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Fear of being manipulated.

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naivewife posted 3/4/2014 12:30 PM

Here's the situation, please tell me your opinion. I feel so paranoid about being manipulated - manipulation is a big FOO habit of WH's.

Today at work a woman walks up to WH and says a co-worker told him that he liked a particular band that her boyfriend liked and wanted to know if he had a particular album. He said yes and she said he has a different one and asked if he wanted to swap thumbdrives of the album with her boyfriend. WH agreed. (Wrong answer! But I can also see how he'd feel backed into a corner and not know how to back out after saying he had the album.)
Shortly afterwards I pick WH up to head to MC, and he tells me "Something really weird happened today," and he proceeds to tell me about this conversation but tells me he was shaking the whole time they talked. I said something like "Yeah, boundary issue!" And he got angry at me and said "No, I'm talking about my social anxiety, I haven't experienced that in a long time and I'm worried it's coming back!" To which I replied that his nervous system was probably on alert because it was a boundary issue, which we should be more concerned about. He was pissed.
Then we get into MC, and MC mentioned how we both jumped to our biggest fears and that was why we clashed, but then WH went on to talk about how I've been a mess the last three days and this situation just overwhelmed him after everything I've been going through and that was why he got angry. Then the focus of the session turned mainly into how I need to work on keeping myself centered and not jump to my wounded self type stuff - and we need to do our best to focus on our life right now, the kids, and everything we have to be thankful for.

Background -
Yes indeed, in the last few days it's been very stressful, triggery, difficult. Totally feel like we need a break from stress and WH is seeming really fed up at the moment.
This woman at work makes me uncomfortable and WH knows it.
This past weekend WH mentioned to me that my lack of interest in his interests (namely music) in the past few years were one of the "factors" that went into play during the A. Not that he said it was an excuse or even a reason, but that he misses my shared interest that I used to show in music and it's one of the things that makes him feel loved by me. And OW did a great job of pretending she loved everything he loved.

So you can see why this boundary issue is especially touchy for me.
And now that I'm home I can't help but wonder if the whole social anxiety thing was essentially manipulating me into dropping the boundary issue and muting me. Because now that the focus of the MC session was that I basically need to move forward and focus on our life now that I need to just shut up about the huge boundary issue that is now happening.
Or is this paranoid thinking?

naivewife posted 3/4/2014 12:37 PM

So basically what it feels like is, yes, he told me about the situation, which was good, but he tried to control the situation/outcome by using the social anxiety thing to distract me from the huge issue that he knew would be a big deal for me.

HotMessInTX posted 3/4/2014 12:49 PM

FWIW, I don't think you're being paranoid at all and I could easily see how he could be attempting to control the situation, especially the fact he got upset about you bringing up the boundary issue.

From my perspective, I think he missed both a good teaching moment for himself and an opportunity for understanding and compassion on what you were feeling.

It is likely his default reaction to be defensive, btdt for sure. These are moments to learn how to change our reactions and natural inclinations though.

Morhurt posted 3/4/2014 12:50 PM

Has your MC taught you guys some communication strategies? I can see that that might be helpful here. Perhaps you both jumped to hurt and feeling misunderstood (perhaps he was being defensive) but I don't think either of you got to express what you needed to and really feel heard and validated.

MY IC did a one-off session with us to teach a bit about the IMAGO technique, it's very helpful in situations like this. Often I think my H is being obtuse or intentionally hurtful when it turns out, he has his own hurt and fear that I'm not listening to either.

Just a thought...

SadInNC posted 3/4/2014 14:22 PM

This woman at work makes me uncomfortable and WH knows it.

It's good that he told you about the conversation with this woman. That is a step in the right direction! For me, that would be progress.

I don't think you are being paranoid. Not at all. WH has given you reason to doubt him. I am in the same boat. It sucks. I think it's a long, hard road back to "i trust you" land. Hopefully, we can get there. I feel like I'm being paranoid at times, too, and it's not a great feeling. I understand. If there is anyway that you can tell him to limit his contact with this woman. Do it. If that is what you need right now, he should do it for you if he can.

Do you have any interest in his music at all? Is there something you like to do that he doesn't? Start little by little and you might feel better if you have more shared interests together, since that was the reason he gave for the A.

naivewife posted 3/4/2014 21:22 PM

I asked him if we could talk more about the issue with the woman at work when he came home and explained my concern and now he's silent treatment-ing me (after doing the "fine I'll just tell her no, I won't make her a copy of the album I have and tell her don't give me a copy of the album he has") Then I said I just wanted to talk about it, he didn't have to go and do that, I just wanted to talk the situation out. So... groan. So much for mature open communication.

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