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I'm an Absolute Idiot

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KBeguile posted 10/26/2013 11:34 AM

I won't ask for 2x4s, even though I feel like I deserve at least one or two.

I lied. Lie by omission, but still a lie. I covered up the fact that we were hurting so badly for money that I couldn't pay for DS's child care costs. I stopped paying, and I didn't bother to tell Heart.

Part of it was that I was still paying on a car I wasn't driving (I've since stopped), and because I budgeted in a job that I haven't been working as much lately (tutoring part-time online), but it isn't about the money. It's about the fact that this should have been a decision we were both in on, and I made the decision not only WITHOUT her, but also hid it from her.

Now, I did eventually confess that we weren't going to have enough money to keep taking DS to day care, but that's one of those "weatherman" sayings where I can claim I confessed it while she can validly point out that I didn't say I had already neglected to pay it a couple of times prior.

Again: I realize that at the heart of this, it isn't about the money. I'm going to repay the money because services were rendered and I owe the debt. It's about how I handled Heart's part in all of this by making a decision without her and then covering it up.

My question is: does anyone have a suggestion or an idea as to how I can treat this knee-jerk reaction of fear and panic so that it doesn't happen again? It has probably already ruined this relationship, and I don't need it coming to bear in the future. I don't like that I did this, I hate this aspect that my personality has fostered, and I want to be absolutely rid of it.

I want to be able to tell Heart when things get bad, even if she's already stressed to the breaking point with everything else in her life and money issues are one of her biggest stresses. I don't like that this is my instinctual reaction, because it hurts trust, it hurts her personally, and it makes me look like a complete doucher.

Help, please?

WalkinOnEggshelz posted 10/26/2013 12:35 PM

does anyone have a suggestion or an idea as to how I can treat this knee-jerk reaction of fear and panic so that it doesn't happen again?

You will have your answer when you can answer why you didn't want to tell her in the first place. I could be off base here, but if I had to guess I imagine it has something to do with you wanting to feel like a strong provider for your family. Struggling to make ends meet might bring up feelings of failure as such. And I can imagine that at this point you don't want to put any kind of a spotlight on any short comings. Therefor, trying to cover it up.

Prior to DDay, I did my damnedest to be the super mom, give the appearance of super wife, and act as if I had it all together. I smiled and carried on as if I had it all together while inside I was stressed and building resentments. I wanted to have it all together. I wanted to be perfect. After DDay, HT looked at me and told me "you do not have it all together". I have really taken that to heart. And now we have amongst some of our favorite sayings around here "I love you, warts and all".

I needed to learn to ask for help. I needed to learn that HT wasn't going to instinctually know when to step in all of the time. I needed to show him some vulnerability. After all, isn't that part of marriage? To be able to lean on each other and trust in the fact that the other is capable of loving is despite our flaws?

What would have happened if you had home to Heart and told her that you were struggling with juggling the finances and needed her input to prioritize the funds? She may have been disappointed and stressed but she would have been able to help you and make a joint decision. It would have been a team effort. Now instead, she continues to feel that your decisions are unilateral.

I've had to learn (actually I am continuing to learn) that when I share things with HT he is not always going to be a rock or a duck and let things slide off his back and not bother him. He is going to get stressed and need to vent. When he does, it's not a personal attack. It's not always about me. I have to learn to trust in that.

So when you find yourself wanting to withhold important information, give Heart the benefit of the doubt. You are not trying to protect her but yourself. She is obviously a strong woman that can see some good in you otherwise she wouldn't still be there. Trust her enough to show her your vulnerable. Trust in her to ask for help when you need it.

cantaccept posted 10/26/2013 12:56 PM

I can relate so well to this situation.

Several years ago I did something similar. I posted about it a while back and now I cannot find it, I would have liked to have shared it with you.

I hid a financial problem from h. I had to really dig into myself to find my real reasons for doing this. What I learned about myself.

I was protecting myself for a few reasons.

1. I feared his anger.
2. I thought I had to be perfect, not make any mistakes to be loved.
3. I came to the realization that what I did hurt him. By not telling him in the very beginning, it just grew.
4. If I had been open and honest in the beginning there was the possibility we could have solved it together.
5. By hiding it, I caused it to become my fault, not the debt but the lying, and hiding and trying to handle it on my own.
6. I allowed my fear to decide the best way to handle this problem and that only made it so much worse.
7.The original problem was not my creation but my handling of it turned out to be the true problem.
8. If I am honest and open about a problem with h it is then his choice how to respond. If he gets angry and yells or walks away, that is on him not me. I cannot control him, only myself.
9. I was trying to control my world.

Now, if I feel fear, I stop and consciously work to understand what I am really fearing and I am very conscious of just being honest and knowing that no matter how h reacts, at least it is real. I can feel good about my actions.

I have no idea if this helps at all, just wanted you to know that you are not the only one that does this.

It seems to just be a matter of recognizing our patterns and what we are really trying to accomplish by our actions. Then has that worked? If not why? Is that the action that is going to sit comfortably inside me. I know during that time I was keeping this hidden it tortured me every day.

Now when I feel fear and I do, I do not allow it to be in control of my choices.

badchoice posted 10/26/2013 13:25 PM

I have done this, and I agree with the others above - it's about fear, control, even manipulation.

Give up all of that control, let go of outcomes, be honest and authentic in all of your dealings. That is how you conquer this.

KBeguile posted 10/26/2013 14:02 PM

Wow, cantaccept. I could absolutely walk down that list you made and feel every step as it happened in my mind. This is it, exactly.

Now, my question is: how do I make myself let go of the outcome? How do I learn to cope with the fact that I'm not perfect, and yet can be loved for that?

WalkinOnEggshelz posted 10/26/2013 14:56 PM

How do I learn to cope with the fact that I'm not perfect, and yet can be loved for that?

You should want someone to love you for who you are, authentically. Not who you think they want you to be. Because maybe, just maybe who you think they want you to be isn't always accurate. Maybe they actually love the authentic, flawed KB. The real KB.

As far as the outcome goes? You can care about the outcome but still recognize that sometimes you have very little control of it. Wanting things to go smoothly is one thing. Accepting the fact that it isn't always going to happen is another. When you don't get the reaction you desire or expect, try understanding where it is coming from. It turns the focus from you onto Heart and puts you in a better place for empathy vs. defensiveness. Empathy provides a place that we can give. And in my experience when I give more, I get more.

20WrongsVs1 posted 10/26/2013 15:12 PM

"Why do I crave keeping secrets and getting away with stuff I know is wrong?" was the topic of my Thursday IC session. I know why, now. Do you, KB?

The "How do I quit it?" comes after the why. I don't want to t/j but I'll recount my C's suggestions upon request.

Finally10 posted 10/26/2013 15:16 PM

I will suggest this approach, for I too have struggled in this area in the past. Ask yourself every time you are tempted to not disclose something, "Whats the worst that can happen?" if I do. In the process of that examination, you can outline for yourself the process of identifying the solution, which can be discussed when you make the initial disclosure.

Its really as simple as "Honey, I've been looking over the budget and we're going to have a cash flow problem right around the time we have to pay the childcare. Can we sit down and go over this and decide how to handle it. This is happening because XYZ happened and I have some ideas but would like your input before we do anything.

The real issue is that you likely knew that you would have difficulty well before you actually did, so why were you not comfortable discussing the upcoming difficulty before it became a I can't pay it, she's going to be mad so I wont tell her situation. So I really don't see it as a knee jerk reaction, but rather one that was a series of conscious decisions earlier along in the process. Sound familiar, like a bit of a slippery slope maybe?

Our BS's deserve, after all that has come before the right to know the circumstances of their lives, otherwise you are depriving them of crucial facts and "controlling the outcome". She for example might have preferred to cut back elsewhere in the budget to keep the childcare current. Letting go of the outcome is about providing the information jointly so each of you can make an informed decision.

This is really about communication and the willingness of each spouse to be honest in all areas. What do you suppose your BS thinks about your willingness to tell her something really difficult now?


KBeguile posted 10/26/2013 18:55 PM

You're absolutely right, F10. That's the problem that comes back to bite. All it would have taken is the forethought and the thinking of her first to at least lessen the problem that I'm dealing with now.

20Wrongs, I'm more than open to you t/jing to give good advice.

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