When I started working on me (during her A), this was one area that I worked on. She seemed to like that I was giving her more affirmation and validation. However, she still seemed to enjoy it more from other people. Her boss paying her a compliment would make her entire day.
I keep wondering if maybe my validation was simply not enough for her. Not that it justifies her A. But if feels like my validation was not as meaningful as that coming from others; especially those in authority (like her boss).
Her AP was a manager at his company and had some level of authority at his job. So, maybe in her mind it made his compliments more valid or meaningful than mine since I was just a blue color worker. Maybe she didn't really believe in or value my validation. Or, maybe she got used to my compliments and they somehow became less meaningful.
I know I will never get all of the answers. Anyone else experience this?
"You are what you do. A man is defined by his actions, not his memory." - Kuato in Total Recall
SO - I validated wh - I appreciated (verbally and written) his work, his character (stupid me), his appearance (he had started working out more), his providing for his family; but it meant nothing to him compared to chickie admiring him in his uniform.
Looking back, I believe he was squirming in guilt when I would compliment him and therefore I got the backlash.
[This message edited by stunnedin12 at 10:47 PM, November 4th (Monday)]
I think glossing over things made it worse in a way. Im struggling with telling him how I really feel because I don't want to come out as super critical. Sometimes I think I should write all my feeling down and give it to him. Maybe then he will realize how unhappy I have been for the last several years.
Leaning towards leaving, no one deserves this pain.
I know that some, when given validation by their spouse, kinda blow it off because it comes from....the spouse. The mind says "well spouse *has* to say that....", and blow it off because of that reason. Outside validation seems awesome because *that* person doesn't *have* to say/do that, kwim?
Or the *message* will be lost in translation (maybe tied in to my previous thought, idk). I can think of 2 conversations (pre D-day) right now that were *meaningful* to me but not so much to my stbx.
#1. He is in sales. He came home and told me about a sales call that he had been on one day. The man that my stbx had been dealing with was a total asshole who treated my stbx like shit.....but by stbx's account -- he dealt with it. I was impressed. And I *told* my stbx that. I said something like "*You rock.* I would not have been able to keep my shit together if that guy was saying that stuff to me. I would have told him off and walked out. But you stuck with it. Good on you." When we talked about this incident a few years later....he told me that when I said that to him, he *interpreted* it as me telling him that he was a pussy who sat and ate the shit sandwich that guy handed him.
#2. Pre-Dday my world revolved around my stbx and my kids. Unhealthy relationship dynamic set in place due to stbx's complete insecurities (that I see now)....but, whatever. Anyway. I remember one night when stbx was expressing some *insecurity* and I responded with "I don't have a lot of close friends and I don't talk to my family much but it's okay because I have you and I have the kids. We are all healthy and thriving and that is *enough* for me. I am happy and content with what I have right here at home." And as in example #1.....I find out years later that his interpretation was that "I had no one else so I'm going to stay with him because he makes good money and I don't want to be alone."
The issue lies within the mind. It has nothing to do with what you say or how much you do. If the spouse has a *hole* in the bucket.....YOU will never be able to do enough to fill it. There is not a darn thing that you can do to that is going to correct the *wrong* messages that your WS is conjuring up in their minds. Not.One.Thing.
And stop thinking of yourself as *just* a blue-collar worker. Every single person has value. No person is *just* anything. You have value.
This has NOTHING to do with the person that you are or what you gave to her. This is all on her.
There will always be someone *higher* on the totem pole (better job, more authority, etc.). Stay true to yourself.
In my effort to be *concise*, I often come off as blunt and harsh. Sorry, don't mean to be offensive.
Doesnt matter what you the BS did or did not do. They were broken. Cant fix stupid.
Totally agree. I was always complimenting my WW. POSOM never did (I mean NEVER!). Yet she preferred his attention. Truly it's her fault not mine. At least she is beginning to own it now, and she has never blamed me. Plenty of on-line articles do, though... (Thank God for SI - people here know better).
The big issue here is that they have to learn how to self validate. Nothing will truly right itself until they do. You can hold up your part and do the complimenting, etc - this is good and healthy to a point. People need this from each other. We can't fill that hole though, they need to.
It makes me sick to think he overlooked the fact his wife and kids adored him and held him up so high for the cheap thrills he got from her.
He was and I feel still is broken deep down and there's nothing i did or could have done to prevent it.
I still complement her as much as I can. She seems to notice now, or at least say "Thank you". But I still think it means more to her coming from other people.
He didn't stroke MY ego but it never crossed my mind to cheat
The type of fierce loyalty that I possess made me incapable of comprehending the level of disloyalty that he possessed
I complimented my W a lot - she has lots of good qualities. She discounted my compliments more than I did hers.
So, yeah, I agree that validation from spouse isn't enough. The only thing that works is loving yourself. If you love yourself, you accept and enjoy compliments, but you don't need them. If you love yourself, you can tell the difference between a compliment and flattery, and neither will cause you to give up your boundaries.
I spent over 10 years as a manager. My W cheated with and unemployed person with no notable skills (other than manipulating other people). Managers get cheated on, too. The problem, I agree, is with the WS, not with the BS.