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Settling, accepting or just being overly critical of WH?

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Alexisk17 posted 7/31/2013 14:20 PM

When WH and I decided to R I knew there had to be major changes to our relationship. I had a new set of dealbreakers and refused to settle for a lot of stuff that I had previously been okay with. Separation had opened my eyes to what I really needed in a partner and now i have the attitude that WH can either step up or get out. Our MC has been working with us to help set those boundaries so that we are both happy with them and therefore more likely to make these changes stick.

The biggest issue for me was that I was tired of carrying the majority of our family's responsibility. I want an equal partner.

WH has been pretty good about following through with most of my requests, it makes me hopeful that change is possible but there are several areas that I just can't get him to follow through in.

I know I can't control his behaviour so part of my just wants to pick up the slack to keep the peace. The other part of me says "screw it, he is an adult and can do these things for himself!!".

An example would be that he forgot to hand in paperwork at work and now is inneligiable for health insurance. While not the end of the world (we live in Canada) I feel like his irresonsible behaviour puts our family at risk.

Enough rambling. What I'm trying to sort out is: by letting this slide am I settling for less than I deserve? Or am I just accepting that we all have character flaws and his lack of responsibility (or poor memory, depending on which of us you ask) is his? Am I just bring overly critical of everything he does right now because of the A and the anger/ resentment that lingers? These are all questions I will bring up in IC and MC, I'm just looking for some advice/experience from those that have btdt. Thanks!

sisoon posted 7/31/2013 14:26 PM

Not enrolling in health insurance and falling down in other areas with 'forgetting' could be due to a lot of things, one of which is AD(H)D. If he hasn't been checked for this, he probably ought to get it done.

authenticnow posted 7/31/2013 14:26 PM

After R, my BH and I realized that we each have our strengths and non-strengths and in our new 'team' mindset we figured that we should pick up the slack for each other where the other is lacking.

My H hates to make phone calls, appts, etc. So, I call the doctors/dentist/haircutter for him to make his appts. He doesn't like writing checks so I pay those bills and he does all the online banking because he's better with that stuff.

He leaves his socks laying around and it used to drive me nuts but it takes a half a second to pick up a pair of socks and he's always kind enough to set my coffee mug next to the coffee maker after he makes his in the morning.

It may not always be an even balance of the tasks but I figure it evens out and if there is an issue of resentment building up, we have a conversation about it and work it out.

SmallButStrong posted 7/31/2013 14:31 PM

Certainly the anger will make you overly critical. The things that bothered me before the A now REALLY make my blood boil. Everything is so intensified because you feel like you didn't deserve any of this, and now you are just protecting yourself, wanting only the best for yourself.

I am still struggling with this after 10 months since D-Day. I am always questioning if I deserve better, or if better even exists? The flaws in his appearance even stand out to me now. I think it's part of the back-and-forth, "limbo" period.

I can't offer much advice, except that what you are doing sounds exactly like what I've been doing. Every little fight/battle is now going to be that much more intensified because you have underlying resentment from the A. :(

Boy, have they screwed things up or what!!?

TrustGone posted 7/31/2013 15:06 PM

I think this is something all BS suffer with post-A. The things we used to not mind so much drive us crazy now. I know I was much more tolerant of my WH prior to the A. I hardly ever gripped at him about anything. Now I can be a real bitch when I want to be. I find myself thinking the same things, and I know I wasn't like this pre-A. He just didn't know how good he had it before, now he does as far as I am concerned. If he wants to leave I tell him not to let the door hit him in the ass on the way out. I spent too many years being the nice good wife and his appreciation was to have an A. Then when I changed everything after DDay#1 to suit his so called needs, then I got DDay#2. So if he doesn't like who he turned me into then that's too bad. I know that is not a good way to look at it, but it is what it is now and he made it that way.

Alexisk17 posted 7/31/2013 15:14 PM

Funny you mention AD(H)D as I've suspected this for years. I'll have to bring this up in our next MC session.

For the most part we organize household responsibilities according to our strengths but there is obviously an imbalance right now. I'm sure I'm particularly sensitive to it because of all that we've gone through which doesn't help the situation.

WH's #1 request if me was that i stop nagging as he "knows what i have to do, i don't need you on my ass about it." I feel like I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place. If I remind him it eventually turns into nagging. If I say nothing then the task goes unfinished and eventually I have to step up and do it myself. Add a busy work schedule (he is a carpenter, summer is peak season) and Maternity leave (I'm at home with our kids) and I'm sure you can figure out who pulls most of the weight at home.

Any suggestions on a non-naggy reminder system from those who are forgetful or those with a forgetful spouse?

libertyrocks posted 7/31/2013 15:19 PM

I like what authenticnow said. I get the oil changes, fix stuff around the house, put furniture together, I have a tool box and he's great at grocery shopping, cooking, and cleaning. AWESOME! If you ask me. We each have our strengths and weaknesses. We try to capitalize on our strengths. Oh, and he's very much a manly man, he loves sports and works, too. He just watched his mom cook and clean and I watched my dad wake up at 5am to go to work and provide, so that's what we both learned...


[This message edited by libertyrocks at 3:19 PM, July 31st (Wednesday)]

sisoon posted 8/1/2013 08:15 AM

This is no help WRT R, but it may help with getting tasks done. I'm ADD, so I can lose track of tasks that I've committed to do. A couple of ideas...

A couple of things come easily to me - laundry and dishes. These I can remember to do pretty easily, although sometimes we get down to the last clean dish or article of clothing. (Actually, since D-Day, dishes have been an indicator of my mood - I passively let them pile up if I'm upset by something related to the A. In those cases, my W has just done the dishes.) In any case, those are my day-to-day jobs.

Other chores my W asks me to do. If I don't do them by the time my she expects me to, she asks me when I'll do the task. If I don't make the deadline we negotiated, she can ask me about it.

The negotiation does a few things. To negotiate, I have to stop what I'm doing and focus on the task. That alone helps me remember. I have to think about what I'm committing to; that helps confirm the commitment. We also agree my W can mention the task to me if I don't do it as scheduled - that's not nagging, and neither of us treat it that way.

Everything about a task is open to negotiation, including when we talk about it. If I don't want to talk when my W brings something up, we set up a time in the future, and my W comes and says, 'Let's discuss this now, since it's the time you said you'd talk.'

Also, everything can be renegotiated unless doing so misses an important deadline. There's flexibility WRT when dishes are done. If we're late with some payments, though, it costs....

This isn't easy on my W, but it gets more done with less emotion. Besides, I'm worth the effort, now that I think about it.

[This message edited by sisoon at 8:19 AM, August 1st (Thursday)]

heforgotme posted 8/1/2013 10:59 AM

Pre-DDay, WH had become pretty irresponsible. Basically, if ANYTHING was going to get done, I had to do it.

"Getting things done" is definitely not one of his strengths (and I do think ADHD plays a part), but now he at least tries. So, I think "improvement" is a perfectly reasonable expectation. But he will probably never be as good at it as you, and that's ok. As long as he tries. If he knows it's something that will make you happier, he should at least try.

Lonelygirl10 posted 8/1/2013 11:09 AM

I think it's probably a combination of all three, honestly.

In my own experience, there were so many things that my WS did before the A that mildly irritated me and that I kept to myself. I hardly ever complained to him about the things that aggravated me, because it just wasn't worth it. I loved him, and realized that no one is perfect. So I was willing to accept his flaws before the A. Now, on the other hand, every single flaw upsets me. I keep thinking that he had it SO good before the A because I always put his feelings before mine, and he screwed it up and didn't appreciate me by having the A. And then I start wondering why I should just accept his flaws now, when he doesn't appreciate how good he had it. So, I've noticed that I point out his flaws more. And I've noticed that I stand up for myself and my feelings/thoughts more now than I used to. Maybe some of it's resentment, maybe some of it is just not wanting to be so self-sacrificing and wanting him to see the amazing thing that he ruined with his A. So with myself, I think it's partly that I don't want to settle, and partly that I'm being overly critical because of the resentment I have for his A.

The solution? No clue.

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