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hiding behind wall of "awesome"

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catlover50 posted 7/17/2014 14:08 PM

I'm trying to clarify some ponderings on my H's issues.

I always knew that he was very selfish, and that he would rationalize his behavior and never admit he was wrong. He couldn't stand a hint of criticism or any idea of being controlled. I dealt with all this the best I could; tiptoes mostly.

One positive that came out after Dday was that for the first time there was no way he could avoid admitting that he was wrong. Mindblowingly wrong. And fucked up. Fortunately he didn't try to blameshift, but frankly that would have been laughable; it was glaringly obvious that he was at best a mediocre husband and that I had knocked myself out trying to be a good wife.

So he has made some good gains, particularly on the selfish front. And he will admit occasionally to being wrong now. But I have been troubled recently with his continued tendency to rationalize his behavior. It seems it is still really hard for him to see fault with himself. Recent examples; we were heading out for an early morning bike ride and he was swearing aggressively at the bike pump and the weather. (he knows I hate this part of him; it feels like there is this underlying anger dying to get out) I tried to talk to him about an alternative way to deal with frustration and his response was "this is how I do it so it must be what's best for me". Okay.....Then later I asked how he felt about the missed opportunities as a father, since he had expressed regrets about his previous behavior, selfishness, etc. He said "well, I was working hard." I replied that he shouldn't let himself off that easily and he said that I must want him to wallow in guilt and shame. He also continues to not do things that he has promised me and always has excuses.

I talked to my IC and she felt that I still did not feel safe since he was continuing these behaviors. I agreed. She set us up with a new MC who my H has agreed to try to get more in depth with.

So I am thinking that due to his CSA, FOO, etc, and basically having no one to support him and value him as he grew up, that he has built high walls around his ego. He protects himself, since no one protected him. Likely deep inside there is lack of self worth and the defense is to hide behind this wall and constantly insist to himself that he is "awesome". Anyone who disagrees must suck. Any suggestion of unawesomeness is an overt attack and must be thwarted, even from himself. I suspect that he has done this so long that it is second nature. Work reinforced his awesomeness. He was proud of his wife and family, and enjoyed relaxing at home and being cared for, as long as there was no hint of expectation or disappointment. OW initially thought he was super awesome. And how awesome is it having two women who want you? As long as you didn't allow a single doubt to creep through a chink in the wall. Dday broke part of that wall, and in some ways he can see me over it and hold my hand but there still seems to be this protective wall.

And that prevents him from true introspection and growth, IMHO.If a person can't admit that their thought processes may be faulty then how can they improve them? And how can I feel truly safe if he continues to protect himself from the suggestion that his behavior is sometimes less than stellar? Truly, after Dday he admitted to me that he never thought of himself as a liar or cheater. Never considered what he was doing an A (it was almost four years of intermittent sex). Denial much?

Plus when I suggested that his FOO may have played a role in his unwillingness to admit fault he seemed puzzled that there may be an effect. Hadn't even considered it. Of course he really hadn't seemed to consider the subject at all.

Really think that it is time for deeper work. Hope this new MC will help (she said that she would continue with him in IC after we had established goals and that she was all about getting deep).

gottabeabiggirl posted 7/17/2014 15:10 PM

I don't have any advice for you but your husband sounds very similar to mine. There was no all the way sex involved but it was years of a continued emotional affair and when he tried to make it more the OW told me.

He has yet to fully admit it was wrong, doesn't see any of emotional aspect for years as being wrong. He is 10 years older and can't handle not being in control.

I to became super wife, doing everything I could to be awesome and never make him feel at fault for anything. Gave him control even though I now pay most the bills and am no longer a student. I never realized my part in his behavior. NOT the cheating by any means but the re-enforcing him being right and letting him have control.

His personal counseling seems to be helping him a bit but not enough, though its only been 3 months. He isn't handling the power dynamic shift very well either, me calling a lot of the shots now, he still tries very hard to turn it back around.

Definitely pursue the counseling, no matter what. It sounds like you are doing all the right things and hopefully counseling will help him to see that his part in this is far from over and help him to value the effort you are putting in.

I can't say if I will stay or make it much longer but I just wanted to say I feel your pain and know what its like to be that amazing person to someone who hurts you so badly and doesnt even recognize it. Please stay strong and never doubt yourself. It takes a truly special and very strong person to be able to survive in a relationship with a man like that and you should be proud of all your efforts, should it not work out, someone out there will value them in a way your deserve. I don't know you really at all but feel a kinship just by what you've been through and what I've been through. You are not alone in this.

Best of luck!

catlover50 posted 7/17/2014 15:46 PM

Thanks you gotta, And best of luck to you.

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