It's been a rough year. Not only have we had to deal with marital crap, but financial stuff, as well as a move too. But I got a glimpse of the man I wanted and needed - way back when he thought it might be over. And glimpses of him have surfaced again every now and then - but it's rare. I don't know if he lacks consistency or if my expectations are just too high. He was/is remorseful. I know this for sure. But remorse is not enough. I don't want just glimpses of the man I feel I deserve. I want him 24/7!
I was always the 'You cheat and I'm gone' kind of person. And then it happened to me, and even though he was the one who acted like a selfish bastard, I was the one who had to be the grown up and think about how leaving would affect 4 people (us and our 2 kids) and whether or not it was the right thing to do. I stayed. But I still don't know if it was the right thing to do. Sometimes I think it was, other times I don't.
I know I'm rambling. I'm sorry. I've always been more of a quiet 'lurker' at this site, but I guess it's time I looked for some advice on what to do.
So here's the thing. In my opinion, the fact that I agreed to work at R was like giving him a huge gift that he probably didn't even deserve. IMO a person who gets an opportunity like that should seize it with all that they are - they should work to prove that it was a gift that was worthwhile to be given. I have laid out (time and time again) what I wanted, (which were mostly behavioral issues) and there have been 'some' changes. But the rest of my expectations are not getting met so easily. He's not an easy person to be around, and both our kids and I feel like we are walking on eggshells around him most of the time. They tell me all the time that dad is mean and always grumpy. I agree. He's moody and rarely cheerful. It's very hard to be in that atmosphere all the time. It wears on a person so that now I find I've become like that too. He's not a bad guy, and he's not a bad dad either - but he's also not a good one! He's more of a loner who prefers to be in front of his computer than hanging with the kids. Sometimes I feel like they are nothing more than an inconvenience to him. (though I do believe he loves them) And honestly, a lot of the time I would prefer that he be in front of the computer instead of with us because sometimes it's just easier to let loose and have fun when he's not there to worry about.
Part of the problem is how he was raised. He didn't come from the loving/nurturing environment that I did. No one ever taught him how to be a good parent, a good spouse, or the kind of person that people want to be around. And this is where I start to feel sorry for him. Is it his fault that he's this way? Whenever I bring up his cranky, short with people ways, he says that he's working on it. That he's been like that for 40 years and he can't change in just a few months. I see the logic. I do. Maybe I'm just too impatient. But then again, maybe this is just how he will always be. How long do I wait before I know for certain??
The hardest part by far is my oldest, who tells me, "I can't stand him! And I mean it." That breaks my heart - and I feel responsible for it. She says that now that she's older and has seen what other kids' dads are like, she knows that he's not a good dad. She'd prefer to have nothing to do with him, but sucks it up and puts on a cordial face. And the younger one has never had a real bond with him, has never felt close to him or really liked him all that much. It's just all so sad, so confusing for me. I want to do what's best for everyone...but I don't know what that is.
Again, I'm sorry for rambling on and on, and I apologize if I made no sense. I guess it was just time to get it out and find out if others have been in a similar situation, what they did, and what the outcome was.
As for your H, is he actively taking classes, counseling or something to be a better partner or spouse? I am thinking not based on your comments. To me, the act of trying to improve held a lot of credibility to me. While my husband pushed boundaries, I could see him trying to improve. I am not reading a lot of "trying" in your note.
On the other hand, your children are learning how to interact with their future spouses based on your situation now. Are you teaching them what you want them to learn? Only you know that answer. It is a tough decision. One thing I did (children were all adults, so that was not a factor) mentally make some deadlines for specific behaviors. I did not tell him what they were or when they were. He had no idea. I was committed to those deadlines. He did meet them, without knowing he was being evaluated. That helped me to be more objective to making sure he was doing some work.
Support being sent your way.
I''m not even sure of what I want, and I haven''t been sure this whole time.
I think what you are feeling is normal. It takes time to process the pain, reconfigure yourself, and re-validate your beliefs. More than a year is typically required even when you work hard at it and your WS is perfectly remorseful. This IS trauma.
I got a glimpse of the man I wanted and needed - way back when he thought it might be over. And glimpses of him have surfaced again every now and then - but it''s rare.
I suggest he’s doing only the minimum work required to keep you stringing along. You needing more is normal and justified.
I was always the ''You cheat and I''m gone'' kind of person.
I think you will find most of us thought this. In fact, sometimes I wished this as a valid excuse to leave my miserable marriage. The fact is, you just don’t know until you are faced with it, and see how your WS responds.
So here''s the thing. In my opinion………..
My opinion: Anger is a mask for fear. He’s using it. He fears facing his troubles. You might consider demanding that he starts seeing an IC and starts facing it.
Sometimes I feel like they(kids) are nothing more than an inconvenience to him.
The hardest part by far is my oldest, who tells me, "I can''t stand him! And I mean it."
Possibly your husband feels the same about his own parents? See a trend? I suggest that you send your kids to IC to help them. They are your legacy too. And remember, not all ICs are good, so keep tabs on your kids progress with their IC, and talk to your kids.
Hope this helps.
[This message edited by still-living at 9:17 PM, February 12th, 2014 (Wednesday)]
First off I have to tell you that due to our horrible financial troubles that counselling is off the table. It's unfortunate, but true. We did manage to scrape a few bucks together early on and went for MC a few times. It left me feeling less than satisfied - like I wasn't really being heard or taken seriously.
But you're right brkn_heartd - he doesn't get it. Not really. In his mind he is trying, but nothing he does is ever good enough. That's what he tells me. When I ask him what has he been doing to try, I don't really get a definitive answer. And then he always tries to turn it around and claims I haven't been doing anything to make him want to try. And still_living is right too. I'm being strung along. I know this I guess.
And no, I am not at all happy with what this is doing/has done to my kids. It's been so damaging to all of us and I fear for their futures because of it. They are not seeing how a healthy, loving relationship should work, and that makes me so sad. I feel like I've done them wrong. And you're absolutely right - what kind of a legacy am I giving them?
Anger is a mask for fear, you say? That's pretty deep and it makes perfect sense to me. But it will be very difficult to make him see it that way. I know I can't fix him, and I really have been trying to guide him. But he just takes everything so hard and over the top. The way he sees it is that everything I say is a complaint or a criticism or laying blame for everything on him. He doesn't see that I'm attempting to make things better and attempting to help salvage his relationship with his children.
I know that he had issues with his mother (father never was in the picture) He does not look back on his childhood fondly. But to me that should be enough for a person to commit to never treat their own kids that way since they first hand how it feels. Why continue a cycle that you know is destined to cause pain? And yet he's become his mother. I don't get it.
It's funny that you bring up the 180. I was reading a lot about it today and wishing I had the strength to do it. It sounds so simple and yet I know that it isn't. In a way, it's kind of cold and I have difficulty with that. So I'd like to try it, but I'm scared to. I'm scared it'll make things worse if that makes sense.
Trauma is right. I feel like a broken person. All I want is happiness and it seems so hard to find. I forget what it feels like to just feel content. Sometimes I ask myself, "What have I done? I've fucked up my life and the lives of those 2 awesome kids." And what I mean by that is that I chose to marry someone who is so obviously wrong for me. How could I be so stupid. And then I'm back in this vicious cycle of what to do. Keep working to save the marriage or get the hell out before I lose what's left of my sanity. It really is a cycle of back and forth. What I want more than anything is to just decide and then work toward making that decision a reality. So confusing!!!
Is it his fault that he's this way?
It is my opinion we can hyper-analyze this to say no, not pre Dday because of his upbringing. However, right now, he is responsible. What he did was wrong, clearly. He knows it. It is his responsibility for making his part right. Also, my opinion, is that you are responsible for yourself and your kids, and at some point you may need to muster the courage to hold him accountable if he does not accept responsibility on his own, if you want progress.
Sometimes I ask myself, "What have I done? I've fucked up my life and the lives of those 2 awesome kids." And what I mean by that is that I chose to marry someone who is so obviously wrong for me. How could I be so stupid. And then I'm back in this vicious cycle of what to do. Keep working to save the marriage or get the hell out before I lose what's left of my sanity. It really is a cycle of back and forth. What I want more than anything is to just decide and then work toward making that decision a reality. So confusing!!!
Totally, completely relate to this. At 1 year out, and even 2 years out, I had these thoughts almost every single day.
Try to accept that this is all going to be jumbled for a while. You are where you are - you have your beautiful kids. Just take each moment as it comes and try to feel good about the fact that you're doing the best you can.
FWH and I by all rights should not have gotten married, and I used to feel a ton of guilt for "dragging" DD3.5 into this noise, even though I wasn't the one that cheated. If I just try to step away from the big picture and just experience each moment as it comes, it makes everything a lot easier.
Stay or go - there isn't a right or wrong sometimes. We just do the best we can, and tomorrow's another opportunity to turn the wheel in the direction we think we should be headed.
All I want is happiness and it seems so hard to find.
I got an apology this morning. And a promise that he'd work at being a better husband and father. I've heard it all before, and can't help but wonder how many chances a person can give. It's funny - if I was an outsider looking in to the situation, I know what I would say: "Get out. You're wasting your time." But I'm the one in the situation and so I can't help but push for optimism and hope that one day it'll all be okay. sigh...
Books. Yes. Great idea! We did read a couple early on. But then it gets too easy to fall back into the day to day life stuff and forget to find ways to work at it. Time to get back on track and do some work myself, I guess.
And I am determined to work towards the 180, even though it worries me. What our family needs is some positivity and it's gonna start with me!