I agree that we should all work on ourselves and personal growth, I was just saying that it won't necessarily mean that WH will change too. I think my WH is not interested in personal growth or becoming a better person. Choosing a different way of acting for yourself and to be the person you want to be and can be proud of is good advice.
But, in my case my personal growth is for me and me alone. It has no positive impact on WH or his behavior.
I finally see the light though, that it is not me. I have no impact on his behavior. The one thing those 5 months taught me was it is not me. I could do everything under the sun for him and he will still be who he is. he blames his A's and every problem we have on me, because I didn't do enough, didn't give enough wasn't enough this or that for him. And due to low self esteem from him and my abusive childhood I bought it for too many years. Now, I am finally seeing my worth, seeing I did not deserve any of this. Demanding better. That is right, me the doormat demanding he actually do something for me instead of promising he will once I start doing what he wants. He has never kept that promise, ever. I heard it 5 or 6 times the past year alone.
BT, your advice is true for a lot of people. Probably the majority of people. I used to believe it was true for all people. I don't understand my WH at all. I don't understand how it is okay to
have someone treat you well and you don't feel any desire to treat them well in return. It has confused me for 28 years. Now I just have to accept that that is who is he, that is how he is. If he ever changes it will not be because of anything I said or did.
That is it, exactly.
What he does or doesn't do is beyond your control. You're targeting your control right where you can -- on yourself.
I think there's something in us that knows the right thing to do long before anyone steps in and tells us. You did, I did, most people here did. But for some reason, we don't trust ourselves to follow our own instincts.
And then one day we get to a place where we are able to know and to do. And we do it. It takes a huge amount of courage to turn around after 28 years -- or ten years or 40 years -- and change yourself and your ways of relating to your spouse.
You got guts, girl.
When people told me to focus on myself when I first came to SI, I fought it. Even though I had already done that once and it had sparked a remarkable change in both me and my marriage. But I still fought it. I thought I had to focus all my efforts on him. What a putz I was.
That's not to say that he wasn't a putz also. Cause he was. Big time. But it was magical when I started focusing on me instead of him. I don't know how else to describe it. It was like the whole world of turmoil that I always felt surrounding me all the time just settled down.
I was working to make my own happiness rather than waiting for another person to make it for me. And I knew I could do it, too. What an amazing feeling.
What is the alternate approach? I would say that it is to stop the hostility
I know this must so so stupid, but how do I do this?What do I do with the hostility? Do I suck it up? And does that mean no checking up, verifying, or does it mean doing this in a diff way?
I have been thinking what drives this hostility? And I think its a combo of diff feelings, chief among them being fear (of getting hurt again after making myself vulnerable...again), shame (facing my family/friends and myself if he lets me down...again) and pain (how can he hurt me if he loves me, ergo he didnt love me).
But I am going to try, BT.
I spoke to him a few times during the day (I needed some help re a programe and he came through), and when I came home, there was a slight change in the air.So far, we have hugged, then fought, then hugged again. But at least we are talking.And hugging.
I know he is a different man. Someone I can love very deeply. But I am so scared. And I panic when he shows behaviour reminiscent of the Old H.And you are right, I go into battle mode.
I am going to try, BT. We did cease fire for awhile, and it was wonderful.
Thank you BT.
Btw, he's waiting for me patiently, so I am checking off for tonight.
It's my belief that anger feeds on itself, probabaly chemically in some neurotransmitter kind of way. I envisioned my new, calm responses as creating new neural pathways that were replacing the old anger pathways. I have no idea whether that has any scientific truth, but it was a visual that helped me.
I know the anger is driven by fear. All I can tell you is that you will be OK no matter what. I know that's hard to believe, but it's true. You've already survived the worst and you are getting stronger every day. We've all seen it and commented on it.
Keep that image of the Lost you want to be front and center in your mind. Ask yourself how she would respond before you open your mouth. You don't have to do that too long before it becomes second nature.
It's a risk, as Lovin' pointed out. But it's worth it. You're a winner no matter what.
"Ruling the world is child's play. To truly rule your soul is like ruling creation. It is above even the gods."
Well. BT - you are above the gods!
Every time I think I am doing well, something comes along and reminds me that I have such a long way to go.
Yesterday, someone made a comment that really just knocked the wind out of my sails totally. Brought tears to my eyes and it wasn't even that bad, and it was said out of their obvious pain. Surprised me how much it hurt.
So, I've got a lot to work on, too.
When I stopped that, when he was not constantly defensive, he was able to look at what he had done and see the real, hurtful nature of it. He didn't stop looking at it as we all fear. Instead, he was free to really look at it and understand it for the first time. And it really changed him.
I think that is something I need to work on. My fear is that my H will forget, or think all is fine now. I need to know that he is constantly reminded and yet that is pretty sick.
I had a bit of a meltdown yesterday. I just felt it coming on and said goonight and went up. He came up a bt later and asked what i wrong. He brought a snack adn lay down with me in bed to watch tv. I told him nothing, I didn't want to talk. Of course, we ended up talking and I cried a ton.
It is just so humiliting to say how you don't feel important or you feel like second choice. How I hate that he has no interest in sex which he says is lucdicrous, he just dosn't want to hurt my back. But it's my back, and I want to have sex! He never went this long without having sex with her. Ugh. He asked what hecould do to make me feel like I was first choice, because I am> Whatcoudl he do to make t better. I did't know. But I did tell him today thathe coudl just hold me next time. Even if I initially acted like I didn't want that. That sometimes just having a bad day is just that. He did hold me a bit last night and stayed with me until I told him I wanted ot go to sleep. It just sucks feeling that way. I'm ready for more good days.
LH, I am just feeling sad for you wh. He is missing out and doesn't even realizeit. He is gong to push you so far away that you will never come back. And it will be his loss. But I agree, what he is saying to you is abusive. And you have had enough abuse.
Since you are in the answering sorta mood, I just wondered if leading up to your 3 year antivesary if you went through a resurge of the anger phase?? I gotta say, things have been going well and for some reason BOOM I am just PISSED. My H has been great. But I'm just angry for the past week with no apparent reason. My antivesary isn't until August. I don't have anything that I can rationally think of that is triggering this... it just is.
My d-day anniversary is tied to a confession, rather than a traumatic discovery, so it probably doesn't have as much impact as other folks' anniversaries do.
My mind still goes back to the affair though when I am pissed at him for other reasons or when something makes me feel insecure. I try to keep those thoughts unvoiced, however, cause I realize they usually aren't fair. And I spend a good deal of time trying to trace those thoughts back to their roots.
Happy couples with long marriages triggered me for a long time, but not so much anymore. Run into any of those lately?
I admire and appreciate you very much.
Edited to add: And you can take that personally.
[This message edited by runoverbytruck at 7:01 PM, May 7th (Wednesday)]
If you think the grass is greener on the other side, it's because it's fertilized with bullshit.
The best protection a woman can have is courage.~Elizabeth Cady Stanton
My H has taken a job where he is away from home. He's been gone about 2 weeks now, so it's still in the early stages. He's about 4 hours away so I can't just pop over to see him. But I'm not having constant LTA thoughts. For the last 2 years the LTA thoughts have plagued me (you all know what I'm talking about). But with H away, and also him having been sick on top of leaving, I now have other important things to think about. It has been such a relief to have a break from LTA land.
Like I said, it's not that I recommend your H's getting a job away from home, but for me, right now, it seems to be doing me some good.
Maybe it's the old, "absence makes the heart grow fonder".
I think that a big part of it is that we have had a break in the routine. After 2 years of questions, questions, and pain. Up and down, up and down. I think I had grown accustomed to this routine. Now that he is gone, maybe it will break that routine?????
If a man says something in the woods and there's not a woman there to hear it, is he still wrong?
Hi FSA. I'm glad you are doing better. I think it's probably the absence combined with the realization that you could have lost him with that illness. That tends to put things in perspective.
But I told my IC more than once that I felt like my actions concerning LTA had become a learned action. Like I had been stuck there so long that it had become part of my normal. Does that make any sense at all?
I hate that H had to leave for me to accomplish this, but maybe God knew that that was what it was going to take for me.