Last night FWH came home with D papers and began filling them out at the kitchen table.
He said he L me, he had changed, and that he was tired of me and couldn't take any more.
He has been very confident lately, fighting instead of being PA. Sometimes his arguments seem to be twisted, and our perceptions of what was said and in what order do not match. He says I twist things, and at times I feel like he is trying to trap me in erroneous retelling of the events. It seems at time if he senses a weakness he will go for it to prove he is right. This makes me feel vulnerable and unsafe. This happens when we are trying to work out a misunderstanding...but we never come to an understanding because both our stories don't match, even when we were both there, saying, doing the very things that caused the argument.
I convinced him to come upstairs to discuss one of his sexual complaints. I didn't want to discuss it in front of the children. They had heard enough already. They knew what was going on, and were trying to ignore us, asking to watch a movie. Both he and I had told them Dad is asking for a D.
Upstairs he said I had to:
1. Listen to his words. Believe what he says.
2. Treat him like a friend, come along side, not attack.
3. Get anger counselling.
4. Stop blaming him.
5. Stop accusing him.
6. Stop calling him names.
7. Never again bring up any of his past failures or sins.
8. Give him the benefit of the doubt.
9. Don't discount anything he says.
I feel like the above list is a trap. On the surface it looks fine to me. But where does it end? Am I agreeing to be a silent partner, just going along with whatever he decides from now on, with no input, much less any right to disagree with him? I am not convinced this is a healthy thing to agree to 100%.
I get that he doesn't want me to bring up the past anymore. I have much bitterness about some past financial/professional decisions he made that have put us behind and now, in his 50's he has to work 70+ hours a week. I tried to be part of his decisions 20 years ago, so he wouldn't be working like that now...but he had other ideas. And he completely ignored my ideas, belittling them, over and over again through the years. Every day he is home after dark, every week he has one day off, it is a reminder to me. He is missing out on our children, since he has to work so hard. I must let it go. He doesn't like how much he is working, either. He forgets what got him in this situation, in his 50's, and that it could have been different had he let me be part of his decisions and not been so closed and defensive about his career decisions.
I have struggled with unforgiveness and resentfulness during our entire M. I had abandonment issues when we met, they went away during our M, only resurfacing after 19 years when he had the A and asked for a D. Now I constantly fear being abandoned...and it is not just me anymore, but our children I am concerned for.
I'm sorry if I am rambling. I'm broken, afraid, crying and even now I should be getting ready to shuttle our children to watch their friends who are in a piano competition, but I want to get this down, so you all can hit me with 2x4's and tell me I'm sick, wrong, deserve to be left. Or perhaps (probably not, though) that I'm not crazy.
During our M, H made a lot of decisions without me, which greatly affected our lives, and not always in a positive way. We are suffering the consequences of that today. I cannot seem to accept it and move on. It is true that I have deep wounds still because of past things. I feel very afraid, and insecure because of past behaviors. I protect myself by acting aloof and many times cold or angry.
I don't know anyone who would want to live with me acting that way. But I thought that at least the person who caused those wounds would stick around and help me through it.
I really do want to change and not be angry or afraid anymore. But I feel so vulnerable, so unsafe, like the rug could be pulled out from under at any time, like the first time 4 years ago. At least this time I almost expected it. The first time I was caught blind sided.
I'm a broken person. As I grew in our M, I became confident, trusted in myself and in the stability of our M vows. I felt like we were one, separated by death only. It was not always smooth, but I knew it was strong. With his A and then the lies until DD#2 (porn use) he broke me and now he is discarding me because I am broken and he doesn't like the sharp edges.
He says he wants me to change, like he is changing. How much? Will I forever be living with the D papers hanging over my head? "You haven't changed enough, so I want a D."
He has changed a lot. But not enough time has passed for me to know if those are real changes or temporary. I only found out about the porn use one year ago, and it took me back to a new D-Day. He says, "I'm not looking at porn anymore, I've repented and therefore you should not bring it up or be upset about it anymore."
The porn discovery affected me on a very deep level. I had been going to counselling for 2 years, believing he was 100% there for our family since he ended the A. The mind game he played to cover up his porn that night showed me a different side of him that really caused me concern. He tried to make me feel petty and stupid for being upset that he missed the entire family event, because according to him, he had been on a very important phone call with someone....from church. Why was I so selfish and short sighted? Then I discovered he had been looking at porn. It is the mind game he played with me to belittle me that traumatized me more than the infidelity with the porn.
Is he still playing mind games with me. He has me on my knees now. I don't want him to go. I don't want him to break up our family, disrupt our lives. He promised to love me until death do us part. Through sickness and through health. I'm sick...my heart and mind are sick and he helped get me there.
I don't want to rock our children's worlds. This whole thing is breaking my heart.
He wants you to forget his A..or rather,it's ok if you remember, but you are not allowed to bring it up in any way.
You know,that entire list just pissed me off.
What is HE doing to be a safe partner in this marriage?
..that feeling you get in your stomach, when you heart's broken. It's like all the butterflies just died.
Breaking trust requires showing that you are trustworthy for a long time before you are believed and not questioned. If he wants to rug sweep, tell him to get his own place with his own rug.
Dictating to you what HE NEEDS from you.
Not giving a shit about your needs.
Beating you up emotionally when you are down so low.
Lying to you.
Rugsweeping - that is not wanting to talk about the incident that brought you to this place. Just put it aside- like it never happened.
Gently - have you visited the NPD thread in I Can Relate... you might find some soulsi-ers who have walked the path you are on.
It is all about him... and what he wants. Even is affair and porn use are all about him. Marriage takes 2 people to make things work. When do you get a say in your marriage? Will he ever allow it?
I think you in counseling is a very good idea. Fix what you think needs fixing, not what he tells you needs fixing. We all have things we need to work on.. so work on you.
I would suggest visiting an attorney for a consult on what you can expect IF he decides to divorce. I highly recommend it, education =empowerment.
My X did a lot of what your H is doing. he was even telling me what I would receive if we divorced. How I would be homeless, how he would get custody because he was the bread winner in our family. I was a SAHM, and hadn't worked fulltime in 12 years. He was relentless in what I needed to do so I wouldn't be divorced and homeless. And he blatantly carried on his affair.. I was a mess with anxiety/depression, powerlessness.
With his parents help, I asked him to leave and sent him to their house to live (temporarily). I needed space and time away from his and his twisted talk. I didn't want to divorce- I just wanted time to think things thru. 3 days later (when I wouldn't answer his calls) he sent an email titled Discussion for Dissolution of Marriage. I lost it. wanted to make it work.. etc.
My friend dragged me around to every barracuda attorney in town for a consult. Doing that made it impossible for him to retain them. It also gave me so much information on what I could expect financially, that he couldn't take the house, kids, etc. Just because he was the full time wage earner in our marriage, doesn't mean he gets an preferences in court. Actually I get preference because I was always there for our kids... he wasn't. etc...Bottom line... I felt so relieved after talking to the attorneys... yes he could divorce me... but he could only remove PART of what I had..He could not take everything which was what he said he could do.
The hardest part was in the beginning of that... NOT telling him that I saw the attorney's and what they had said. That was so hard, but necessary.
It isn't easy.. one step at a time... your H reminds me of my X... my counselor was the second person to use NPD to describe my X. A friend on another forum - like this was the first to suggest it. When I asked my counselor... she said she believed so.
Hugs, No matter what happens you deserve to feel safe, honored and respected in your marriage.
[This message edited by Kajem at 11:11 AM, April 27th (Saturday)]
With his A and then the lies until DD#2 (porn use) he broke me and now he is discarding me because I am broken and he doesn't like the sharp edges.
What did he expect? Sounds like he wants you to just get over it. His list pretty much says that. If anyone should have a list of conditions for R, it should be you,HbH. Do you see that he is making this all about him?
It is true that I have deep wounds still because of past things. I feel very afraid, and insecure because of past behaviors. I protect myself by acting aloof and many times cold or angry.
But I feel so vulnerable, so unsafe, like the rug could be pulled out from under at any time, like the first time 4 years ago. At least this time I almost expected it. The first time I was caught blind sided
Of course you are protecting yourself. He isn't doing anything to make you feel safe in your relationship. It takes two to R, and clearly, he isn't doing his part. Even worse, it doesn't sound like he is willing to even try. He is expecting you to do all the work, like healing from his infidelity is YOUR problem.
If you are not in IC, I would stronly suggest it. Your focus should be on becoming stronger for yourself, not for him. You are right, it sounds like he wants you to be a silent partner in your marriage. You can't R under these conditions.
His attitude makes me pissed off for you.
I am so sorry, HbH.
The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.”
― Ernest Hemingway
confused: He (his name in SI is repair/share, even though he doesn't post or read here) doesn't want blind trust, he just doesn't want me to bring up the past...he is right, I do "clobber" him with it every time we have a conflict. Everything seems connected to me when we have a disagreement.
He is not cheating anymore, as far as I know. But even if he is 100% committed to me, and his "eyes are only for" me as he says, he wants me to feel as strongly as he does, and be as excited as he is. Last month he said he felt like he was newly in love with me, like when we first met. I didn't feel that way...I have a deep love for him, with some knowledge that I could be dumped by surprise, and a hope that over time I'll get over that. Damn, I'm crying again.
Tears: He has been trustworthy (as far as I know) since March 12. He has been sporadically to SA meetings, and is completely on the wagon. But it is me that am still afraid, and many times just plain angry. I am mean to him many times. I do lash out. He says it follows him for days, and he can think of nothing else but my words. He says he beats himself up enough,and he can't take my beating him up anymore. Who can blame him? So I am expected now to suffer in silence, and never have a slip-up or the D papers will be waiting for me. Now I'm more paranoid and traumatized than I was before. Who wants to be in a M with a paranoid, sniveling person who is willing to stuff all their feelings and play a role? I'm a miserable mess, and he should divorce me if I go along with his list. I deserve no respect.
Kajem: He doesn't lie anymore. He does say he is not cheating anymore, nor using porn anymore and he doesn't want me to bring them up anymore, they are done.
I have read books on PA and read and posted there. He used to be PA. He has recognized it, without calling it what it was, and he is changing...he is expressing himself, and asserting himself like he never did before. He used to just go along, stuff his feelings, be nice, but do PA stuff. Now he takes me on, and that is part of what is causing us to fight more...I'm a fighter, and now he is too.
We are in MC. She says she thinks we aren't nice to each other and she said no one would want to be M to either of us, the way we treat each other. She is right, but we remain M because we have history together and we L each other and want to work it out...now he has his list of conditions for if he stays.
I've seen an attorney. FWH finally wrote a post-nup (It took him 3 years), which I haven't filed, because I was hoping I'd heal and not need it now that he actually showed me he was willing to do it. The post nup caused a lot of anxiety for him, and he was afraid I'd D him once I had it. I didn't. I just needed to know he L me enough to do what I thought I needed to feel safe in the case he had another meltdown.
Boontje: Repair/share has been doing a lot, and is generally very kind. He is just tired of my moods and my "unkindness" when I am in a mood. Yes, I feel like I'm now expected to be the silent partner...unless my opinion is asked. Why bother to ask the stupid, bobblehead silent partner anyway?
I know I need to improve in all the areas of his list...just to be a better person, with or without him. He has been patient with me. He used to listen to all my concerns and triggers, pre porn discovery. After the porn last year, I didn't trigger anymore, I was just pissed off...at him and at myself for being a stupid fool and letting myself believe he was being 100% honest. I am disgusted with myself for those 3 years of being a stupid idiot.
Now he really is being transparent, and is off porn and committed to being a real H, and I'm having a hard time trusting that it is for real, and forever. One year out, and he says I should be over it already, not trigger, not get in moods.
Actually he is asking me to "communicate" honestly with him. I did the other day, and his feelings were hurt. He said I should have said it more "positively." I feel like the rules keep changing. I'm so afraid, broken, and just plain feel like giving up. If I didn't have children, I would shoot myself in the head and put myself and him out of our misery. But I won't do that, they need me, and life will get better, whether I am with him or alone...and I won't be alone. I have children who love me and friends who care.
[This message edited by HurtButHopeful? at 1:32 PM, April 27th (Saturday)]
I could have put that list up myself. it's all about what you need to do for him to stay. which is ass backwards.
he is staging a coup. he knows you are scared. listen to you, making excuses for him.
of course you vent to him when there is upset. the heart of the matter is you don't feel safe. and you don't feel safe because he is projecting and threatening to run off.
he is leveraging your fear to manipulate you into a powerless and inferior position. I have to ask you, does being in that position make you feel safer?
If not, then tell him to file divorce. because what kind of person brings home divorce papers and sits down in front of their family, kids included, and starts filling them out. it's like walking in with a loaded gun and putting it to everyone's head.
Powerplay, manipulation, projecting, self absorption, refusing to keep context, drama, scaring and threatening.. yep, narcissist.
I would tell him to leave and file that divorce. but then I am just mad for you.
You are worth so much more than you are giving yourself credit for. Your husband has very serious issues if he thinks that having an affair and then giving you terms to save the marriage is acceptable. It is NOT. Please don't make another excuse for him. He does not deserve your loyalty.
You mention being in therapy. Are you still in it? You really need to work on building your strength emotionally to cut the ties with this guy. Do you want your daughters growing up believing that this is how their husbands should treat them? They pick up on so much more then we realize.
I understand that you feel that you have been mean and upset to your husband (rightfully so), but it was his actions that set this in motion. It is not you that needs to be following a list, it is him. You say he has changed, but the fact that he could fill out divorce papers in front of you and then give you this piece of crap list, tells me that he hasn't and he won't. You will have to change and get stronger and come to the place where enough is enough.
Marriage is a partnership and it sounds like he wants to be a dictator and everything has to conform to his way or the highway. Do you want to live another 20+ years in fear and pain? If not, please seek help to get yourself strong. You are not alone. This is an awesome community here and we will be here for you. I am keeping you in my prayers!
About the list: After we went upstairs I asked him to tell me what he wants from me and I wrote as he talked. I wanted to see if he even knew what he wanted, and it is clear he did. There were no surprises on the list. What is a surprise to me is that I get the impression that I am not allowed to ever say anything that he perceives as negative, ever again.
I can't do that.
Kalliopeia: he is staging a coup.
That is why I asked for the list, to see if he had any real complaints, or was just making things up to justify another secret A (with whom, have no idea)
Yes, filling out the D papers at the kitchen table seemed bizarre to me. The children did not know what he was writing on, they probably just thought he was doing work. I am the one who announced what he was doing. I was upset and I said, "It took you 3 years to write a post nup for me, and look at you filling out the D papers the same day you got them." He just kept on writing.
Later he told the children he was Ding me because I was mean to him and he can't take it anymore.
After we went upstairs and I got the list, I sobbed and told him how insecure and afraid I have been, and that I respond to a lot of feelings with anger. I told him I knew I needed to change and want to change even.
He seems to be giving me a "chance" and hasn't talked about D today. But now I am feeling very depressed about what he did and that he didn't have the heart to wait until our counselling session to get her help. He said he got the papers because earlier in the day when he told me I had to do something (change) I said, "You'd better talk to your lawyer." or something similar...so he did. I get angry and lash out, saying things I don't mean.
I am not going to change into a different person. I've been emotional all my life. When I'm happy, I'm happy, when I'm sad, I'm sad, when I'm angry, watch out. I don't keep secrets or sneak around, or have secret A's to get even....I say what is on my mind. I have friends and they are the kind of people who like someone who is genuine.
He FIL with me because of my spirit and honesty. Now he wants me to be someone else, or he'll D me.
I can try to be nicer, kinder. But I can't be someone else. He might as well D me. But I wish we could live together peacefully until the children grow up. I really don't want to tear their lives apart. I would move back to where we came from, where we have some deep friendships. That is 5 hours away from Dad. THey adore their dad, and to not be with him would tear them up. But if I am D, I need to be somewhere I have some support, and I don't have that here...just bad memories all related to the A, OW, people associated with OW...I have new friends, and so do our children, but not deep friendships...not enough time to have deep friendships.
[This message edited by HurtButHopeful? at 6:47 PM, April 27th (Saturday)]
I will do my best to never call him or anyone else a name, even if it is a silly name.
Gently, you are playing right into his hand. You are taking way too much blame. Some of the things you are taking responsibility for sound real, holding grudges, anger, etc; but he isn't owning his role in that. Go back to IC, work on those issues for YOU, so that you can have healthy relationships in the future. Don't let your WH manipulate you into believing you are the sole reason your marriage is not working - that is just plain ridiculous. I would also not waste any more time in MC with this guy, it doesn't sound safe.
Finally, as a word of caution, DO NOT AGREE TO THIS LIST IN WRITING. In the event of a divorce, you do not want to see this come up as something you accepted responsibility for or agreed were problems that you have. In particular things like the suggestion that anger counseling is in order can get pretty twisted in an ugly divorce.
A few years ago I would have been writing almost EXACTLY what you wrote: the *credit* that you try to give him, the attempt to *stuff* your feelings because he's telling you that something's wrong with *you* and you are believing him, even that emotionally-abusive *list* that he gave you. I've gotten a LOT of those types of lists from Sultan over the years. And I even agreed to some of them because I thought it would help. It never did.
I spent years trying to *fit into the shoes* that he was trying to force my feet into. Have you ever worn shoes that don't fit? They irritate the hell out of your feet, rub in all the wrong places, squish your toes, give you blisters and turn you into a really mad person until you TAKE THEM OFF!!! Once those ill-fitting uncomfortable shoes are off--the air smells sweeter and the sun shines brighter and you can actually smile and walk *normally* again.
Tell your WH to stick his *shoes* <somewhere>, and get yourself a pair of comfy bitchboots. And make sure that de-meaning, de-valuing, dismissive *list* he gave you is in those shoes that he's sticking <somewhere>.
While you're at it, I've got a song for you to listen to. King of Anything by Sara Bareilles. Just don't listen to it while your WH is around--he won't *appreciate* it.
eta: And. He got his feelings hurt because you called him an *oaf*? Seriously???? Wow. Poor little muffin. Send him to my house and let him put his list in front of ME----he'll hear some names that he's never even *dreamed* of and he'll get an anatomy lesson while I describe all of the places he can put that list!
[This message edited by gonnabe2016 at 8:08 PM, April 27th (Saturday)]
In my effort to be *concise*, I often come off as blunt and harsh. Sorry, don't mean to be offensive.
Please don't change who you are for your H. If you feel that you have things to work on, then please do so IC. But beyond that, who you are is a wonderful, caring person. He shouldn't dictate to you that you have to shut yourself down to conform to his standards.
Angry for you.
RED FLAG RED FLAG RED FLAGS
Trust your intuition. Trust nothing he says or does. YOU SAID YOURSELF IT SOUNDS LIKE A TRAP...IT IS! He sounds like he is trying to set up an easy false reconciliation. He is trying to manipulate you to say the least...please dont fall for it...this is as far from ownership of his actions as it gets...
And completely un-remorseful!!
He is over stepping your boundaries and doesnt care about how you feel only his own selfish wants and needs. 180 him quick and if he wants to continue the marriage you make sure you have your list ready. He messed up now you call the shots not him. Once he's truly remorseful he will be begging to meet your needs.
Please read if you have not:
before you say reconcile:
remorse vs guilt:
[This message edited by whensenough at 9:07 PM, April 27th (Saturday)]
Get some IC.
He's straight out cruel. How dare he threaten to divorce you if you don't kowtow to his demands.
Don't you see, he's convinced you this is your fault and it's not. He's the one who needs a list, starting with giving you the support you need to heal.
Like others said, I'm angry for you. Please, do not let him get away with this. It will destroy the last remaining shred of self-respect you have.
YOU set the rules for R, hbh, not him. You even get to decide if there WILL BE R. The only thing he gets to decide is if he'll comply.
That list he gave you stinks so bad I can smell it through my computer. Tell him to stuff his list and his demands down his throat or up his ass
All affairs are variations on a theme. No one has 'Beethoven's 5th' to everyone else's 'Chopsticks'.
Trust is not a given, it is earned and affairs detroy all trust. Have you and him talked with MC about the list???
Have you thought of your own list....of what you want for him. Please don't take this as I am saying I agree with his list....it is a BS and not the way to build a relationship. But maybe you need to come up with your own to match him and see his re-action.....but not sure that is good either.
Don't do any thing to save a marriage that doesn't need saving. A marriage for the kids is not a good marriage...I grew up in one of those and it was not good.
Take care of yourself