I am understanding your struggle more and more...and that process is helping me understand my struggle. Thank you for sharing openly.
I remember her eventually telling me to suck it up and that I was sucking the breath out of her life. That I was her fun and I took that from her.
I have been struggling with a relationship with my Dad for years...really, since he abandoned me at age 12. My wife got tired of hearing my struggles and had her own "suck it up" talk with me. I can see how this has a tie to resentment....me openly struggling with her, meanwhile she having to hold her own struggles in. Not saying I forced her to hold them in, but she held her struggles close to her chest....a factor of COA? Perhaps. Still listening to what she is willing to share, what she has uncovered about herself. But codependent roles switched around in our M for sure.
I hadn't considered her "forgetting" or other behaviors as P/A before, but adding that lens is offering a new perspective. Can see how she forgets things important to me that are needs I've expressed. It seems to imply that I should have been happy with what she gave me that I never asked for. It also illuminates the accusations of me being selfish. I can see how she thought that, as she was working so hard to anticipate what I wanted while sacrificing her wants. How dare I ask for (in her mind) more. From my perspective, I didn't ask much. I had no idea what she was sacrificing because she wasn't talking. From her perspective I should have been paying attention to that. Ugh. It's a mess.
I can also see how my more open (still not radically honest though) style generated the above dynamic in our M too. Her feeling "blakesteele gets all he wants, while I have to settle for so little." meanwhile, I am completely in the dark because her persona was one of "complete control, I am stable, I need nothing, I need no one.". For my wife, reaching out and expressing a need was a serious weakness. She witnessed her Mom do this to her alcoholic Dad time and again...and get hurt by it. They had their own, even more seriously codependent thing going on.
And, from my perspective, it seemed like I asked for very little too.
NOTE: I was more open but not radically honest. Key key point. I did things for my wife...things that appeared totally supportive and loving. And, like so much of this, there are components of those noble traits to this interaction. But I NOW see that I would "do for" my wife so I would not be in a position for my wife to choose to NOT need me. My abandonment fears were/are huge. I would deny I even wanted my wife to join us at the pool after work....my persona said to my wife "Look, I am cool...you just stay home and do what you want...I'll take the girls to the pool". Just like me above, my wife had no idea what I was really desiring and needing. How could she, I was fooling and denying my own self!
So the dynamic in R is very complicated. Lots on here discuss the BS as co-d. It seems an easier way to go about R, though it's tough no matter what. In my relationship I have a co-d WS who is still uncovering the grand scheme of how the behaviors influenced her perspective or way if "knowing" me. It wasn't an accurate representation of who I am. While my behaviors remain the same, the intent applied to them by her are horrible skewed.
Similar actions now...but with very different motivations behind them. That is what I am observing. I NOW recognize my need to connect and be with my wife, but I also choose to love her by taking care of our girls for a bit while she has her alone time. The fact that I recognize I even have that need to be with my wife as a husband and lover (not just a provider and problem solver) is HUGE to me. The next big step was to express that need to her WITHOUT any demands, sarcasm or P/A bull shit associated with it.
Point is.....same actions take on a whole new meaning when the motivations under them move from false and controlling to true and freeing$.
I am curious....do you think your roles in the codependent cycle ever moved around? Early on my wife very much lost herself to me and my mood. Later, the roles were switched. I almost think it happened within the same week sometimes too. Kinda hard to remember our past with any clarity now though..... Just curious if you think you were always the taker and she the giver?
So here I am, damaged and heartbroken and needing some openness, genuineness, humility, remorse and compassion. I need it from a WS who is burnt from attempts to provide compassion to a great fault. A WS who has never been open and genuine. One who avoids conflict at a great cost to herself. Someone who is practicing sharing her needs, thoughts and emotions...at times when I am feeling least capable of responding well to them (usually in response to my expression of feelings without showing remorse, understanding, or compassion first). The resentment is still in her. It's interfering with us healing together from the EAs. It's feeding a continuation of her skewed idea of my intentions. I don't know how to work on the relationship while I still can't trust. I don't know how to build trust in the face of her resentment. I can't heal IN the relationship (I can do it by myself in spite of the relationship) without remorse, compassion and reassurance. So I'm not sure what to do with all that.
This paragraph.....it is pain ridden.
I feel it. I live it. The unknowing of what to do, the questioning of every little motivation before choosing a given action...even down to what am I REALLY trying to do by bringing a candy bar home to my wife today? Is it healthy thinking of you, or is it controlling in some way????!!!
Have found a good, but expensive, therapist that is helping me understand how to more quickly move through the analysis part of change....I am choosing healthy actions more easily.
Don't get stuck in the past. Both of you have made unhealthy choices...you have wronged and wounded each other. Don't be condemned by those choices....be convicted by them. Conviction allows for healing and growth.
Realize your role in destructive cycles...and then make better choices.
"We do the best we can. Then we learn better, and so can choose to do better." Maya Angelou
This post is largely about "us" collectively learning and choosing to do better.
It is painful....but it is healthy.