if this helps but I hope so.

20WrongsVs1 posted 7/26/2013 11:09 AM

I'm not wise or experienced enough to give you advice, but I'm really sorry to hear you're going through this, especially the "jump off the bridge" thing, that is heart-wrenching.

What I can say is, I've noticed on SI recently a recurring theme from BH's, which may align with what you're going through.

Here are two that spring to mind, and I hope it's appropriate for me to quote them here.


For two years OktoberMest would say "you didn't wash up your breakfast bowl" and I'd think "well fuck you, you had an affair".


I know that at around 8 months everything wrong with my life was JNRPA's fault. I could miss a traffic light, and I would find a way to blame the affair for it. I cycled into depression and basically became an angry, drunken, abusive, asshole. But that's not JNRPA's fault. I controlled my decisions to wallow, to turn to alcohol, to blame my unhappiness on her. Fuck, it is really easy to do as a BS.

I'm not healing...JNRPA's fault. I'm miserable at 8 month's out...JNRPA's fault. I'm short with the kids...Goddamnit JNRPA, I can't believe you did this to me and made me into such an asshole.

Fucking JNRPA ruined my life. And I can't fix it because JNRPA broke me. Oh well. I'll just keep being a miserable asshole until JNRPA fixes me. mean she can't fix me? Well damnit JNRPA...that's your fault too.

What I'm hearing both of them say, is that it took awhile to have that "lightbulb" moment where they decided to heal themselves and stop blaming everything on their WW's As. Aubrie, you say:

We're at a point where QS needs to work on some personal issues.

Does QS agree? Maybe, gently, he's just not at that point yet. Everyone's timeline is different.

SuperDuperWonderboy posted 7/26/2013 11:16 AM

What I'm hearing both of them say, is that it took awhile to have that "lightbulb" moment where they decided to heal themselves and stop blaming everything on their WW's As

That is true in my case. Although whether it was a light switch or a slow debatable.

IC helped me a lot with these issues.

(And yes I also said things about killing myself--although those things were designed just to hurt JNRPA, I wasn't really truly considering it)

Stay strong Aub.

BaxtersBFF posted 7/26/2013 11:23 AM

Does QS recognize that there are any underlying issues that he is needing to deal with?

From this guy's perspective, the underlying issues are something that we've spent a lifetime not dealing with. Our whole life has been normal, and in this case normal involved becoming someone who is productive, a good person, smart, responsible, add any good quality there has never been any indication that there was ever anything that needed to be worked on. This is especially true if there was no trauma growing up. Did I get spanked by mom and dad? Sure. Did they drink sometimes? Sure. Was there ever anything that made me feel unsafe? No. Always had food on the table. Never wondered where my parents were or when they would be home. Never got locked in a closet. Never was told I was stupid. Just a normal kid.

Then the A happened. Then I was stuck trying to figure out how the hell I got myself into that situation. It must have been someone else's fault. Couldn't have been me. I was normal.

Well, this is a pretty normal experience for many WS's here. What about someone who isn't a WS? I can guarantee that this same thing happens to way more people than just WS’s. As it happens though, QS is a BS. So now there’s a whole other level of difficulty added to the situation. That is our responsibility. But that doesn’t change the fact that there is this “stuff” that QS needs to deal with. My BW had the same thing going on.

I’m not advocating this route, but here’s what happened for us. The EA was going, I was offered a chance to move us to another state for work, the EA started fizzling, BW didn’t really know what was going on when we committed to the move, but she was willing to do anything at that point, we moved, and spent almost two years in limbo with me having my head stuck up my ass, meanwhile I used any argument I could to get BW to take some responsibility for the whole mess, and during that time she started looking into some of her FOO issues. Eventually, when I started pulling my head out, she was at a point where she could talk about the FOO stuff, and then I had to address my own FOO stuff. It was a pretty shitty process to put gerrygirl through, but that what happened in a nut shell.

So, I think you need to stand your ground on some of this. You can only take responsibility for so much of this at this point. He will have to address this fear which prevents him from dealing with his issues. It’s going to be scary as hell, but that is the only way for things to work out in the long run.

Just my opinion…

Aubrie posted 7/26/2013 12:26 PM

Does QS recognize that there are any underlying issues that he is needing to deal with?
Absolutely he recognizes it. Acknowledges he needs help, possible IC, that he needs to read the books. But he doesn't. Maybe fear? Anger because if it wasn't for me, he wouldn't have to deal with it in the first place? I don't know. We're stuck in this loop. No matter what which way I/we go, it inevitably comes back to the "issue".

Independence is seen as bad. Relying on him is seen as bad. Relying on him, waiting, then doing it on my own to spare him the aggravation is seen as bad. It depends on the day, the mood, the trigger.

Everyone's timeline is different.
I do understand this very much. QS is a veeeery slow burn. Takes him weeks and months to come around. Crap, it took him 20 months to finally call me a bitch. So yes, I'm very well aware that he may/may not work on this issue and if he does, it could be another 2 years. I get the whole "let go of the outcome". Which is why I'm saying, what in the world am I supposed to do to keep the peace around here in the meanwhile? How do I navigate this?

He has an escape. Which has always been a source of contention for us. He feels things, it's bubbling underneath, and he goes to his escape so he doesn't have to deal with it. He sees his escape as necessary. I see his escape as helpful in moderation, BUT also destructive. We've been working on that happy medium but it usually ends up with him going to his escape anyway. And the crap sprinkles on top are that his escape was part of my reasoning and excuse to have an A.

(And yes I also said things about killing myself--although those things were designed just to hurt JNRPA, I wasn't really truly considering it)
Mission accomplished. I feel like roadkill.

To further muddy these treacherous waters, a trusted friend just asked the question, "Does this have to do with the blowout with your family?" He wants to support me, help me thru, try to cut the cord, but his own feelings of anger filter in too. He's stuck and feels his hands are tied because they are my family. Anger and resentment build. He wouldn't have to deal with these crazy people if it wasn't for me. So therefore, I'm the problem.

If that is the case, then I will have to start dealing with my family and the fallout on my own. Which I am conflicted with. Because he wants me to be open and honest. But if being open and honest about my family causes this? *sigh* I don't even know. But then, if I don't tell him, isn't that the opposite of transparency?

I dunno guys and gals. You've given me some stuff to think about. Thanks for that.

MissesJai posted 7/26/2013 12:49 PM

Oh boy. QS sounds alot like INAB. I remember this all too well - it went on for at least a year. I allowed it to go on because a)I hadn't yet found my voice with him, b)I was reminded by my SI family that I cannot control his healing, and c)I was also reminded that I needed to focus on me. So, I let it go all the while I could feel the resentment building up inside of me. I knew that eventually, I was going to blow. And I did. And it was pretty epic and it worked. Not saying this should be your modus operandi. In fact, I advise against it. It was so unhealthy. I haven't done that since. Now, I just spit it out. If there's an issue, my hope is that we will deal with it right then & there. THAT is healthy.

Aubrie, you guys are far enough out from d-day that it's time to shift focus. If QS knows he needs to start doing the work, then really, you just have to communicate to him how important it is to you, to your M, to your family, that he do the work. You can't control his reactions. His reactions aren't about you. They are about him. You deserve a voice that isn't stifled.

He wouldn't have to deal with these crazy people if it wasn't for me. So therefore, I'm the problem.
Meh, not really. Naturally, he's tied to them because of you BUT, there's nothing other than his own obligations that force him to continue to engage with them. He can detach even if you don't. I'm sure he sees what he's doing as being supportive but at what cost? Is it your fault that your family is all kinds of crazies? No. Not your fault. Not your problem. That's out of your control.

Kelany posted 7/26/2013 13:00 PM

Another BS.

We've stalled out a couple times. Partly due to false R, multiple DDay's and him needing to dig deep into his shit.

Part of it, due to ME needing to dig into my own shit.

I recognized I needed to dig deeper. Hell I was in IC before his A's ever came out. I love IC. However, I think it was fear and the fact that I was spiraling SO FAR out of control I just didn't know where to begin to stop that spiral.

So back in April, after dealing with two major death's (my bio father who was a pedophile and my grandmother who helped raise me) and having to deal with that trauma loss, in addition to only being 6-8 months from DDay#2, recovering from my FWH's job loss, his A's, his SA, etc. I just freaking LOST it. I honestly think I was *this* close to needing to be admitted.

I went to IC one day and just had the verbal vomit. She then basically gave me a step by step plan, which at that moment, I needed desperately because *I* could not figure out what I needed to do myself.

She suggested I change med from Zoloft to Lexapro (huge change for me, positive). Then, she told me I needed to set ONE goal for myself each day, and follow through. It could be as simple as making dinner. Just one damn goal and do it. It gave me a sense of accomplishment. Instead of laying in bed each day focusing on my misery. She then gently told me, I needed a hobby. I needed to change my focus. Because, I'd lost myself these past two years. I'd been a shell of who I had been before the A's.

So, I left feeling like, okay...I have a game plan. I have these steps to follow. Awesome.

First up, I made dinner that night. First goal. Each day I wrote out a goal and I kept it. One day was taking the kids to the library. One day was just going to the doctors. Hell, that was an accomplishment at that time.

I did discuss my med change with my dr. I wrote out my concerns so I wouldn't have too much anxiety when I got there.

Then, I started getting my hobby's back. At first? It was reading a book that had NOTHING to do with infidelity. Just something for ME. Then I started getting back into more activities that I hadn't done in two years. God it felt great.

But, the thing was...I couldn't have done it on my own at that time, because I was floundering so bad. I needed someone to guide me. I just needed a direction and once I had that, I was golden.

I still have my moments, I did this week because it's anti-versary time. But I'm much much better than I was. I told my FWS what the plan was and that I needed him to support me and he did. He was actually glad to have some direction too for me and would ask me how my goals were going.

Not sure if that will work for your BH, but it really helped for me. IC has been my life saver. When I'm just helps me find focus again.

Kelany posted 7/26/2013 13:03 PM

FWIW, I told my husband once too that I had a whole bottle of ambian and I could take it and never wake up again, that it would be so easy, and that the only reason I didn't was our kids.

Did I really want to kill myself? No. But, at that moment, I just wanted to be out of pain. I hurt so badly. I needed to voice that pain. That's all.
I haven't said it since, but, I have told him I wish the pain would stop. I don't mean suicide, just that I wish it would stop.

It's not about him, it's about me and my pain. That's all.

numb&dumb posted 7/26/2013 14:01 PM

Obviously I don't know him well enough to know if this applies, but maybe somethings for you guys to ponder a bit.

My entire life I was raised by male role models that taught me that there are three ways to deal: a. Get angry, b. walk away, c. Drink. (some would call it self medicating).

I was taught that when disagreements happen, you either argue (verbally) or you flee. Fleeing is to protect others and yourself. If you are unable to "forget" about it, then alcohol helps. You know because men are supposed to just let things go or at least "pretend," that we do. Taking this a little further, these responses are intended to show an Alpha Male, in control kind of quality. Vulnerability or talking about your feelings results in you being lambasted or worse yet appearing as "less" of a man. In other words they are "strong" responses. Some men showing emotions equates to weakness and that isn't ever a positive thing. If they know your weakness they know just how to get to you. You are better off if you haven't given anyone a road map on how to hurt you.

These coping mechanisms are useful in some areas in life (sports, business, politics, etc.) When dealing with loving relationships this approach falls apart. How do you be in a relationship without being vulnerable ? You don't. At least not a healthy one.

The thing I learned was that fear drove most of this. Many different flavors. Anger while perceived to be a "strong" emotion is secondary to what lies beneath. As much is talked about WS needing to dig to find answers, BS sometimes have to do some digging too. Underneath the rough exterior there lies the the little scared boy. As long the rough exterior holds the scared little boy is protected by the shield of anger.

The A happened and it was something I never want to experience again. So the important leap that led to ultimately feeling better was that I have to learn to play the cards I was dealt. There is no discard in this game. I have live my life not as I think it should be, but how it actually is.

What helped me some (IC gets most of credit here) was that my W allowed me to work through that anger and gave me a safe place to do it. Once I could trust the safety I loosened my control a little and be a little vulnerable. She made it a big point to tell me that she loved me, was not going to run away (again) and whatever I had to say she wanted to hear. I did not have to hide my fear from her. If she had a role in creating/adding to those fears she wanted to do her best to satisfy them. In others words it was form of "amends." I know that word isn't very popular, but it was important to me. It was given because it put my feelings above any discomfort she may experience. I think that part helped her as much, if not more, than me.

Yes I made the progress, but she had to assure me it was safe to talk to her about it. I know it sounds like I have over simplified and this is not an overnight thing. My W showed tremendous patience and humility. I know I don't always give her credit for this either. A lot of this progression was internal with no outwardly indications.
I was able to take a little risk and demonstrate a new kind of strength and courage I did not understand before. You know, growth.

YMMV. Sorry for the length. Just one of many aspects to explore. From what I have read from your posts your are very in tune with your emotions. Maybe QS isn't there yet.

DixieD posted 7/26/2013 14:16 PM

Well said, N&D. Emotions aren't a sign of weakness

At the risk of outting myself as the one who asked the family question...

Aside from not wanting to deal with PITA IL's, what I was wondering was -- if a BH who has buried his feelings for years and post dday now has feelings coming on that are negative and hard to deal with, and if you couple that with a wife who gets extremely upset by interactions with her family and is deeply affected by those interactions for days afterwards -- could it be that his own new emotions which he's trying to deal with, cannot handle her added emotions regarding her family interactions on top of it all? It's just too emotionally overwhelming for him, so then he lashes out. I know when emotions overwhelm me, I lash out. It took me a while to see what was happening. And it wasn't always A related triggers that set me off. Sometimes just a build up of emotions that I was not used to and had nowhere to go but out.

Aubrie, if you don't detach from her family and the spirals continue to happen on your part, if he then doesn't help you through these times he will seem uncaring. Is it a case of one and then the other not being able to handle their emotions and pulling the other one into a vortex? You both want to help the other so badly, but are pulling each other down in the process? And to deal with these overwhelming feelings he uses his go-to coping mechanism which makes you she feel even more alienation because of that.....around and around it goes.

I think you know I'm not putting blame on either of you here. Just wondering about the possible dynamic at play in these particular instances. Him lashing out and his go-to coping mechanism that he needs to work on are related but two separate things, if that makes sense.

Which I am conflicted with. Because he wants me to be open and honest. But if being open and honest about my family causes this? *sigh* I don't even know. But then, if I don't tell him, isn't that the opposite of transparency?

There is a difference between being open and honest and spiraling into a melt down and needing to lean on him for support. I think (correct me if I'm wrong), he's always shown that he's been your rock in the past, but perhaps things are different now. Maybe he only appears to be a rock but the weight of everything is finally taking it's toll. I'm sure he does want to help. He might not even realize that this overwhelms him. And of course it may not - I'm only speculating. Only he will know the answer to that.

Keep talking. Acknowledge to each other you are both floundering.

QS - if you are out there reading this. We want you both to succeed.

BostonGirl posted 7/26/2013 14:22 PM

What is his escape? You're being mighty coy about that. Drinking, getting high, porn, building model airplanes? These are not all equivalent and some of them can be serious impediments to dealing with one's shit.

landabear posted 7/26/2013 14:47 PM

Hold the phone!

I know I've posted a couple of times on your threads about your family, and so this comes from a place of growing up basically being taught to be co-dependent.


Which is why I'm saying, what in the world am I supposed to do to keep the peace around here in the meanwhile? How do I navigate this?

Nooooooo. Nope. Uh-uh. If it's his issue, HE works through it.

Yes, I know you are a couple. You want to help. But you can't. HE has to do this.

So what does that look like in real life? You change how you react. It's one of those days, and he says you did A and it was wrong, instead of saying you are sorry, or asking what you should do instead, whatever - walk away.

It sounds like this is the pattern:
1) He has bad day.
2) He says you are doing X wrong, whatever X is.
3) Y'all fight about it.
4) He lashes out and retreats.

You are 50% of this pattern. You can't change what he does, but you can change what YOU do. So skip step #3 - just literally walk away.

Heck even have a discussion with him today, or whenever things are good, to tell him that you know he is working on this, and so you will be giving him the space to do so. THEN skip #3 from that point on.

At least it won't be a surprise that way.

LosferWords posted 7/26/2013 15:15 PM

Aubrie, you are getting a lot of good advice on this thread. The one thing I wanted to address was this:

Friendship with me may result in suicidal tendencies.

Please don't go there. I have been there myself, and have spent months in therapy discussing my friend's suicide, and how I blamed myself. As waywards, we have to take ownership of a LOT of things, but this is something you simply cannot take ownership of.

You and QS are definitely one of those couples that I have been rooting for from the get go.

Hang in...

ETA: minor typo

[This message edited by LosferWords at 3:15 PM, July 26th (Friday)]

Aubrie posted 7/26/2013 15:26 PM

What is his escape? You're being mighty coy about that.
I'm not being coy at all. I simply chose not to disclose it. Does his escape matter? If you choose to do something that takes you away from your family for days and weeks at a time, whether it's porn, drugs, alcohol, lawn mowing, or doll painting, it's a problem. He knows it's a problem. We've discussed it. It's breaking that pattern of freak-out, run, and escape that is darn near unbreakable. Why? Cause he's done it for so many years.

LosferWords, I know. It was hurting sarcasm talking. I'm fully aware that someone taking their own life is nothing I can control. I think wonderboy was right. QS said it to hurt me. He was afraid himself and saying something like that would jar me, and push me away. It worked.

As for the rest, I'm thinking y'all. It's a buttload of reading and a lot to think about. Thanks everyone for the insight. Truly helpful.

LosferWords posted 7/26/2013 15:30 PM

It was hurting sarcasm talking.

Cool. Just making sure, cause you never know.

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