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User Topic: Am I blowing this out of proportion?
♀ Member
Member # 39836
Default  Posted: 7:37 PM, January 8th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

If you are in MC - Can you discuss this topic there?

If you did Retrouvaille can you dialogue about your feelings on him going to the convention without you?

I agree that he may not be ready for R. Pre-dday, my WH was one who would argue about semantics or lie by omission, if he would pull that on me now, oh my, I would burst!

Entering R slowly and cautiously...

Posts: 492 | Registered: Jul 2013
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Member # 39570
Default  Posted: 8:55 PM, January 8th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

*sigh* Just a major blow up fight. Tried to discuss it again, to spell out exactly how I felt he had been dishonest and manipulating. He half admitted he was wrong, and half kept defending himself. We both were clearly angry. Tried to calm down, and asked him what was making him angry. He talked for awhile again about how and why this convention is so important to him. He said he feels I am ignoring all the work he has been doing for R. Then he put on his very saddest face and said he is angry that because of my feelings about him going alone, and now that I have refused to go with him as we originally planned, I have put him in a no win situation.

I completely lost it. Mostly, it was the pathetically sad look he put on his face when he said that. I screamed and yelled and slammed doors about how my feelings are the result of his actions, both the infidelity and the way he has handled this situation. I told him his decision to go or not was his alone, but if he chose to not go and sit around sulking for a month I didn't care - I am not going to feel sorry for him or feel guilty about it.

He just sat and listened and stared at the floor. Afterward he told me that he knows that in my mind he is just a piece of sh*t and nothing he ever does will make a difference.

*sigh* I am so so tired of this.

Me: BS, Him: WH, 3 kids
8/08: EA with former neighbor
1/13: EA/Sexting with Coworker #1
6/13: Sexting with Coworker #2

Posts: 116 | Registered: Jun 2013
Getting to Happy
♀ Member
Member # 35200
Default  Posted: 9:03 PM, January 8th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

He just sat and listened and stared at the floor. Afterward he told me that he knows that in my mind he is just a piece of sh*t and nothing he ever does will make a difference.

I hate passive aggression!!!

Instead of really reaching deep and listening to what your saying and responding to the actual conversion. You get some bullshit 'oh poor me' comment.

PUH-LEEZZ! Grow up already!


As laudable as it may seem to be mature and discuss real issues, trying to make sense of the non-sensical. Try as you might, it will never make sense.

Sorry for your pain.

WS him
BS me DD's 26, 25' DS 23
dd1 1-1-10, dd2 Mothers Day 2011, dd3 3-12-12 Hawaii trip with ho-worker...

Never forget what is worth remembering or remember what is best forgotten.

Posts: 1140 | Registered: Apr 2012 | From: La La Land
♀ Member
Member # 39570
Default  Posted: 12:56 AM, January 9th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Hopefully my last update on this situation! We had another conversation - no screaming this time. I was able to communicate to him that what I need from him is to listen to my feelings and talk about them with me, not to debate them or tell me why they're wrong. (This is part of what we've been learning in Retrouvaille - still working on putting it into practice I guess!) He started to do just that, but when I pointed it out to him he was able to hear it and acknowledge my point without getting angry. He was willing to listen to a few other examples of when I felt he was doing that so he could better understand what I was asking of him. Morhurt, I think your H's point about not really knowing what it is I want from him might apply here. (Please thank him for that insight for me!) I think we might have made a dent in that problem in this conversation.

Gonnabe, I also talked about the lose/lose situation I felt he was putting me in by asking me to make this decision for him. He was able to acknowledge that he was being unfair to me by doing that. He told me, calmly and with a normal tone this time, that he has decided not to attend with his friends. He says that he didn't realize before this huge argument exactly how strongly I felt about it, and he wants to show me that I am his priority.

Then I listened to him talk about how excited he had been that I had agreed to go with him this year (I have always declined in the past) and that he had been really happy that I was willing to participate with him in something that was so important to him. He expressed that while he understood that I had decided not to go because of all the feelings this situation and argument had brought up and exacerbated, that he felt really disappointed that he was losing the opportunity to share it with me, and he invited me again to attend with him on Friday. Now, this is an emotional issue because this interest of his has come between us in the past - obviously related to the infidelity, but also in terms of time he invests in it, me feeling excluded, etc. I felt unsure if he was being sincere or if this was just more manipulation of my feelings so he didn't have to totally miss out on the convention altogether. Maybe it was both, I don't know. But I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt that this appeal was in earnest, and I agreed to go with him.

This has been an exhausting couple of days. But at the moment I feel at peace with the result. My main focus was that I wanted to feel that he acknowledged how I felt about this convention, and about his actions this week. I feel like he did that to the best of his current ability in our last conversation. I think he really is trying, so I will keep trying to be patient and keep working on it with him. Thanks everyone for taking the time to give me your input - it is really valuable to me to have this sounding board and to hear all of your thoughts.

Me: BS, Him: WH, 3 kids
8/08: EA with former neighbor
1/13: EA/Sexting with Coworker #1
6/13: Sexting with Coworker #2

Posts: 116 | Registered: Jun 2013
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Default  Posted: 11:36 AM, January 9th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Hi MP, I have been following this thread but haven't had time to respond until now.

It seems that you've resolved the current issue, but i wanted to throw something out about my own WH's hobbies during the A and the role that they played. My WH had hobbies too, one in particular, that became FAR too important to him during the A. He used them to detach and maintain distance from me, the kids, and reality.

When I started getting uncomfortable with the time and distance from us and complained, he got increasingly beligerent about defending his "right" to his hobbies and how important they were to him. He went so far as to say that they were "Who he is!!!!" He clearly had his identity (and his secret life) all wrapped up with these activities.

After DDay, in counseling, our MC told him almost immediately that he had to give up his hobby, at least for the time being, to focus on himself, his family and his REAL identity, not the one that he had been busy creating in his fantasy life with the OW. She pointed out very clearly that getting your sense of your SELF and your identity so wrapped up in any THING was way unhealthy and was a way of not really dealing with real life and your real identity, independent of any thing or activity that you might engage in or acquire.

It was really hard for him to think about giving it up. Harder, really, than ending his relationship with the OW. When I saw how emotional he was about giving it up, I really realized how connected that activity was with his wayward self and his wayward behavior which in the end were far more destructive to him and to us than even his A. It was the way that he thought about who he was (all tied up with his hobbies) and how he behaved when he was in that world that allowed him to step over the line and have an A.

When I realized the connection of those activities with his A and, most of alll, with all of the negative wayward behaviors that facilitated not only the A, but a whole bunch of unhealthy, destructive behaviors, I had no problem with the MC's requirement that he stop doing them until he got himself sorted out. What we had called "hobbies" were really activities that isolated him and helped him detach from real life and create a separate wayward identity in his head. Among the behaviors that were nurtured around this hobby were (see if you recognize any of these) secrecy, dishonesty, detachment, and massize manipulation of me and my desire for him to be happy.

He certainly wasn't happy about the MC's suggestion, and he started to kick and scream about it, but I was beyond the point of negotiating with his behaviors anymore once I found out about the LTA. It certainly went against my nature, and my conditioned responses to his manipulations, to deny him anything. He had used my desire for him to be happy (especially since his unhappiness would be liberally spread to everyone in the family through pouting, guilt trips, passive aggressive meanness, and outright, open anger and resentment--again, sound familiar?) very effectively to do whatever he wanted, no matter how destructive to all of us, for a very, very long time.

I tell you all this because giving up those activities that were associated with his A and all the behavior patterns that went with it was critical to him beginning to really see the full scope of what he had done to himself and us and how he had managed to do it. His hobbies, and his completely self-centered and selfish focus on them became a way for him to create a whole separate inner life for himself, a life where he was single and cool and could pretend to be things rather than actually be them in reality.

Like your H, he couldn't see or recognize his destructive and manipulative behaviors at all while he was engaging in these activities. Those behaviors had become part and parcel of how he got things for his selfish self without recognizing or accepting responsibility for how any of it affected anyone else. They seemed perfectly normal and right to him. They were "who he was."

It has taken me awhile to break my own conditioned responses to those behaviors too, but I completely recognize the way that our WHs manipulate our love and our feelings of guilt when they are unhappy or are denied anything. When I realized that I was constantly being put in the no win for myself in order to make him "happy," (quotes because he was never really happy about anything during that time), it was easier to stop. After DDAY, I said to him quite clearly, "I am done being your mean mom and telling you the right thing to do. If you really can't figure out the right choices for yourself, our family and our marriage, then there's no hope for us, but I will not play the policeman anymore and put up with your rage and passive agressive responses. You have to know the right thing and do it from now on."

There are hitches sometimes, and I have to remind him once in awhile, but refusing to be his moral compass, his mom, and his conscience has certainly been a healthier choice for me and, I hope eventually, for him. One thing it does for sure is put the responsibility for bad decisions clearly where it belongs: ON HIM. He can no longer fail to own my pain if he makes a decision that he knows will hurt me and put the blame on me because I TOLD him that I didn't mind. He can no longer pout around and blame me for his unhappiness when I TOLD him that he couldn't do something or I didn't want him to. Now, it's all on him, and if he makes a hurtful decision or one that's destructive to our relationship or our family, I tell him so clearly and why.

Sometimes he stilll tries not to own it, but it's not as easy for him to do that as it used to be because I didn't facilitate the bad choice or make the choice for him.

I don't know what your WHs hobby is, but it seems clear that it ultimately got wrapped up with wayward behavior and certainly with his As. For me, that would make the whole thing suspect and probably very linked to a lot of unhealthy stuff.

I DO know that I could never try to engage positively with my WH's hobbies once it became clear to me the role that they had played in him detaching from me and reality. I made it clear to him that i saw them as part of the behavior that destroyed our marriage and facilitated his A and that I viewed his attachment to them as part of the problem.

Since they were only THINGS in the end and he decided that his M and really figuring out who he was independent of them was a priority, he let them go. Once he got some distance, he saw things a lot more clearly and wasn't interested in doing them anymore.

I don't know how much of this relates to your situation, but I did see a lot of familiar territory in your posts. Is your WH in IC? Is he looking at how he got where he did and what other behaviors and thoughts led him there? Have you discussed any of this with your MC or your IC? Have you reallly been allowed to explore all of the whys that you feel so negatively about his hobby?

Best of luck and hopes for all the best for you and your family, MP! I hope that your H gets it. Please don't be too quick to put his feelings above your own in this. Just like with the A, trust your gut. If you feel this strongly about it, there's probably a good reason that you do. Not everything that we like to do is automatically good for us and our relationships.

Him WS
LTEA with old HS GF from 25+ years ago
DD #1: 10/6/2011
DD #2: 10/21/2011
2DS under18
Status: We'll see.

Posts: 296 | Registered: May 2012
♀ Member
Member # 40166
Default  Posted: 12:21 PM, January 9th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Good job, it's a lot of hard work but worth it in the end (I hope). :)

Me: BS
Him: FWS
M: 15 years
4 lovely daughters
Working to rebuild.

Posts: 951 | Registered: Aug 2013 | From: Canada
♀ Member
Member # 21101
Default  Posted: 12:53 PM, January 9th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Hey Mylar I know it's hard stuff, and it is often a new way of communicating with each other, and learning how to hear one another as well.

I can tell you that my H often referred to himself as a social retard, meaning he often would not know what I wanted or how I was feeling unless I told him. He actually asked that I tell him exactly what I was feeling when things came up, that he wasn't a mind reader, and unless he had some real firm direction he couldn't change his behavior.

I know is seems ridiculous that we have to tell them things that they should just get, and that we have to treat them like kids, but until the new habits of communication are built it does take this.
My H had several hobbies that he was WAAAAYYYYY into and was even a Vice President of an organization related to one, and had to plan the yearly banquet for. This was hugely time consuming, and really pissed me off when it was expected by him that I would be willing to let him take as much time as he felt was necessary for it, and that I would jump in with both feet to help him.
Now I did help with the banquets, the whole family did, and they were awesome. HOWEVER, it was not without fights, and upset. But it did help me to understand that if I didn't specifically state what I wanted and needed he wasn't gonna do it.

So after the one banquet after raising 21 ducklings in my house and fostering a puppy for 6 weeks, and hours and days of my time invested into his hobby I finally said enough. I told him he couldn't chair the banquet again without significant change and enrolling support and help from others. He got it. IT worked out.

This was all part of me finding my voice, and finding that if I told him exactly what I wanted, he would do his best to do that, and that he wasn't gonna get pissed, and leave.

What ended up happening is us finding a new hobby that we both love, and it quickly went from a hobby to a small family run business, and now at 5 years this spring is going to be a very busy family business. We love it, so it doesn't feel like work most days. Although my House is always a mess because of it, and there is always boxes, buckets, and bottles overtaking my kitchen and counters. But we are happy, and we communicate well with each other about it.

Wow this ended up being longer than I wanted.
Ultimately you are learning to find your voice, and if he is asking you to tell him what you want, do it. If he pouts, that's on him, not you. Although there were 3 arguments, and multiple discussions about this weekend, you both ultimately came to a new and better understanding of how to communicate. That is healing.

(((and strength)))

Him: FWS
Kids: 15 & 17
Married for 22 years now, was 16 at the time. .
D-Day Sept 26 2008
Fully R'd, and Happy Happy Happy

Posts: 8713 | Registered: Oct 2008 | From: St. Louis
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Default  Posted: 5:45 PM, January 9th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

NowWhat and tushnurse, thank you for sharing your experiences. It gave me a lot to think about. I think my H really has incorporated this interest to a large extent into his concept of his identity, so it's not so easy to just say "Give it up". He is in IC and I sometimes sit in on the sessions with him. At the beginning of the IC, as I was talking about what I see as the problems (the way he interacts with other women, boundary issues, etc) a big conflict between us was that he felt I was trying to change "who he is". His counselor was able to help him see that having strong boundaries with other women did not mean changing who he is at the core of his being or a complete personality transplant, so we have come a long way in that respect. However, his counselor has validated the idea that it is important for us to have our own interests as individuals, but that we need to keep them in their proper place priority-wise.

The counselor has also validated the importance of this interest for H, but thinks that the problem was his poor boundaries in using this interest to take him down the slippery slope in his interactions with OWs. I do have to give H credit in that I have never (until now) asked him to not participate in this activity, but he has only done so maybe twice in the 7 months since our last DDay, and even then it was several months after DDay before he brought it up at all. So while in years past the time he invests in it was an issue, I think he has recognized that problem now.

I do sometimes worry though that his activity in this interest will put him back on the slippery slope. He is definitely trying though; in the past, the OW's have approached him about facilitating their participation, which he did wholeheartedly and ultimately led to the infidelity. Since the last DDay, through our conversations with his IC, he has recognized that he needs to step back from this "helpful" KISA behavior. (There is definitely some KISA issues going on with his A's, and I think a need to feel important and valuable that he got out of being the "go-to" person for this interest Combine that with the ego-strokes of a few cute flirty OWs with poor boundaries, and here we are.) There have been a couple instances in the last few months when female acquaintances (not the previous OWs) have approached him about getting them involved. In the past, he would exchanged phone numbers and then arranged everything for them and probably provided them with transportation. But now, he's been able to just give them a phone number or direct them to a website, and move on.

Looking back at where we were on our last DDay, I can see that he has made big changes in his behavior that, while they might feel basic and obvious to me, have taken quite a bit of self-reflection and conscious effort for him. So for now, I am going to watchfully see where it goes before I demand that he give it up entirely.

Me: BS, Him: WH, 3 kids
8/08: EA with former neighbor
1/13: EA/Sexting with Coworker #1
6/13: Sexting with Coworker #2

Posts: 116 | Registered: Jun 2013
♂ Member
Member # 31240
Default  Posted: 6:21 PM, January 9th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Have you looked at the Drama Triangle and Transactional analysis?

My reading is that your H plays TA 'games' (as in Games People Play by Eric Berne) to maintain his ability to switch from Victim to Persecutor with you. Lots of info on the web about both TA and the DT.

If the material makes sense to you, it may help you stay out of the games. That won't guarantee your H will see a better way to live, but it could make your life better.

fBH (me) - 70 (22 in my head), fWW (plainsong) - 65+, Married 45+, together since 1965
DDay - 12/2010
Recovered, not yet fully R'ed
I share my own experience because it's the only experience I know, not because I'm a good model.

Posts: 10374 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: Chicago area
♀ Member
Member # 39570
Default  Posted: 9:34 PM, January 9th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Sisoon: Wow. I just skimmed through some online articles about the topics you mentioned, and the little bit I have understood so far has been really eye opening. I downloaded a book on the drama triangle - seems really interesting. Thanks for the suggestion.

Me: BS, Him: WH, 3 kids
8/08: EA with former neighbor
1/13: EA/Sexting with Coworker #1
6/13: Sexting with Coworker #2

Posts: 116 | Registered: Jun 2013
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