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Owning half the M

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StillLivin posted 3/21/2014 22:58 PM

I kept hearing that if there were problems in the M that half was mine to own, but none of the A is mine to own.
I have to toss down the BS card. After 7 months of almost NC, I have much more clarity.
The only problems we had was that he was a selfish asswhole and I was co dependent.
The only time I fussed at him was in my self defense. I had every right to set boundaries an every right to call him out on it when he was a jerk to me and stomped all over my boundaries.
I never cursed my H, I was never nasty either. I would matter of fact tell him his behavior was unacceptable, and then do the 180 (I didn't know it was the 180, thought it was just plain old common sense).
So this made me mean because I wouldn't always let him take advantage or wouldn't always let him have his way in decisions that involved me to. I would still say that 90% of the time HE got his way and I had to do all the compromising.
And let's not even go on a tangent about how awful he could treat me sometimes.
Should have been my clue to exit when HIS sons, my DSSs, asked me why was I still M to him.
Nope, the counselors heard my piece and both of them couldn't find fault with anything I said or did in the M.
Now the first year of M, that was a different story. But after I became a wonderful co-dependent, nope not owning any of that shit, it's all on him.
I've searched my soul and second guessed every decision, every turn of phrase during an argument. He was the one that would curse me out, or say horrible mean shit to me. I was always the one taking the high road.
FTG, he can have Shrek.
End of rant! Thank you ladies and gentlemen if you actually finished this with me!!

SBB posted 3/21/2014 23:55 PM

and I was co dependent.

That is your half of the M problems.

I've said before it's easy to be 'healthy' in healthy relationships, our unhealthy aspects come out to play when we're in unhealthy relationships.

You teach people how to treat you - that was my half of the M.

But it's a bit chicken and egg - why did I choose a guy like him? What drew me to him?

Familiarity. He exhibits all of the "good" stuff in my FOO which was actually bad. But it was familiar. He also exhibits the bad but I ignored them.

He wasn't beating me with his fists so I wasn't being abused. That's what I told myself. I'm better than my mum. I'm smarter than her. I'm stronger than her. I lived it - I'd know if I was being abused. She was a dumb, dependant, low self-esteem kid of 19 when they got together. I was a strong, smart, independent, high self-esteem, formidable woman of 27 when we got together.


It was how I 'knew' I was happy. Those grand romantic gestures he made for those first 5 years? Exactly what my father did to my mother in the days/weeks after beating her to within an inch of her life. That subtle emotional abuse of doing things as gifts to me then resenting me for it? For not being grateful enough or for being a burden? Exactly what my mother did to my father, and still does to me to this day.


And she lapped it all up - loved it. I did too - from my father, my mother and then from my husband.


I survived me very volatile and violent childhood by becoming invisible. Numb. Made myself as small as possible so as to not bring attention to myself and bear the wrath of either of my parents. Both abusers in different ways. My mum was the 'good' one but did more damage with her emotional abuse IMO.

My husband was an abuser too. I survived my marriage using the same exact tools.

I vomited violently when this came up in IC. That realisation was so shocking I sit here now well over a year since that lightbulb went off and I want to vomit again now.

It is all his fault that he is an abuser. 100%. It was not his fault that I put up with it and reverted to my toxic FOO coping mechanisms.

Straight after DD I reverted to my next favourite coping mechanism. Sleeping around as much as I could. I am considered a mad hatter here. I don't consider them RAs. I don't consider them affairs. I consider them the actions and choices of a broken, broken individual choosing to harm herself for a change. I did more damage to me than anyone else ever could. I don't consider myself a WS - not just because it is uncomfortable (it is), but because that would make him a BS which makes me livid. I'll examine why later. I'm not ready to right now.

It's a bitter pill to swallow. As my beloved uncertainone used to say in the Wayward forum - being a BS does not give you a cape. Some of us are better at fidelity than they are. Some of us are better at giving love than they are. Some of us are better spouses than they are. Some of us as better at life than they are. Some of us are better human being than they are.

But somewhere along the line we betrayed and devalued ourselves in tolerating unimaginably bad behaviour and treatment from them. Well before the infidelities.

Yes - he is broken, fucked-up, evil, FUBAR. That he chose to lie and cheat to me for years is all on him. That I allowed it is all on me. No matter how much of a good wife I thought I was being - he would have cheated on a far better wife than me. I would also have tolerated a worse husband than him.

The cheating was the dealbreaker. Why wasn't the other stuff dealbreakers? In many ways worse than the cheating but not dealbreakers. Why?

It was the cheating that brought my ego into play. His cheating humiliated me and THAT is the part my toxic FOO coping mechanisms didn't work on.

My ego is what saved me from that M - not my good heart.

This stuff is hard to work through and beings up a lot of unimaginably difficult thoughts/feelings. I know I have to otherwise I will be on the road to WH2 or being a WW myself.

StillLivin posted 3/22/2014 00:40 AM

You put so many good points in your response that I don't even know where to begin.
I'll chew on it for a day or two. I will be back, though. Promise....and thank you.

tesla posted 3/22/2014 07:35 AM

SBB brings up so many good points. Somewhere in our healing, we have to own that the person we were in our marriages attracted and choose a very broken individual.

We always comfort each other on this forum that the WS's life won't be any better apart from us because 'broken attracts broken.'

Newsflash: at one point in our lives, we were the broken attracting their broken.

Ex-shat and I were toxically codependent. We thought we were meant for each other...that we were soul mates. Shit, our toxicity just happened to be a perfect interlocking match. At some point I figured out that we were in this never ending cycle of miserable bullshit and I wanted change. He resisted. I pushed harder to change. He went out and had an affair and now he's reinforcing/perpetuating his codependent cycle with someone else. (extra points to him for snagging a stripper out of the deal )

I ended up using the trauma of his infidelity and divorce to work on my codependent and passive aggressive tendencies. You would not recognize me today from who I was 10 years ago. But to change, I had to own who I really was and how I really behaved. That was tough and humbling. I wish I had not been that person all those years ago and had made better choices...but I wasn't. And now I have been given the opportunity to be that better person.

solus sto posted 3/22/2014 07:41 AM

Sorry, but the "half of the marriage" thing may be repeated often enough to be accepted widely, but it's grossly oversimplified bullshit. There are bazillions of marriages undone by the actions of one.

It may take two to MAKE a marriage (though they both will have to give more than 50%), but it can takr just one to end it.

7yrsflushed posted 3/22/2014 13:36 PM

Sorry, but the "half of the marriage" thing may be repeated often enough to be accepted widely, but it's grossly oversimplified bullshit. There are bazillions of marriages undone by the actions of one.
^^^I agree. IMO it's best used and I have often seen it used when a new BS joins the site and is stuck blaming themselves for their WS's A. This oversimplified statement does a pretty good job of getting a new BS to realize they didn't do anything to cause there WS to have an A.

Gemini71 posted 3/22/2014 17:48 PM

Yeah, I'll own half the M. The half that worked.

inconnu posted 3/22/2014 18:03 PM

I hate being told I'm responsible for 50% of the marriage problems. I'm not.

The way I see it, I'm 100% responsible for my behavior and actions during the marriage, but those did not add up to causing 50% of the issues in the marriage.

I know I was not perfect. I know there are ways I could have been a better spouse and partner. But I was a hell of a better wife than ex was a husband. I dunno, he may still see it otherwise. But ya know, not my problem any more.

phmh posted 3/22/2014 18:12 PM

I also don't think this is always true.

I spent a lot of time on this in both IC (where my counselor had not met XWH) and in MC (where my counselor had met XWH and was always in the room when we spoke.) Based on what was said on SI, I was convinced that I had to take half the blame for the marriage, but after spending many hours on this, both counselors told me that it wasn't true in my case.

Of course I am not perfect, but had I not married a severely personality-disordered person, I would have been in a happy marriage, whereas his relationships are all going to wind up similarly because of who he is.

Why did I choose him? Because he'd become such an expert at wearing the mask and he'd fooled everyone. I was 20 and he'd had a lot of practice at hiding who he was. He knew how to say/do the right things (an intelligent sociopath is scary!)

Even with the benefit of hindsight, I didn't ignore any blatant red flags (of course with 20/20 hindsight, it's easy to call "red flag" on quirky behavior.)

Why did I stay? Because I believed in marriage and I was determined to make it work. He was under a lot of stress in residency/fellowship, and his 9-year odyssey of becoming a doctor was about to end. I was certain things would improve once he was finally a full-blown physician. Plus, things weren't that bad. We had a ton of common interests, took vacations frequently, didn't fight about anything, were on the same page about everything (because he was pretending to be someone he wasn't, I found out later.) There were isolated incidents of mask slippage that I attributed to stress of physician training.

When our MC asked him to help me solve my half of the problems in the marriage, all he could come up with is that I liked to read and that I saved for retirement. Instead of reading, he thought I should be watching him play video games and praising him for his prowess. He never could explain the retirement one since I made enough money to still do/buy whatever he wanted.

I do think it's useful to self-examine and find ways to improve ourselves, but I don't subscribe to owning half of the marriage problems in all cases.

Nature_Girl posted 3/22/2014 20:24 PM

I was not a perfect wife, but I tried. I'll never own half the problems in the marriage. He was and is an evil person who did horrible things. That's all on him. Nothing I did was so terrible that it drove him to those behaviors. They were all well in place before he even met me.

I do fully own the fact that I used to be so dysfunctional that I chose him as a partner. I also fully own the fact that I chose to have children with him, and even worse, I stayed with him after the children were born and exposed them to his evil. However fucked up they are as adults because I stayed too long in the marriage is on me.

But the marriage? Hell no.

honesttoafault posted 3/22/2014 23:29 PM

SBB: I really liked your post. It really makes one think.

I do agree that I am responsible 100% for my actions or more precisely, my reactions in the M.

As for 50% of the M problems? That's a hard one. Like many others, my codependent behavior as a response to his behavior was my responsibility.

My WH has been blaming me that I turned the kids against him. Of course I did not do that, but as I've been thinking lately, I am to blame that I put up with so much crap that it did affect the kids. I wish I was stronger and left a long time ago, and I'm to blame for that.

But blame is a hard word.

I'm getting to a point that I'm no longer going to assign blame to anyone. He is who he is, and I do know that no matter what his choice to have an A, is 1000% on HIM.

Brandon808 posted 3/23/2014 14:50 PM

I know what you mean Still,

When I told some of my friends I was going to file for D they completely understood why I would want to...and they didn't even know about her cheating.

StillLivin posted 3/23/2014 22:20 PM

Ok, I promised to think about this and come back.
In my M, there were times he was often immature and completely selfish. When he became a jerk about it, I realized I couldn't control his actions, but I could control mine. So, I would do the healthy thing and ignore him, but also make it very clear that his actions were completely unacceptable to me. I would not cook for him, clean for him, speak to him, etc. until he acknowledged that he was 1) wrong, and 2) sorry. I've gone as long as 5 weeks with this behavior (180???/common sense)
After we were M for about 2 years, he had a personal tragedy, not gonna go into all of the details. He grieved for a year. During that time, he was very bitter and very angry. He took a lot of that out on me. Due to the nature of the tragedy, I didn't always put my foot down. After a year, I finally told him, enough. You can still grieve if you must, but your behavior is unacceptable and I will walk if it doesn't cease.
It ceased. Instead he became PA. But he gaslit me so well, that I thought it was me.
He held a lot in, and didn't tell me that he was bitter with me. He started to demonize me in his mind, but never overtly showed it. This was pre A.
He was very loving and charming and affectionate.
He suffers from PTSD. Many of the same behaviors he started to exhibit once he was deep in the A fog, are similar to PTSD. Acting out, being unreasonable, fighting over nothing, the night terrors. Actually some of the stuff he did really was from PTSD.
That is when I started to become somewhat co-dependent due to my ignorance of what A and fog behavior are. I desperately wanted him to seek out PTSD therapy. And I believed in my vows of for better or for worse. I was not going to abandon him during his time of need (that's what I thought it was, didn't know it was an A fog).
I did my best to try and engage him back in the M and to get counseling for what I thought was his worsening PTSD. Though, now that I think about it, his PTSD really was becoming worse at this time too. Hmmm, wonder if having an A aggravates stuff like PTSD, etc. Food for thought in another thread some day.
Anyway, after really looking hard at myself, I still do not acknowledge problems in the M because I didn't know we were having problems in the M. He didn't start acting like a cheatinass jerk until he was deep in the A.
I believe that statement about owning half the marital problems is true with some M couples that actually have visible problems and lack of communication. However, since he didn't show me outwardly any signs of animosity, and we always talked (he just lied), I cannot own his crap in the M.
I gave him plenty of opportunities to walk if he was not happy. I also always tried to communicate with him when I had issues. I cannot control his behavior nor his sickness. Due to my ignorance of what he was really thinking, there was nothing I could have done differently.
The few red flags, and they were very few and extremely minor pre M, were not significant enough to see them as such. Honestly, he was a great H the first couple of years until his tragedy. Something in him changed forever after that. He was never the same again, even though he did finally stop grieving. I do not, however, blame the tragedy. Life isn't fair, and we have to have the coping skills to roll with the punches. If it hadn't been that tragedy, sooner or later it would have been another. I'm just commenting that he changed after that, even after he finished mourning.
Now that I know what A behavior looks like, you can believe, that is the FIRST thing I will think if I'm ever in another relationship. I will not tolerate it thinking I'm working with a SO to get help, I will just pack his shit up and toss his ass out.
Oh, wait, when I found out it was an A and not necessarily his PTSD, I did send him packing. I even helped him some with the boxes and trash bags to expedite.
My mistake was not dating him much longer before marrying him. My mistake was that I wasn't psychic and had no clue who he really was inside.
I had a good M, he didn't. His problem, his loss.
Now, as for past relationships with others, I was extremely damaged in my early 20s. I did a lot of hard work on healing myself. The problems we had in those relationships were half mine. I directly contributed.
Not all co-dependents are the same. My co-dependency was because I thought he had legitimate illnesses which for me changed the playing field of what I would normally not have accepted from a H.
Oh, and I set the bar too damn low. I married a man who wasn't quite as selfless as me. Though we all are allowed our flaws, that will be one I will never tolerate in another R again.
ETA: Even in my co-dependency I have learned that regardless of the reason for poor behavior, it will never be acceptable. I made allowances for his grieving, and later his PTSD because I am understanding and kind. I will not allow that shit ever again, though.

[This message edited by StillLivin at 10:26 PM, March 23rd (Sunday)]

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