I don't want to be "mean" or "make" him be accountable or whatever, especially after what I've done. kwim? I struggle with the concept of "owning" everything, but then turning around and pushing his issues back in his lap.
People who claim they "never get angry" are really just conflict avoiders who don't have the tools to sit with their negative feelings and process them. They'd rather avoid them at all costs - even if that means hurting others in the process.
I didn't expect/anticipate a possible "there is nothing wrong with me, I'm fine, I'm not going to budge" situation.
the new you may/may not be much of a consolation prize for your spouse
Aubrie, I'm sorry the resounding thud of *the other shoe* dropping, shook your house. When things are stable around here for several weeks, I increasingly dread that unexpected rumble. Especially with A season in full swing, 2 months prior to our first Antiversary.
Sorry if this is a slight t/j but IMO it's topic-appropriate.
Shatteredreality - It is so, so common for men to keep things bottled up and so incredibly hard for them to realize that this has unintended and deeply hurtful consequences, both to themselves and to their loved ones.
Men? Let's go ahead and say "humans." In our M, BH has always been *way* more in touch with his feelings than I. Fortunately for me, for him, for us...when I threw a grenade into our M, and when I finally shook off the fog and stopped blaming BH for my unhappiness, he did some internal scrutiny and chose to try IC. He's always been pretty introspective, but he said even a couple of sessions helped him a lot.
Whether it's the man or the woman, the BS or the WS, who "keeps things bottled up," and/or expects their partner to be a mind-reader...it's less than ideal.
FeelingMN: Does he have a safe place to be able to say what he has to say without feeling worse off for having said it?
Aubrie: With me or elsewhere? With me, yes.
At the risk of violating HIPAA...on his IC intake form, on the line that read something like, "Why are you here today?" BH wrote, "To have someone to complain to about my wife." Because as safe as we make it, there's nothing like an impartial (well, hopefully) referee. Sorry, I know you said QS refuses IC and MC, and you can't *make* him go, it has to be QS's choice.
t/j'ing P.S. Hufi, if you read this, do I owe you royalties for your idea of inserting the member's name before her quote?
I am sure it hurt to hear and see everything.
The only time I saw anger was when he was drunk out of his mind--then he brought up every.little.thing. I had done to piss him off in 6 months.
If a situation arises say with my FOO, he is annoyed but ultimately I'm the one showing the anger. If someone acts a fool in traffic, I'm the one honking and gesturing at the idiot. I feel like I'm the one standing up and he's behind me going, "Yeah. What she said."
For those of you who know the introvert part of our story...Recently on a good day, he did the test. He actually sat down, went thru it, and slowly and methodically went thru it. He's not an innie. He's both. He's actually more outie than innie. So the whole, "I don't talk cause it's just not my thing" bit? Not buying it.
itainteasy, you said maybe he is or was locked inside himself and he's breaking free. Possible. I think it's more possible than the innie theory. I mean, if I step back and look at his family, they talk about exactly N-O-T-H-I-N-G. They are champion bullsh*tters. Weather, work, kids, gossip about other people, but if you were to ask them on a personal level how they are? Pshhhh. Mental meltdowns would ensue.
It's the operating system of the family. When crap happens, shove that mess under the rug. Unless it happens to someone else, then shout it from the rooftop.
I think there is a deep fear of being himself, putting himself first, acknowledging his needs. Like if he does, the QS who has been there all these years will melt away. He doesn't know who will be left there.
He won't go to the shooting range, it's wasting money on bullets. But....you took me...what's the diff? He won't go to the gym. That's stupid. He won't read. He doesn't have time. Everything I can think of to spark his interest is shoved down, brushed away, downplayed. Then he says, "The family needs things and my stuff is not a big deal." Then two months after hunting season closes, I'm the target of his resentment cause he didn't hunt. Well!?!?
Everyone has dreams. I have dreams. He has dreams. But we can't spend all our lives just dreamin' them. I don't know how to help him DO his dreams without getting all up in his grill. And if they're his dreams, that's not really my job in the first place. I'm in his business and whatnot.
He's a shell. He's said that. But movement in any direction to fill that shell is rejected. It's sad to watch.
20Wrong, I've had a feeling there was another shoe. I *think* it's good? Dunno. He melted down, we've established that, so now what? I'm waiting to see what happens, if anything. Will it open another conversation and potential healing? Or now that it's off his chest, he's good to go for a few more months till it happens again. (Which is typical)
"Why are you here today?" BH wrote, "To have someone to complain to about my wife."
Dunno if QS will ever be down for that. But it would be interesting to see what would happen if he would allow himself the freedom to do it.
"Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway." - J. Wayne
"What if I fall?" Oh but my darling, what if you fly?
VeryUncertain, my experience was like MrsJai, I had to fight long and hard to get my husband to own his own stuff. Lots of conflict and him hating me for making him face it. Eventually he had to start admitting the logic of things like I said, that I had begged him to show initiative and talk abut things so how in the world could I have silenced him? It took a lot of therapy and marriage counseling before he could realize that he was so used to stuffing emotion that he really didn't have any idea of what he felt, which was (is) a totally foreign idea to me but apparently is true. Fortunately he seems to be finally getting it like it was a recent triumph for him to realize that he was feeling resentful for putting pressure ON HIMSELF one weekend to do a lot of projects.
An interviewer once asked me if I could sum up everything I know about psychology in ten words or less. I said, "Hell, I can do it in two words: People cope." --Mira Kirshenbaum
Buckle in sister, this might take awhile but I have a story to tell that just might help you.
You're a do-er. Not happy unless you are doing. I get that. I'm totally the same way. Which makes people like us want to 'fix' things. Even things that don't always necessarily need a whole lot of fixing. People like us need to learn to take a break from doing long enough to listen. Sometimes we are so busy trying to come up with solutions that we miss entirely what the real problem is.
HT used to hate his job. Not just a little. He was in a management position, became so unhappy that he decided to take a step down in hopes that would relieve some of the misery. HT is also an alcoholic (recovering now). So he would come home and begin pouring drinks. He would also start to complain about his day. I happen to love my job. I don't typically have a lot to complain about. And the last time I did hate my job, I went back to school and changed careers (but that's a whole 'nother story). The point is, I wanted to fix this problem. So I would begin suggesting changing jobs. Nope. So I suggested going back to school. Nope. I would become frustrated. I would complain to my friend that he was not ambitious. I accused him of being too scared to try try anything new. If I could work and go to school full time he certainly could too, right? I offered "suggestion" after "suggestion" to no avail. The fix seemed so easy, yet he would not listen to me. He was better off at being pouty about it all and drinking his bourbon. And I had no problems beginning to label him in an unflattering matter.
And then I had an affair. HT ended up losing his job within just 6 months of DDay. I learned something during that time. All of my suggestions weren't necessarily great ones. And the only person that knew that was HT. Great jobs just don't fall into everyone's lap. Some people feel that paying someone half your age and half your salary is the better bet than my super awesome husband who was at the top of his pay scale for what he does at that time. Finding a new job was going to be difficult and probably come with a considerable pay cut. Which meant that we would no longer be 'just getting by' but in the hole. Which meant that school wasn't even remotely possible. Which had us packing up and moving across the country so that we could get back on our feet and make a fresh new start for ourselves. It turned into this domino effect that I never considered while making my suggestions.
I actually think that HT losing his job was a blessing in disguise. I was able to take away a learning experience from it all. I realized that all the time I was sitting there trying to 'help' him, I had stopped listening to him. Every time he was complaining or talking about work, he was trying to open up to me and tell me how he was feeling. I was finally able to see that he had valid points that I couldn't hear before. When I went back to school we were still practically newlyweds. We didn't have two kids and a mortgage to worry about. And perhaps when your favorite time of the day is with that family, you don't want to spend even more time going to school and taking that precious time away. And perhaps sometimes when he complains he just wants an empathetic ear, not a solution.
And I would know all of that...had I listened. But I was too busy being frustrated. I was too busy throwing my hands up in the air, shrugging my shoulders and labeling him. Because people need to do. Don't they? Or can they actually be more introspective and analytical. Can they perhaps go through every scenario in their head to make the most sound decisions. Can they be afraid of sharing those thoughts because that someone they are sharing them with seems to know better. Seems to have it all figured out. Which can make you question your own ideas.
He's made the statement, "I don't know who I am or what I want." M'k, so what do you want to do? You should make time for yourself, figure out your interests, do things.
We used to have these exact same discussions. I would literally get exasperated asking him what he was passionate about. He didn't seem to know. Know what? It turns out he was passionate about his family. He cared about making an honest and decent living to take care of us to the best of his ability. I think that's a pretty honorable passion.
So before you get yourself too bent out of shape, take an honest look at whether or not you are really listening to him. Cuz there's a difference between hearing what he is saying and listening.
I would actually be willing to bet he has been more vulnerable with you than you think. When I look back on our past, I missed so many opportunities with HT.
That was a great post.