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Tough good changes

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FeelingMN posted 7/9/2014 10:59 AM

Last spring FWW and I were fighting a lot. MC was not going well for a number of reasons (we no longer go) but one thing that came out of our last session was my FWW asked that I not yell anymore. I listened and have changed the way I approach our/my issues and I have been successful almost all of the time. My light bulb moment was I had to finally accept a number of things if I was going to be able to make this change. We would argue about my perception vs. her perception. She would tell me that I always needed to be right. Looking back on it I think that I agreed and I began to change this as well. It became less important to be right more important that I was heard (many times I just felt dismissed though). This is part of what my acceptance looks like.

What I realize now, months later, is that I am feeling stronger in myself. As I continue to work on myself and gain this strength it is much more noticeable how dysfunctional my FWW's coping and communication skills are. It's true that I had the need to be right, what I see in her is the need to not be wrong, or in the wrong.

I've also completely accepted that my marriage may end. Because of this my entire attitude has changed. I'm not desperate to stay married. I don't feel the need to fight tooth and nail for change or to be heard or for any of the things that I would like to have happen. I feel like I'm doing my work and giving her room to choose if she's going to too.

I know there isn't much time left. We had a long talk last night that started because of a really bad trigger I had last week, STD related (turned out to be nothing but was a giant trigger). She asked me a question that went something like "Have I helped you at all?" (can't remember exact words but that's the idea). I summed up the long answer that I gave her at the end by saying "not very much". I'm hoping for a light bulb moment from her and she'll "get it".

eachdayisvictory posted 7/9/2014 11:17 AM

Sounds like fantastic changes in yourself. I can relate. I think I was the one who 'needed to be right' in our relationship. I'm pretty sure my H did too, but what's been the best progress for me and my health is to stop keeping tabs on who does what, so I'm trying really hard to stop that.

I say, in our situation, give lots and LOTS of room for fWS to change and grow. I truly believe that the trauma of being a BS dials-up the urgency of self-work, and that it takes longer for a fWS to come to realizations and change.

Let her see it in you, she will. When I stopped trying to SHOW it to others, that's when they could see me. When I stopped working for a 'tangible result', but instead for the peace and joy of each moment and for my family, that's when I started to notice 'results' around me.

Be happy when you're happy. Smile at your wife, adore her sometimes even if it's counter-intuitive. Just a thought, but holy crap, what a game-changer it's been for me. It sounds like you're on a similar journey of self-discovery - so keep going. For you first, then your spouse and relationship if it seems right to you.

FeelingMN posted 7/9/2014 13:21 PM

Thanks eachdayisavictory, its a good sign to me that this has worked for others too. I'm still working on this. Yesterday during our conversation I felt myself start to get hot because it looked like FWW was building up the walls, getting defensive, essentially our usual pattern. I backed off and told her that I felt like my temp was rising and that I was working too hard to get her to stay engaged. I told her that I didn't need to have the conversation if it meant pulling teeth.

I don't normally feel good after our talks because we'd both be hurting and upset. I wouldn't say that I feel good but I can say I feel good about how I conducted myself. With one small slip and a good recovery I did it right again.

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