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User Topic: Murky Waters
tfkeel
♂ Member
Member # 19517
Default  Posted: 6:40 AM, June 4th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I struggle with now wondering if that was/is true about me or if it was an inaccurate label.

My guess would be that it's an inaccurate label.
Your husband measures your expressions of love by HIS standards.

There is an excellent book that deals wonderfully with what I think you and your husband are going through.

It's called "The Five Love Languages" by Chapman.
There's also a website http:\\www.5lovelanguages.com
which has some "tests" (to identify your love language) and some free reading material.

I'm not quite "getting" where the disconnect is, you seem to have full insight here, and you have gotten some wise and experienced responses.


Posts: 393 | Registered: May 2008 | From: Pennsylvania
familyfirst
♀ Member
Member # 42651
Default  Posted: 9:19 AM, June 4th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

The years of keeping quiet, of trying to make the best of it even though I felt isolated

This is really powerful. How many of us felt like this. How many of us got our "broken" one day at a time trying to be or act in a way that wasn't true to our selves? And now after the A not only do you feel like crap, but you must really keep quiet now.

I love what Aubrie says about humbly calling out the douche behavior. My IC gave me similar advice, not that I've followed it yet. I told her it would mean WWIII and what was the point of rededicating myself to the M if I'm just going to end it over personality issues? She said we needed that war or I'd never feel open and honest in the M. And FWIW she thinks my physical intimacy issues with H will improve once we have this honesty and closeness.

Looking at OM's FB is rough. I know you don't want to start up the A, but I wonder if you were taking a trip down memory lane to a time when you weren't lonely and someone treated you really well? (I'm totally projecting here btw) Sounds like something to explore in IC. And don't be afraid to call your IC out on advice that doesn't feel right to you.

Keep us posted! I know I could learn a lot from your journey.


Posts: 172 | Registered: Mar 2014
rachelc
♀ Member
Member # 30314
Default  Posted: 9:32 AM, June 4th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

GR: have you ever written down or thought about what kind of marriage you really want? not the marriage everyone thinks you should have but what you want?


his Ddays: 2/10, 7/11
my Ddays: 1/12, 4/12 broken NC 12/12

me (WW/BS): 48
him: (BS/WH)52
4 kiddos in mid 20's

Me: I didn't sign up for this.
Him: you're already in this. All you can do is resign...


Posts: 4768 | Registered: Dec 2010
Aubrie
♀ Member
Member # 33886
Default  Posted: 9:59 AM, June 4th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

our counselor essentially says that some things are better left unsaid. That saying them, especially if they are just doubts or feelings that aren't necessarily grounded in truth, would damage the marriage and BH too much. She says that I am acting loving and showing true love by watching what I say. I'm torn about this and truthfully I have some resentment about it.
Ok here's my beef with this. Yes. Some thing are better left unsaid. There are cruelties in an affair that would kill. Like the AP's junk "being better" or whatever. I've seen so many BH say those cruel details of better, longer, sexier kisser, were cruel details that were not needed. Yes. Leave that trash unsaid.

However! Why on earth would you not share doubts and fears. Whether they were "grounded" or not. There are doubts I have. They are admittedly crazy. But I share them with QS. That's what having a relationship is GraceRunner. Opening up. Showing our spouse the good, the bad, and the downright ugly.

Apologies in advance. Crazy long ramble follows.

Example - Money. (QS has this thing about hoarding money. Tied to poverty as a child, its a way of controlling his life to a degree, blah, blah.) Because of past poor choices and his reaction from it, I have an incredibly difficult time spending any money. Because its *his*. He has made it ABUNDANTLY clear my money choices are TRASH and it's MY fault that certain things happened. Now, were there some issues? Yes. I hurt us financially. However his job loss and depression after that spiraled us into some horrific straits was wayyyy beyond MY control. And the "poor choices" I made prior to that were actually YEARS before and in no way responsible for our current state. He took it out on me. Viciously. So yes. When I spend $5 on a pair of clearanced out shoes, I panic. I *have* to get shoes for the kids because their old ones are worn or too small, but it means spending *his* money and getting *his* attitude.

Panic and hate. Those are my feelings. Resentment that I'm a SAHM that is 100% dependant on him. That I don't have my own cash flow to spend/save as I feel without repercussions from him. Because again, he never lets me forget that ALL of our financial issues are somehow MY fault. News Flash people...the recession? Totally my fault. My apologies to the millions of people and businesses that crashed and burned due to my actions.

So do I put my smile on, pat him on the head, and tiptoe thru the relationship, fearfully approaching him only when we're in dire need of essentials and hope he doesn't blow a gasket? I mean, QS has had it bad enough right? His happiness should be #1 right? Or do I gently approach him and say, "We really need to talk." And tell him about the hurt and hate. How I resent the position I'm in. Yes. *Some* of it is my doing. But he took it and went completely overboard with the control and shaming. He has been a jerk. I shouldn't fear him when the kids need something. I shouldn't cower at the thought of buying groceries. That is completely stupid.

Know what? When I started listing all the places where he was mean and controlling with money, he was shocked. Horrified really. He didn't know how badly it affected me. He didn't realize how controlling and nasty he'd gotten. He had his own issues. He resented things I'd done. He held onto them. He harbored them. He had to make a choice. Punish me the rest of our relationship over some dumb choices I made in my early 20s, or move on. It was something we ended up having to work thru together. That conversation never would have happened had I not spoken up. I wouldn't be as healed if I hadn't spoken up. He wouldn't have known my true feelings, no matter how ugly, if I hadn't spoken up.

You owe it to yourself GraceRunner. To feel and process all your feelings. Good or bad. Your husband ain't no saint. Sure he was betrayed. But he's hurt you too. That happens in relationships. How right is it that he gets everything he wants for healing but you put all your stuff in a back closet because it's "ugly"? If R is the ultimate goal, ALL skeletons come out. Yours AND his.


Me - FWW * Him - QuietStand

"Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway." - J. Wayne

"What if I fall?" Oh but my darling, what if you fly?


Posts: 6160 | Registered: Nov 2011 | From: South, Y'all!
bionicgal
♀ Member
Member # 39803
Default  Posted: 10:17 AM, June 4th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

The years of keeping quiet, of trying to make the best of it even though I felt isolated

My H and I can both relate to that -- big time. I am shocked now that we are closer how little I/we settled for, before.

I am struck GR, with the feeling that you are very much validating from the outside, still. Comparing yourself to others here in terms of how far you've come, comparing yourself to your husband. . . You even feel like you are not measuring up in counseling. .. that is dispiriting, I am sure. And, all the reflections seem negative, and I can't help but think that this is partly your perception.

I am a BS, and I can see a lot of what you are saying are things my H feels, as well. When I express my feelings, he has a hard time as seeing them for what they are, rather than as an evaluation of him, or his performance. For example, if I am hurting, and he can't help (due to stress, overwork, being busy, etc.) he takes my expression of loneliness as judgement from me -- that he is falling short. We are just learning how to navigate this in a healthy way.

I would also explore more with the therapist the part you are feeling shut down about. That doesn't seem right, unless she/he is trying to keep you from unproductive lines of thinking. In other words, if I were to ruminate on how unfair it is that my husband had an affair all the time, that really isn't productive. There is a fine line between ruminating and processing sometimes, though. And, I do think you have things in your marriage pre-A that you guys are likely just getting strong enough to deal with. I would try to see it as a sign of progress that you are wanting to work though these things.

((Gracerunner))


me - BS (40s)
DDay - June 2013, A was 2+ months, EA then PA
In MC & Reconciling
An affair is more like a mental break than a relationship.

I edit, therefore I am.


Posts: 1879 | Registered: Jul 2013 | From: USA
Neverwudaguessed
♀ Member
Member # 41884
Default  Posted: 10:22 AM, June 4th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

The thing about opening up about these feelings even if they are doubts and not grounded in truth is that these are YOUR feelings, and they are the reason that you behave the way that you do. They contribute to why you hold back or why you felt compelled to look at AP FB page, etc. These feelings that you are told to hold on to can provide valuable insight for Blakesteele so that he may be able to see his part in your holding back. You may be able to heal the feelings behind the anger if someone can help you navigate through this. Someone said that the anger is secondary to feelings that you were having while rereading the letters. These feelings help to lay the foundation for your interactions with each other throughout the marriage. Assumptions, hurts perceived judgments all festered in this silence. Maybe we are all missing something that your counselor knows better than we, but I think that getting these feelings out in the open can help push you two past this latest hurdle. You are stuck, and it makes sense as to why. Your hands are tied, and they do not have to be. please explore with the counselor how she can help you convey these feelings in a way that she can help him hear them and accept them for what they are rather than internalizing them.


BW: 44 Me
WH:48
DDay1 9-9-13 (18th Wedding Anniversary) 6 wk EA, 1 wk PA
DDay2: 10-25-13 EA/PA with same OW 12 1/2 years ago for 3 months
OW: XGF Predator who never stopped pursuing WH
DS 13
DD 11

Posts: 468 | Registered: Jan 2014 | From: New York
Neverwudaguessed
♀ Member
Member # 41884
Default  Posted: 11:24 AM, June 4th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I just wanted to add that he can take it. You have both endured a LOT by now. What could you be feeling that he cannot recover from? the silence seems like it may have even caused these feelings to take on a life of their own. I know that for my Husband, the silence around what he was feeling allowed these feelings to overwhelm and distort with time. Ultimately they did not have much basis in truth any longer, but they were what was driving him to act the way he did. If I had known sooner, maybe we could have healed faster. ((GRACERUNNER))

[This message edited by Neverwudaguessed at 11:53 AM, June 4th (Wednesday)]


BW: 44 Me
WH:48
DDay1 9-9-13 (18th Wedding Anniversary) 6 wk EA, 1 wk PA
DDay2: 10-25-13 EA/PA with same OW 12 1/2 years ago for 3 months
OW: XGF Predator who never stopped pursuing WH
DS 13
DD 11

Posts: 468 | Registered: Jan 2014 | From: New York
GraceisGood
♀ Member
Member # 17686
Default  Posted: 12:38 PM, June 4th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I am responding to this without knowing what these "things" are. Perhaps I would think differently if I knew what they were, but here it is anyhow:

our counselor essentially says that some things are better left unsaid. That saying them, especially if they are just doubts or feelings that aren't necessarily grounded in truth, would damage the marriage and BH too much.

IMO, unless it is said/put out there/released, you will not know if they are just doubts/feelings or if they are grounded in truth. Sometimes verbalizing these things provides clarity, makes it easier to work through, makes the "issue" more tangible and graspable, able to DO something with, instead of them just sitting there festering. As far as damaging the marriage, IMO (again) a marriage is the one place we all should be able to work on these things. Marriages are people growing entities. They are the place we do the messy work. I also think we can express ourselves with care, but still get our feelings out. You cannot control his reaction or response to what you say, but you can control how you express yourself. Also, you and your counselor do not get to determine for your H what he can handle and what he cannot, what would be too hurtful or damaging for him to hear. That is for him to decide imo. Making those choices for another is disrespectful imo.


She says that I am acting loving and showing true love by watching what I say.

I call B.S. on this. I think it is loving to be careful/mindful how we say things, but "watching" what we say really is control in my book. Your H has the right to know how you really feel so he can make informed decisions about his life. Right now (and possibly throughout your M) your H has made life altering decisions without full information. I am sure you have too as I doubt Blake has been fully open with you as well in the past regarding his deep down feelings. None of us are perfect in this are, we all can grow, change, etc. But I think your counselor is doing you a disservice by giving this advice.


I'm torn about this and truthfully I have some resentment about it. Every counselor we've been to has said that to me in my individual session. And every time I've pointed out how that feels like the opposite of what I'm supposed to be doing and I don't feel authentic in my marriage because of it. It's always the same answer - to share that feeling would be damaging, it's more loving to keep that thought to yourself.

I think you have known all along what YOU need to do, you feel as you do for a reason. I repeat what others have said to you about validation. This is an area for you to step out of your old pattern of need for external validation. Gather up your courage and do what YOU need to do, be your own HERO in this area. Your heart is speaking to you, honor it and yourself by speaking YOUR truth, and then deal with the fallout if any. If you want others to hear you, then hear yourself, don't expect others to give you what you are not giving yourself.


We have a tendency to think the love offered us is a reflection of our worth and value.But in actuality,it's a reflection of the person that is giving it.We love out of who WE are-not because of who the receiver is.At least in terms of real love.TSMF

Posts: 3434 | Registered: Jan 2008 | From: how far the east is from the west
GraceRunner
♀ New Member
Member # 39856
Default  Posted: 8:21 PM, June 4th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I hear what everyone is saying and I'm thankful for the feedback. I have an IC session next Tuesday and plan to discuss this with her and, as someone suggested here, come up with a plan for me to be able to verbalize myself. I'm disappointed with myself that after all this time and all this work, when I felt frustrated and trapped by the answers I was getting I just kept the feelings and worry locked inside. It is a pattern of mine. BH and I talked and he pointed out a lot of ways I seem to still be hanging on to old patterns, not really being radically honest. I feel like I'm starting over again so that's a bit depressing. But onward and upward (again ).

And I agree with you, bionicgal, that I'm looking for external validation. I didn't realize how much I do that but it's true.

Rachelc, in many ways I have what I want out of a marriage. Or I thought I did, but I still cheated and I now carry around a sense of unease and unrest. On paper everything looks like I should have an amazing marriage - by my own standards even. And this causes me to feel stuck too, because I don't feel entitled to being unhappy. It's destructive thinking, to myself and our marriage. I get that. I just don't quite know how to change it in a productive, healthy way.

I do things like: when BH hugs me and asks "Do you feel safe?". I think to myself "no, I feel kind of smothered but he is showing me so much love and I know what he means and I know that so many other women would love to have a man say that to them and hold them like that". So, I pause, and sometimes I do say yes. Even though I am kind of uncomfortable and right now in my life I have a general feeling of "un-safeness" I tell him I feel safe. That is not radical honesty and it is so freaking typical of me.

If you were to ask me if I thought a marriage should have a partner willing to make the other one feel safe, I would say yes. I WANT that in my marriage. Yet I'm not there and really don't know if I'm rebelling against it out of independence and fear (things within myself) or if there is a dynamic that is subtly not working between us (something within my marriage).


Me - FWW, 38
Him - BS, 42
Married 15 years
2 young daughters
4 month EA/PA, DDAY 10/12

Posts: 39 | Registered: Jul 2013
bionicgal
♀ Member
Member # 39803
Default  Posted: 7:10 AM, June 5th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I do things like: when BH hugs me and asks "Do you feel safe?". I think to myself "no, I feel kind of smothered but he is showing me so much love and I know what he means and I know that so many other women would love to have a man say that to them and hold them like that". So, I pause, and sometimes I do say yes. Even though I am kind of uncomfortable and right now in my life I have a general feeling of "un-safeness" I tell him I feel safe. That is not radical honesty and it is so freaking typical of me.

Well, first of all, I wonder if he senses you feel unsafe, or he wouldn't be asking. Secondly, I think for me this would feel like a test - and I wouldn't want to let my H down (or fail), even if I wasn't feeling particularly safe. And BS is working hard right? So you want to make him feel good. But, (and I do this too -- God help me), he probably shouldn't be taking your emotional temperature, especially if the answer is to make him feel better. Maybe that isn't the case, but it might feel that way to me.

And thirdly, perhaps if you aren't feeling safe, and he actually can help with that (which is a question all its own) then maybe just get really curious about what makes you feel safe. Maybe it has more to do with you, than him? WIth your behavior and sense of self worth than what he does?

It is a terrible feeling when our spouses are trying to reach out to us and somehow missing, either due to them or us, and then we feel somehow a failure for not responding in the "right" way. I think we all have experienced that.

Hang in there.

[This message edited by bionicgal at 7:12 AM, June 5th (Thursday)]


me - BS (40s)
DDay - June 2013, A was 2+ months, EA then PA
In MC & Reconciling
An affair is more like a mental break than a relationship.

I edit, therefore I am.


Posts: 1879 | Registered: Jul 2013 | From: USA
somethingremorse
♂ Member
Member # 42047
Default  Posted: 9:51 AM, June 5th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Gather up your courage and do what YOU need to do, be your own HERO in this area. Your heart is speaking to you, honor it and yourself by speaking YOUR truth, and then deal with the fallout if any. If you want others to hear you, then hear yourself, don't expect others to give you what you are not giving yourself.

I wish I was a trained counselor so I wouldn't mess up this great advice.

I think a lot of us fall into this trap where we are trying to give our spouse what we think they want from us. I think that turns into giving them whatever it is that will make sure they are not upset. Somewhere along the way, we stop giving them US.

At least for me, I think I resented not being me in my M. That totally put a wedge in my M. It's not the reason for my A, but it was a reason for my depression and my disregard for my M.

Now I know all that I have is me. And my BW knows when I am faking. Those are the times when she is scared. When I am open and genuine, then I don't get down that path to wayward behavior.

I am working hard to understanding that about my BW as well. Some things about her are just her. I could wish they were different, but that is not going to do anything for me except sow disappointment. If there is something that I do not like, the genuine and understanding me has to be able to say "I don't like this, but I love you." I do not want to lie to BW, and I don't want her to lie to me.

This is hard, and I slip all the time. I figure that if I keep moving in the right direction, it's better than not.


Me: WH (42)
DDay 11/03/13
In MC and IC

Posts: 489 | Registered: Jan 2014 | From: Pennsylvania
DixieD
♀ Member
Member # 33457
Default  Posted: 10:34 AM, June 5th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I do things like: when BH hugs me and asks "Do you feel safe?". I think to myself "no, I feel kind of smothered but he is showing me so much love and I know what he means and I know that so many other women would love to have a man say that to them and hold them like that". So, I pause, and sometimes I do say yes. Even though I am kind of uncomfortable and right now in my life I have a general feeling of "un-safeness" I tell him I feel safe. That is not radical honesty and it is so freaking typical of me.

If you were to ask me if I thought a marriage should have a partner willing to make the other one feel safe, I would say yes. I WANT that in my marriage. Yet I'm not there and really don't know if I'm rebelling against it out of independence and fear (things within myself) or if there is a dynamic that is subtly not working between us (something within my marriage).

Doesn't it seem a little odd that it is the BS asking the WS if they feel safe? Shouldn't it be other way around, given the circumstances? You have checked out your AP repeatedly and then most damaging of all, you lied about it, repeatedly. It begs the question, what have you done since Dday to make your BS feel safe?

All that aside, where you use the word independent, I'd use the word counter-dependent but it's the same thing. I can definitely relate to that, and the feeling of being smothered and that I should be grateful for the love I'm receive yet I wasn't....and on and on... and it directly involved me being in counter-dependent position. I posted this information in another thread. This was a dynamic that played out for years in my marriage.

Does any of this seem similar to what you are feeling?

A classically codependent person, when asked about themselves, will reply by talking about the other.  Obviously, before someone with this type of behavioral defense can experience any self-growth, they have to first start opening up to the idea that they have a self.   The process of owning self is frustrating and confusing.  The concept of having boundaries is foreign and bewildering.  It is an ongoing process that takes years.  It unfolds in stages.  There is always another level of the onion to peel.  So, for someone whose primary pattern is classically codependent, the next level of growth will always involve owning self on some deeper level.  A very important part of this process is owning the right to be angry about the way other's behavior has impacted our lives - starting in childhood. 

Classic counterdependent behavior focuses completely on the self and builds huge walls to keep others out.  It is hard for those of us who exhibit classically 'counterdependent' behavior patterns to even consider that we may be codependent. We have lived our lives trying to prove that we don't need others, that we are independent and strong.  The counterdependent is the other extreme of the spectrum.  If our behavior patterns have been primarily counterdependent it means that we were wounded so badly in childhood that in order to survive we had to convince ourselves that we don't need other people, that it is never safe to get close to other people. 

Each of us has our own spectrum of behavioral defenses to protect us from being hurt emotionally.  We can be codependent in one relationship and counterdependent in another - or we can swing from co to counter - within the same relationship.  Often, someone who is primarily counterdependent will get involved with someone who is even more counterdependent and then will act out the codependent role in that particular relationship - the same can happen with two people with primarily codependent patterns.

Both the classic codependent patterns and the classic counterdependent patterns are behavioral defenses, strategies, designed to protect us from being abandoned.  One tries to protect against abandonment by avoiding confrontation and pleasing the other - while the second tries to avoid abandonment by pretending we don't need anyone else.  Both are dysfunctional and dishonest.

The way the dynamic in a dysfunctional relationship works is in a "come here" - "go away" cycle.  When one person is available the other tends to pull away.  If the first person becomes unavailable the other comes back and pleads to be let back in.   When the first becomes available again then the other eventually starts pulling away again.  It happens because our relationship with self is not healed.  As long as I do not love myself then there must be something wrong with someone who loves me - and if someone doesn't love me than I have to prove I am worthy by winning that person back.  On some level we are trying to earn the love of our unavailable parent(s) to prove to ourselves that we are worthy and lovable.

What is normal and natural in romantic relationships in this society is for a person whose primary fear is abandonment to get involved with someone whose primary fear is being smothered/losing self.  The person with abandonment fears reacts to shows of independence on the part of the other as if the other were abandoning them.  That causes them to become more needy and clinging - which causes the other person to pull away - which causes the first person to cling more - which causes the other to pull away more.  Eventually the person with abandonment fears gets angry and disgusted and pulls back into themselves - which to the other makes it safe to come back and plead to be let back in.  And after a short honeymoon period the dance can start all over again.

-- Information from an article on Codependent/Counter-dependent relationships by Robert Burney.


Growing forward

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