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Realizing you have different ideologies...

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brokensmile322 posted 12/12/2013 06:41 AM

We have been doing pretty well, I guess. We are in MC. We have identified a lot of FOO for us both. One of my WH's FOO is that his mother is very controlling. My WH has always chosen a path of least resistance with her because "it isn't worth it" to challenge her. Truly, she is sick and is bat shit crazy. It is all kinds of messed up when we look at it now. Anyway, his method for dealing with conflict is deeply ingrained.

As a result, my WH responds to me the same way. He does things to please me often, even when, I am guessing, he does not agree with them. It was a pattern we didn't really notice before or at least I didn't. He just did things a lot of times because it was easier to deal with me too- meaning that he never voiced his not being in agreement with me. Other times, when he did, we would discuss it and I find out that he didn't agree with me then either sometimes but just went along with it as well. He has felt controlled by me and his mom. :( This makes me extremely sad.

What is coming out of MC is that we are really, really different. Our core beliefs are different. How my WH looks at things is very different from mine. Neither of us is right or wrong, they are just different. I am realizing, had my WH been authentic early on, I might not have picked him to be my spouse. KWIM?

The MC is encouraging my WH to use his voice with me and his mother and even in business. He is a pleaser. As you can imagine, I don't recognize the man I am now seeing. It's sometimes like, "who are you?"

I truly do want my WH to be who he is. Living the way he has been living is no way to live at all. I am realizing that my WH has a hard time expressing opinion because he never really did. Isn't that sad? His opinion would often waffle based on the day and our conversation because that is how he dealt. He said what he thought I wanted to hear. (This is even why we had such trouble with him admitting to having an EA. He really didn't believe it was an EA. That was his core belief. He believed that because they never talked about their feelings, but he would waffle back and forth with me because he thought I wanted to hear it was and EA. The MC helped us see that we were both saying the same thing, we were just defining it differently. We've straightened that mess out, finally, but this is what took months to figure out.)

I digress. Anyway, how does a healthy M resolve differences of opinions? I always thought we agreed about certain things and now I am learning that we really don't.

How do you stay M to someone if your core beliefs are different? And if it is to compromise, how do you do that when you don't agree? This is all new to me as I thought we had a lot of the same opinions.

Adding to this whole thing is the conditions for R. My WH does them all but as you can imagine, feels controlled by them as well. I think it is exasperated for him because he feels very controlled all the time anyway. He is not suggesting he not do them…it's me,really, that just feels so sad about this whole mess.

Although we are getting to the bottom of this mess, finally, I am saddened sometimes thinking that we just might be better off as friends. I have stated this to my WH. He is vehemently against it. He says he loves me and that I would be ruining his life if we weren't together. I just don't know how you resolve this though. And my thinking may be childish here, I realize. I just need reassurance that not agreeing is normal or is it?

So any of you with healthy ways for dealing with differing beliefs, please post them. I know that healthy M's have to have differing opinions. I really do want to break this cycle so I welcome all ideas. Thanks.

Blobette posted 12/12/2013 08:18 AM

Not sure I have a solution, but I wanted you to feel heard. And your problem is a tough one, because to an outsider it's not really clear what's going on. What do you mean by different ideologies/core beliefs? Usually people are talking about different religions/ideas of right and wrong when they use this term. But what you're talking about is more of a communication/honesty problem. Sounds like your WH has a real problem with being honest about himself and expressing himself honestly to you. This isn't a matter of belief, it's a matter of self-growth and communication. It can be changed. Core beliefs can't.

My WH had a crazy, controlling mother, too, and we occasionally have an issue where he projects this onto me. (I am the least controlling person ever -- perhaps to my detriment.) The key is for him to acknowledge this and to be generous in seeing that he's doing that. And this requires honesty in your WH and a willingness to accept that he's been shaped by his experience in a way that's making his current relationship dysfunctional. But it sounds like he's doing that for you -- what do you want from him? Have you talked to him about being more authentic? Does he accept that he needs to do this?

I don't think a healthy marriage needs total agreement -- you just need to understand your differences and agree on how to resolve them. My WH and I have always had a different approach to money, for example. We have a way of dealing with this that works. But "core beliefs" like fidelity are non-negotiables!

Not sure if what I've written speaks to your concerns....

cl131716 posted 12/12/2013 09:10 AM

It's still a bit early and coffee hasn't kicked in yet but are you saying how you two defined the "A" is a difference in core beliefs?

If so, I don't think it matters how you label it, it was still wrong. It took me forever to categorize my Wh's A. I now just say EA. It was nothing more than flirting, "miss you"s, "love ya" (only she said it), her talking about how messed up her marriage is, e-mails and facebook messages on a daily basis for months, pet names (she had for him), and then a few days of sexting. Forever, he would just say he was sorry and out of line for having an inappropriate conversation. That's all he felt he did wrong.

So we still disagree on what to call it but doesn't matter because we both agree it was completely WRONG.

I treat it just like he had a full blown affair. I don't want to rugsweep and end up here again or in a worse situation. He lost my trust, he has to gain it back. He has to give me full transparency. He had to find another job. He can no longer have female friends. Whatever it was...."sexting", EA, or was a breach of trust and should be treated the same.

[This message edited by cl131716 at 9:12 AM, December 12th (Thursday)]

sisoon posted 12/12/2013 09:38 AM

Do you mean 'core beliefs' or 'approaches to life', for want of a better term?

My W and I approach life very differently, and that's a big part of why I chose her. She sees life differently, she sees different things, and that has enriched ,y life. We like some of the same high culture (lit, music, art), but we like a lot of different stuff, too. We each dislike some of the stuff the other likes. These cultural differences are sources of humor. My 3nd biggest (2nd biggest in next 'graph) complaint about her is that she doesn't like Brahms. How can you not laugh at that?

We differ greatly on our beliefs about spirituality. I'm OK if our lives are, in the end, meaningless, if our lives really are just the results of the imagination of ... whatever. W doesn't like that at all, and she reads and believes stuff I think crap.

I don't like what she does in that area, but it's her. I believe people are complex systems, and if one part of the system is altered, there will be unpredictable consequences - and those consequences could be awful. But she doesn't insist I adopt her beliefs, so I don't really mess with that aspect of her beliefs. Besides, she could be right.

If, however, she changed her religious political or moral beliefs significantly, and if she demanded that I go along with her, there is likely to be real trouble.

brokensmile322 posted 12/12/2013 09:50 AM

Early on we had disagreeing viewpoints on what exactly was happening with my WH and his COW. So, yes, that was a differing belief. The MC helped us see that we did believe the same thing, we were just calling it two different things. The label became less important to me as I realized that he got what I was saying about the relationship.

Now, however, the differences of opinions comes in many forms. One of the major ways is how we are going to define our M moving forward. When we first got m, we negotiated a whole bunch of stuff- who would handle bills, how we would deal with family, where we would live, how to raise kids etc… The job my WH had at that time, is not the job he has now. His job requires ALOT of travel. It is very lonely and often I feel like a single parent. He has had this job for the past say 10 years. We never really negotiated how the job would be handled. And over the years, I stopped asking. Now, I am more aware of his job and what it entails. I am not sure if I would have met him today, if I would have considered staying with him long term, not because I don't love him, but because I just don't want to be alone all the time anymore or have a husband who does what he does.

He is not crossing any R boundaries… I am just talking about things like thinking he has to go out of his way to please his boss. He will travel because he feels it is required, but find out others have backed out later. I just want someone whose first priority is me and the kids anymore. His desire to be involved in work and do a great job is not wrong. I don't fault him for that…it is just that the 'job' and the material wealth it could provide are no longer important to me. I do get that his job is his identity. ANd I understand that not doing well is a reflection on him. I guess I have changed.

I don't know if any of this makes sense. We just think about things so differently. Even with how to deal with his family. Previously, I just bit my lip, now I am changing and I am no longer taking his mom's crap. The MC said that he will be challenged to stand up to his mom because I have changed. He will no longer be able to say 'it isn't worth it' to engage her when she is trying to exert control. THe MC said that my WH can no longer not choose between us.
We just argue about these things anymore because I am not the same person anymore. I am just realizing how very differently we view a lot of things now…or maybe always.

Thessalian posted 12/12/2013 10:02 AM

Holeeeeeey shit. Except for the controlling mom, I could have written this exactly. Luckily it's turning out that WH and I do agree on most major issues, but we are discovering a lot about him for the first time because he has never ever expressed himself. with my WH it was so bad that he doesn't even know who HE is and what HE wants, he has been just saying whatever other people say for years. When I ask him and he answers me now, sometimes it's just like... What? Really? You do?

I didn't want kids, so WH didn't either.
I wanted to try something sexually, so did WH.
I wanted to move out of the county, him too.
I just got so used to it I figured 'well, guess he really doesn't care either way.'
Mistake. Not agreeing is very normal, and I'm actually relieved he does have opinions, but I'm worried we will turn up a big WHAT?!? Something other couples would have learned earlier.

[This message edited by Thessalian at 10:06 AM, December 12th (Thursday)]

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