I feel when I point out a behavior that reminds of the past and the A he chooses to defend instead of stopping and saying I can see why you think that and I am sorry. We have talked about this in MC and the MC says he needs to learn not resort to his instinct to put the armor on and defend. This is a FOO issue and related to his upbringing – most of his family is very defensive or extremely passive.
I am willing to work on R as long as he continues to work on the problems we had before the A. This area in MC has taken a long time to work through. But after all this time why does he still defend? My first reaction is he is hiding something instead of thinking well this is a natural response for him – like I used to think. Then I think defensiveness is something he is aware of and why is he still automatically defending. And so the rollercoaster and pendulum of thoughts continue.
Has anyone else experienced this?
Gotta love the life that we livin'
With TCD, these criticisms carry a much higher stake. These things that are wrong with me, if not fixed, carry the very painful and very real possibility of losing my family as I know it. To compound the problem, my hypersensitivity would lead to things that really were not direct criticisms of me being taken as such. And once the defenses went up, the battle was ready to begin.
I finally seem to have things under control, but I don't have any real tips on how to bring that defensiveness under control. I just do my best to listen to TCD when she is triggering or venting or whatever and remind myself that she is just letting out her feelings. One of my coworkers said to me once "She doesn't hate you, she hates what you did." If I am able to keep this though in mind, it helps me to remember that she does love me and she does want to be here, so takes your lumps when necessary, speak when appropriate, but never get angry.
Sorry for the long-windedness... I get it from my wind-bag of a father.
WHOA. What you just said:
"...and more often than not her trigger would devolve into an argument about how I can't do anything right, how everything will always be my fault, etc."
...is EXACTLY the wording my WH uses when I trigger or have ANY criticism (even stupid little things like "please remember to keep the toilet closed so the dogs don't drink from it"). It is SPOOKY to me how you said it verbatim.
The fact that you understand that overreaction and you are trying to compensate for that personality trait gives me hope that maybe one day my own WH will figure out for himself what you figured out: "...what it really came down to is that I have an incredible hypersensitivity to criticism. The thing is, for me anyway, that my defensiveness would increase in intensity the more I stood to lose in the situation."
Thanks for sharing that.
My WH used to be the same way, but he's working on accepting that this new wife he has is the product of HIS making. I NEVER used to be a prying, suspicious woman - and THAT'S how he got away with that shit for 5 years.
I would let every buzz on his phone be what he told me it was - a text about work or from a family member or a client... I would let every client trip away or in the "big city" near us be exactly what he told me it was - just boys gettin' rowdy and bonding.
It's not right that your WH's not accepting that this is the "new, NOT-SO-NAIVE" wife that HE CREATED with his choice to be unfaithful. He should accept and be ready for your now highly-attuned senses, and be ready, WILLING and able to set your mind at ease.
I have pounded into my WH's head for months and months that if he doesn't like the wife his lies and theft created in me, then he can walk away anytime. He hasn't... yet...
[This message edited by Wonderingwhy11 at 3:23 PM, August 14th (Wednesday)]
It is slowly getting better. I have learned to be true to myself, letting go of the anger and acceptance. But we both still have our moments of slipping back to old patterns.
There is no reason that he needs to be defensive about triggers- in my experience, it is the defensiveness about triggers when they are hiding and covering something up. When I trigger, WH used to get moody, tell me I was being ridiculous and that I should trust him, etc... He was usually hiding something that I found out about later. Now? WH is sympathetic and apologetic when I trigger. If I ask, he will show me whatever right away without getting defensive or trying to hide or telling me I am being stupid. It's part of R.
"What did you expect? I am a scorpion."