Here is my thought on "providing" and what it means to be a "provider"...
As I examine my pre-A M to my wife....specifically things I figured I did in healthy manners....I settled on...."providing".
I provided my wife orgasms, financial stability, nice home and car, health care insurance, retirement funding, girls nights out, ability to be a SAHM (which also provided for our family), time to run and assisted with various household items (remodeling and maintenance items).
NOTE: My wife was a career woman during half of our M....so the above were joint efforts at times too.
Here is what I THINK I am realizing.
While I was adept at providing the physical needs....I was, am notably inept at providing for the emotional needs. There is a strong spiritual side to the act of "providing"....a fact that I really never realized.
That lack of realization combined with too much PRIDE in the physical side of providing left a void in me and my wife....providing is an intimacy BUILDER....if it is "balanced providing". Meaning both spiritual and physical in nature.
Thats about as far as I have gotten.....just one trek as I learn what it is to be a "man". I am learning it is far more than doing the opposite of what my Dad did....which was kind of my compass.
The only other deeply influencial male role model in my life was my Grandpa. He lived next door to us...past when I was 10. My memories of him are still vivid. I was as connected with him as any man....and I think that is because my Grandpa had "providing balance". He physically supported me but also fed me spiritually. I know this because throughout my life, when I was in a "spiritual delima" I would think about what Grandpa would do. Unfortunately, my limited time with my Grandap left many life situations with no direct parallel to what Grandpa would do. It mostly had to do with developing my work ethic.....example; I would want to just lean on the counter when I worked at an auto parts store while going to college. I would think of Grandpa and think he would sweep the floor or front the shelves...and many times I would not lean and start to sweep!
My Grandpa didnt so much talk to me to influence me....we did things together or I would just watch him. "More is caught than taught" is a new quote I like.
I think I caught some good qualities from my Grandpa.....just wish I had more time with him.
Anyway......this is my thought on providing.
I am not taking any credit for my wifes affair. I personally feel she could have been married to my Grandpa and still chose adultery as a way to cope with life....thats for her to figure out.
I am taking credit for what I think was an incomplete way of providing to my wife and family.
I am grateful to have an opportunity to learn to do better, now that I know a better way.
Ties back in nicely to the "intentional" way of doing life my wife and I are committing to. Radical honesty is a component of this new-to-us way of being M.
God be with us all.
[This message edited by blakesteele at 8:10 AM, January 7th (Tuesday)]
Search the top companies for which to work for.
Google and Apple have been at the top. Doesnt matter who is at the top now....look at the reasons listed as to why employees are most happy working for them.....
You will see it is more than the benefits package (the physical providing they provide). There is "spiritual" component to them.....a sense that they are part of something bigger, that they are connected to something more than the individual they work next to....that they matter.
Good salary and benefits ARE a part of this mix.....but many companies have those.....what separtes these "top companies" from the others is this "connection".
In some ways my pre-A M was a fortune 500 company....as many SI members also had....this is good, but not unique.
Those Fortune 500 companies that rise to the top of the above survey have a uniqueness about them.
I am hopeful that my M, through intentional work on both my and my wifes part, will rise to the "unique" category through honest intentional effort.....and that this rise can occur without the "pride" that blinded us both as we stayed in the pack of "good but not unique" marriages pre-A.
.......not sure if any of this is right.......not sure we can do what my goal is........but I have faith.
God be with us all.
[This message edited by blakesteele at 8:20 AM, January 7th (Tuesday)]
I am going to run this by my wife.....see if she is open to being patient as I learn how to do this. Dont think it is her role to "help" me figure this out....only to have patience as I try and fail and find the courage to try again.
.....a work in progress.
What I want is a partner, someone to share my journey.
We both equally need to take care of the house, the bills, the cooking, cleaning, car maintenence, yard clean-up, snow removal.We both suck at these things and do well at them depending on our schedule at the time. But it's easy to get "help" with those things if I were living on my own and needed help.
I want my husband to have me in his thoughts, have my family and our well-being be what comes across his mind when making a decision.And I want to offer the same in return.
I want to laugh and cry, be silly or stupid with him. Travel and see things together. I want to walk next to him and not feel as though I am walking alone. I want an intimate connection.
I need support emotionally when I stumble, him to listen when I struggle with a personal problem I have.To question me when I am about to make a mis-step, without judgement, but with an honest "where are you going with this".
I want us to challenge each other.
I don't need to feel whole or completed, I need to feel as though we compliment each other. That as a team we are accepting, facing and realizing each others demons, goals, fears and accomplishments.
He is on the same page. Some days we do really well and other times we know we still have work to do. It isn't ever over, our needs change, our wants will be different at any given moment. What we have now is the ability to communicate with each other and respect that we both don't always want or need the same thing, but we strive to give the other person what they need without losing ourselves in the process.
I think the real connection comes from providing each other with that which we can not provide for ourselves....a connection with another person.
My Grandpa connected for me....my Dad never did. Both provided SOME of the physical aspect of this...clothes, candy, home, etc.. When my Grandpa passed away, so did my Dads safety net. After we were "on our own" Dad failed to provide some of the basic "provisions" you and I both agree that most adults can provide for themselves.
What I am thinking I am understanding is that I was better equipped to do the "lessor" type of "providing"....as was my wife. I am guessing that is for two reasons.
First, our role-models for this connection were poor.
Second, since we lacked some of the "easy types of provisions" in our youth and both our Moms put that as the reason for their respective divorces, we thought the main key to NOT divorcing was to meet these "easy types of provisions" above all else.
Third, it was just plain easier. My fear of abandonment influenced me to REFRAIN from actually seeking this greater "connection type of providiing". My wifes fear of conflict influenced her to keep her "need for connection" tucked away....act as if she didnt even possess this need. She witnessed her Mom trying to express some needs, request some "provisions" from her husband....only to be beat down because of doing so.
I think our respective Moms focused on the physical act of providing...because it is a basic need that was not being met. I have to believe that if those were getting met, they would realize that the spirtual provisions needed attention too.
I dont know if this is a rabbit worth chasing....just seems like there is way more to healthy intimacy than my wife or I ever thought.
It sure as hell isnt the passion that is felt in adultery.
It sure as hell isnt having a paid for house or a good job.
.......Retrovaille is in our near future as is a new MC who specializes in "infidelity and intimacy issues".
This is about all I have come up with with regards to "provisions"....and it may be a wash.
Thank you for your inputs.
Unfortunately, some of our pre-A M was not based on intentional requests...it was developed by defaults.....on things we knew we DIDN'T want from a M.
Hard to get somewhere if you dont know where you are going.
Hard to start a journey if you dont know where you are at.
Two big facts that came to light during this trial.....
I can't make you happy, unless I am (Ziggy Marley-True to Myself)
Some thoughts swirling through my mind are;
In good relationships one "wants" to go thru life with his/her partner and family..
Both partners are mostly "present" with each other in life...
Neither partner is looking elsewhere for grass that is greener, or making the other partner / family member feel inadequate..
Marriage for my WH seemed to be more about what he could get out of it, not what he could put into it..
In the aftermath of my WH's cheating he was blame shifting and defensive, no empathy..He wanted to get what he wanted from me, he didn't care about my healing..He gave me the deadline of a year to "make" our marriage the marriage of his dreams or he was gonna bail on his birthday..
How did I react to that kind of selfishness? I flipped him the bird and said F.U..His actions dried up any desire for me to want to have anything to do with working on the marriage or be with him..
Providing=Protect self AND others physical and emotional well being..
Nobody gets it perfect..It starts with caring for one's physical and emotional health first..
This gives one the energy to care about/for others..
A provider WANTS to do for self, spouse and family.. He/she WANTS to see self and loved ones flourish and thrive :-)
[This message edited by doggiediva at 1:46 PM, January 7th (Tuesday)]
It sucks....to have to make this decision.....but my priorities are God, Wife, Kids, everything else.....I am committed to this priority list, especially with regards to what I am choosing on this weekend. If it had been a date-night weekend, I could modify a bit.....
Trying to stay positive about this.....but this dance is once a year....both daughters are of the age to LOVE being with their Daddy on the dance floor.....and I wouldn't have this hard choice.........
ahhhhh. Never mind. I have given up all hope for a better past.
Thanks for the added encouragement about Retrovaille!