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Resent some married people, how to reframe?

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Helen of Troy posted 7/18/2014 08:24 AM

I have a hard time with hearing married women complain about things like their husband leaving his socks on the floor or not taking out the trash. Meanwhile I run myself into exhaustion trying to do the parenting, working, school, etc. with no help.
A 2x4 won't help. It would help to know I'm not alone on this feeling.
Question is how to reframe this? I want to be part of a paticular social group but hearing these types of comments really turns me off. Finding another group is not an option. Creating my own is not an option either. Being alone is an option but not an attractive or healthy one.

norabird posted 7/18/2014 08:46 AM

If they are friends, can't you gently say 'hey, I'd love to have that problem', and let them know that you can be sad about the contrast?

suckstobeme posted 7/18/2014 09:13 AM

I used to feel like that and still do every once in a while. But, truth be told, there are a lot of times when I feel sort of glad that I'm not married anymore. Don't get me wrong - I would have stayed married for life if he wasn't a lying, cheating shit bag. I would like to be in a committed relationship again one day, but I don't know that, after living without him for almost 4 years now, that I would ever want someone living in the same house with me again.

When I hear the complaints from my married friends about the mess, the lack of cooperation and help, the tuning each other out, the lack of sex, and the fights, it doesn't make me envious. I don't know when that thought process turned around, but somewhere along the way, I just started thinking what a pain in the ass it is to have another adult living with me.

It may also come from the fact that my exwh barely helped me. I worked full time in a difficult career, took care of the kids, cooked, grocery shopped, cleaned, arranged for all the appointments, dropped the kids off at school/day care, etc., etc., etc. When he left, the only thing I had to start doing was taking out the garbage and handling the bills. He did nothing else. I now get the pleasure of seeing that he also does nothing much at his new house with OW. The Christmas lights were up until the end of May. The grass is always too long. The kids tell me that their rooms are always a mess and it's mostly dad's clothes that are thrown all over the place. They come home from visitation in clothes that are too small or not right for the season because he doesn't do laundry regularly. The list goes on and on.

So, while I know it hurts and it gets tedious being all on your own with kids sometimes, try to remember that being married - a lot of the time - isn't all it's cracked up to be. You are the captain of your own ship now and hopefully one day you will see how liberating and freeing that can be.

Sad in AZ posted 7/18/2014 10:38 AM

You don't know what's really going on in their lives; venting about socks on the floor could just be the tip of the iceberg. Instead of resenting, try stbm's tactic of being thankful your not married to a jerk anymore.

I feel bad for my friends when I hear stuff like this. I try to be an ear for them when they need it.

[This message edited by Sad in AZ at 10:38 AM, July 18th (Friday)]

cmego posted 7/18/2014 11:21 AM

I kinda depends on the day. Sometimes I am thankful to no longer be married...like when a good friend was complaining that her sink was always filled with dishes every morning when she got up. I commented, "Mine is always clean now. The only person to blame if it isn't...is me."

Sometimes I miss the camaraderie of family days, or quick weekend getaways with the whole family. Those pictures/talks hurt. But, it only hurts because I want that back.

I try to offer a different view point sometimes, "Well...think about it...the two of you are arguing because he bought the wrong kind of yogurt! Remember the bigger picture...he BOUGHT yogurt." That kinda stuff.

Just depends on the day and how I feel. Sometimes I tune it out and just enjoy being with my friends.

tryingagain74 posted 7/18/2014 15:35 PM

If this helps-- I was just talking to someone about a mutual friend. On FB, she just posted pictures of their wonderful anniversary weekend away together. You'd think they were the happiest of couples; they just bought an old home that they are fixing up, she just got a better-paying and more prestigious job where she works, and they have two healthy children.

Reality? Their marriage is going down the drain. The only reasons the wife doesn't want to get divorced is because of finances and how it would hurt their children. She doesn't even want to bother with counseling; she just wants out. They apparently fight all the time. I would never have known just from having superficial conversations with this friend and seeing her posts on FB.

The grass isn't necessarily greener-- just the facade is. I'm glad to be alone and living relatively well instead of in a marriage where I feel drained and unhappy. I don't care how that looks to the rest of the world-- I was happy to sacrifice the facade for a happier reality as a single mom.

Charity411 posted 7/18/2014 16:16 PM

I know just how you feel HoT. You don't want to be a jerk but sometimes you just want to say "Oh Shut Up!" Sometimes trying to change the subject helps. But I have in some instances limited my exposure to particular women.

In my very interesting social circle only two of us are single women and the rest are married and either retired or don't work. I am literally the only one with a job. And I'm the only one who cleans my own house and does my own gardening. We all get together on Friday nights and when the women start the pity party about how exhausted they are I get up and go talk to their husbands.

I've found that men talk about different stuff. I've heard what it's like to parachute out of military planes surrounded by jeeps and other equipment that is floating down on parachutes around you. Or what it was like to go a mission to Antarctica to search for rare meteorites. And then there is one husband that was a decorated ace fighter jet pilot in the Israeli army and was good friends with King Hussein and Queen Noor. And another's husband was in the Nigeria with the Peace Corps when the civil war started and he spent four years flying a doctor around in a small plane to battlefield putting people back together again. It beats the living hell out of underwear complaints.

Crescita posted 7/18/2014 16:34 PM

Hmm, I'm probably one of those people you would hate. Dishes, and trash, and socks, oh my.

I think there is a strong instinct to commiserate sometimes. It's not that I don't appreciate having an SO, but talking strictly about how great everything is seems gauche.

Maybe they are just trying to relate to your struggles in the best way they know how?

caregiver9000 posted 7/18/2014 16:38 PM

I used to say something like "well, there aren't any socks to pick up, but the rest of the chores all fall to me!" This lead to what felt like redirecting the focus to me instead of being sympathetic, so I changed it a bit.

I usually say "I don't miss the days of being frustrated at a husband's lack of respect!"

Because for me? Knowing that it all falls on me allows me to plan and carry the responsibility without the resentment. To me, it feels easier than it did with a "Partner" who added to the work and the attitude that came with anything he did wasn't worth it.

I do know what it feels like to feel like I don't have anything to add to the "complain about the husband" conversation. Mothers of small children do the same thing, and I have only "I remember" stories to add to the conversation.

steppingup posted 7/18/2014 17:40 PM

AMEN! yes when I'm putting up with my WW and all the emotional drama and lies and cheating I have to deal with people telling me how frustrated they are about simple easy to fix stuff between W and H like who is going to take the kids to the birthday party etc.

SIGH....why does life seem so unfair sometimes!!!

[This message edited by steppingup at 5:42 PM, July 18th (Friday)]

Nature_Girl posted 7/18/2014 19:51 PM

I'm thrilled I don't have to deal with that crap anymore! Better them than me!

TrustNoOne posted 7/18/2014 21:01 PM

Perspective is a dynamic psychological state. Interesting to contemplate, isn't it?

For someone frustrated at dirty socks...it's the worst situation ever. For the person with perspective to the contrast - it seems petty and irrelevant. Both views are truth - to the individual.

When my friends complain about their reality, I try to lend my ear, support, and care. As they do for me.

nomistakeaboutit posted 7/19/2014 15:39 PM

I just think that people have THEIR lives. I don't want my friends or family to filter their lives when talking to me because my XWW cheated on me. It's a focus away from me, which is good. It reminds me that it's not all about me!

If I had a friend that was trivial or petty all the time, that would bother me because of the shallowness but not because I am divorced and don't share their shallow annoyances.

If this was a 2 x 4 and didn't help, sorry. It's just how I try to see things. Notice I said "try"! :)

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