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User Topic: "my mood reflects yours"??
splitintwo
♀ Member
Member # 42951
Default  Posted: 8:11 AM, June 14th (Saturday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Please do not derail this into a "you should tell him" post. Thank you.

I'd like to know if this is called something. Is there a book I need to read? Is it normal?

The other day, my stress level maxed out--lots of small things in a very short time frame--and I snapped at BH over something small. Not a big snap, just a brief exchange while I was still irritated in general, so my tone was irritated, too...even I could hear it. It went something like Me: "Did you move this or did the auto detailer?" Him: I did." Me: "Well it was thrown in the backseat, & now part is broken. Be more careful with my stuff." (the stuff in question is stuff I know he doesn't like, but it's in my car, not his, so I can decorate as I wish)

At that point, he got real quiet & went into silent treatment mode.

I tried to get the info out of him re: what his issue was, but it took about a full day to get him to re-engage. When we were talking last night, he essentially said, "My mood reflects yours. It has our entire marriage. I have very few me-generated moods. Every 4-5 months, you'll get like this, and I just get quiet, wait it out, & then it goes away. Until then, I have long arguments in my head, but no one should be subjected to that. Saying something never fixes anything, so I say nothing."

My response was very "WTF?" I explained, directly, that the silent treatment makes things worse, not better. That I need him to engage, to tell me what's going on. That there was no argument required in this case; all he had to do was acknowledge that it was broken, that he heard me. That when he shuts down, it worsens my mood, too, makes me more distant, makes it harder to engage/makes me not want to engage at all, etc. And if it's true that his mood reflects mine, then it's equally true that his mood can make mine worse or make a quiet state last longer.

AP said something similar. That my level of chattiness/mood affected whether/how often we chatted. He also had the silent treatment tendency, which he applied when he was irritated or depressed or hungover or stressed (so by the end, rather often). But he also couldn't grasp the fact that the silent treatment--whether his silent phase related to me or not--feels very cruel to me, and it causes me to disengage, to not even want to start a conversation. After all, who wants to, essentially, talk to themselves or feel like they're forcing someone else to talk? With AP, it was worse, because he'd snap out of the ones that didn't relate to me when he knew I'd be in town, & then he'd be clueless as to why I'd actually be irritated & want nothing to do with talking to him at that point. The cycle made me feel very used, very disposable.

Anyway, I want to know what this is called, if it's called anything at all. Is it just me? Am I missing something here?

And hell, talk about pressure...no wonder I've always felt a need to keep up pretenses. I've always known on some level that I can make things run more smoothly if, outwardly, I try hard to make it so all appears right in my world. But apparently if I ever break--be it in a small way or a large one--I'll just be left to figure it out till I can get back to "normal." Given how much I've figured out by "talking" here, that's not even close to the best method of getting through things.


BH: 42
WW: 37
LTA ended Jan. 1, 2014; NC started in April.
Married 17 years.
No DDay; this, like all of life's decisions, is a work in progress.

My best thinking brought me to SI.


Posts: 213 | Registered: Mar 2014
rachelc
♀ Member
Member # 30314
Default  Posted: 8:46 AM, June 14th (Saturday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

co-dependency: being responsible for another person's feelings.

Hold me Tight and Non-Violent Communication would be excellent books for you to read. Together.

I can't recall - are you guys in MC?


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: 4777 | Registered: Dec 2010
splitintwo
♀ Member
Member # 42951
Default  Posted: 8:57 AM, June 14th (Saturday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

We are not in MC. We did go to about 6-8 sessions of MC a few years back. That improved our ability to communicate, to some degree. I, essentially, learned better ways to approach topics that matter to him.

That line may read like manipulation, but it's not. In general, I'll talk about most anything in a detached, "no big deal" kind of way. When it's something that I know matters to him, such as about a major purchase, I know to shift my phrasing to show understanding re: his money concerns, approach it from a more thought out POV instead of talking like it's a whim (which I used to do even when I'd thought it out for a long while).


BH: 42
WW: 37
LTA ended Jan. 1, 2014; NC started in April.
Married 17 years.
No DDay; this, like all of life's decisions, is a work in progress.

My best thinking brought me to SI.


Posts: 213 | Registered: Mar 2014
splitintwo
♀ Member
Member # 42951
Default  Posted: 9:04 AM, June 14th (Saturday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Nonviolent Communication is actually on my list. I tried to check it out at the library, but they only have an e-copy. I need to set up my device & check it out so I can get started on it.


BH: 42
WW: 37
LTA ended Jan. 1, 2014; NC started in April.
Married 17 years.
No DDay; this, like all of life's decisions, is a work in progress.

My best thinking brought me to SI.


Posts: 213 | Registered: Mar 2014
hpv50
♀ Member
Member # 39703
Default  Posted: 9:06 AM, June 14th (Saturday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Split,

BS here, hope it's ok to respond. Your post struck me because your H sounds a lot like mine. I'm no psychologist, but when spouses reflect your moods back - that is, when they let their moods be dictated by ours - I think it means they're codependent. And please don't ask me exactly what that means, because after a year of therapy, I still don't understand.

No, it's definitely not normal. Who wants to feel responsible for two peoples moods, particularly the unhappy ones?

Slight t/j: My WH is also a vulnerable NPD, which is fodder for a different thread, but to some extent it drives his mood mirroring bit. In a nutshell: he feels powerless and victimized due to FOO issues; says he "can't" express himself around me because I "won't let him." So if we have a conflict, even a small one as you describe, he gives me the silent treatment or storms off in a silent rage. VNPDs are known for reflecting your mood back to you because they are disconnected from their true feelings and don't feel things deeply, except for anger. No idea if that's the case with you, but thought I'd toss it out there. End slight t/j.

Here is what my therapist suggests I do when he goes dark (silent treatment or mood mirroring): detach yourself from him. Focus on yourself and your mood. Pick something to do that's nice for you, and force yourself if necessary to do it, redirect your thoughts and don't think about him. Basically, find your own happy and remind yourself you're not responsible for his.

When the two of you are in a good state, would he be willing to read with you? Maybe read some of the Gottman literature out there, particularly on the Four Horsemen of the Apocolypse, one of which is stonewalling/silent treatment. Also a great idea to recognize your own role in perpetuating it (we usually are aiding and abetting, whether we like to admit it or not).

Good luck, HPV.

p.s. I am NOT telling you what to do, but please be very cautious in trying to get him to "work on the marriage" pre DDay. Otherwise it may make things a boatload worse for you down the road, when he figures it out.


Me: BS - 50; Him: WH - 51, vulnerable NPD
married 19 years, maybe 20th soon?
DD1 4/22/13 (hpv diagnosis)
DD2 5/9/13 (gaslighting begins)
DD3 6/30/13 (admits EA)
DD4 7/7/13 admits "trying to date other women" for 3 years

Posts: 129 | Registered: Jun 2013
splitintwo
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Member # 42951
Default  Posted: 9:37 AM, June 14th (Saturday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

It's absolutely OK for BS/MH-ers to respond.

I'm not in "get BH to work on the marriage" mode, and I believe that would be unfair thing to subject him to given the truth I'm withholding at the moment.

The timing is fuzzy, but I know I was friends with AP when BH & I were in MC. I don't think it had transitioned to an EA at that point, but I'm not certain. MC was BH's idea...he brought it up because, per him, he was coasting till our kids were out of the house, then he'd likely D. He felt like he was alone in our home. I was clueless as to how he was feeling. I've been much more in tune with his moods, etc, since then, much more engaged in my conversation with him, and we're closer to on the same page re: what he needs. It didn't stop me from breaking rather epically & making horrible choices that led to an LTA post MC. But hmm. the surface appearance of the M & of me meeting BH's needs are much healthier now than pre-MC.

I think I finally heard what BH was saying this time because I'm in a healthier head space now. And when I heard what he was saying, and it didn't make sense to me...something just felt off about the exchange, so I posted it here, as SI is the font of all knowledge. Plus, I'm only just now figuring out what my needs actually are. I've known I don't respond well to the silent treatment, but it's new for me to actually say, "I need you to tell me X when something I do triggers you; shutting me out just makes everything worse" & it's new for me to hold that line re: my POV when he tried to counter with "nope, silence makes it better."

And yes, re-reading this post, I see how unhealthy the entire dynamic is that I'm portraying, etc, and I know that it's not an authentic relationship. I just don't want the derail in this thread. For this thread, I'm just interested in understanding the dynamic BH & I appear to be in. Co-dependency would've never crossed my mind, but it's definitely worth exploring. In order to really fix things, I'll have to be honest with BH re: the A, as I don't see how it'd be possible to do it without it. But I'm not there yet for a myriad of reasons.


BH: 42
WW: 37
LTA ended Jan. 1, 2014; NC started in April.
Married 17 years.
No DDay; this, like all of life's decisions, is a work in progress.

My best thinking brought me to SI.


Posts: 213 | Registered: Mar 2014
walktheline
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Member # 43408
Default  Posted: 9:40 AM, June 14th (Saturday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I came to respond, but HPV above has such a great response that I don't know if I can add much to it. I was even going to suggest the Gottman books!

As for your belief that you have to put on a show to make things run more smoothly -- you know that's not healthy, but I'll go even farther and say you *deserve* to be able to express negative emotion in a healthy way and not be punished for it (which is what your BH is doing.) With my exBH, if I went to him with something that bothered me, i.e., "It hurt my feelings when you said X," he would get angry with *me* for being hurt. If I'd ask for an apology he'd say, "I'm SORRY you took it that way, but that's not what I meant." (Which is definitely not the same as saying, "I'm sorry what I said hurt you.") Eventually we'd be fighting and I'd be trying to explain that I simply want him to *understand* how I feel, and he'd be getting more and more defensive…and the only way to shut down the argument was for ME to apologize to HIM for even bringing it up. That would settle him down. It was terrible.

It may be worthwhile to ask yourself why you surround yourself with people (your BH, your AP) who don't actually want to see the real you -- a person who has feelings that are not always positive. That may be something to explore in IC. (Sorry, I know this isn't why you started this thread, but I just wanted to bring it up b/c it really struck me that this is about more than just your BH's moods.)


fOW/fWW - 30.

Married to amazing new H who is not a BH and never will be.


Posts: 19 | Registered: May 2014
splitintwo
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Member # 42951
Default  Posted: 9:42 AM, June 14th (Saturday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Adding this to my list of things to explore in IC:

It may be worthwhile to ask yourself why you surround yourself with people (your BH, your AP) who don't actually want to see the real you -- a person who has feelings that are not always positive.

This list keeps growing...


BH: 42
WW: 37
LTA ended Jan. 1, 2014; NC started in April.
Married 17 years.
No DDay; this, like all of life's decisions, is a work in progress.

My best thinking brought me to SI.


Posts: 213 | Registered: Mar 2014
unfound
♀ Member
Member # 12802
Default  Posted: 10:03 AM, June 14th (Saturday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

good responses to this situation. I'm going to take a different spin on it... not right or wrong, just different.

you, admittedly, had built up irritations, snapped at him over something small (that was the straw that broke the camels back kind of thing, yes?), then got angry because he withdrew.

he didn't feel like anything he could say could fix things, so he withdrew. when he did express how he felt/what his thought process was, you got irritated again.


sometimes people withdraw/don't engage for many reasons:

they feel they have no control over the situation (he couldn't fix it).

they are fearful of the reaction they'll get if they engage (you were already irritated and had a "tone", and he didn't want to escalate it by expressing *his* irritation for being snapped at).

they don't feel their feelings will be validated (it was an accident, but you know he doesn't like your stuff in the car).

they need time to gather their thoughts to have a productive conversation (he was working out the possible argument in his head).

they don't feel safe responding, even if to acknowledge the other person (again, he felt that there was nothing he could say to "fix" it.. not the situation, but your mood).

did you apologize for taking a tone with him or did you go straight to his reaction to your confrontation when you got him to engage? it sounds like you were still irritated or at least newly irritated by his expression of feelings/thoughts (hence the WTF reaction). I know for me, when mr unfound snaps at me for little things, it's much easier to engage when he comes to me calm, apologizes, explains why he was irritated and gives me a safe place with no expectations to respond in the way HE thinks I should.

could this be co-dependent? sure. could this be a guy who feels helpless, fearful, can't win no matter what, and takes more time to process than you? sure.

good reason to find a MC who specializes in honest, productive communication for both of you.


ka-mai
*******************
From time to time, I do consider that I might be mad. Like any self-respecting lunatic, however, I am always quick to dismiss any doubts about my sanity. DK

Posts: 14837 | Registered: Nov 2006 | From: mercury's underboob
splitintwo
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Member # 42951
Default  Posted: 10:26 AM, June 14th (Saturday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

did you apologize for taking a tone with him or did you go straight to his reaction to your confrontation when you got him to engage?

When I recognized he'd shut down, I started trying to get him back involved. I used a bunch of methods to reach out--asked him at home, called him at work (no answer), then texted.

I went with a light text (movie quote reference): "Why are you like the horn? (so forlorn)"

He asked why I ask these questions over text, and then he deflected once I noted the other ways I'd asked the same questions.

Anyway, I typed "Well, your tone shifted when I was unhappy that you broke yoda. So I'm guessing this has something to do with how I broached that."

Him: "Probably"

Me: "If there's something else going on, feel free to fill me in. Sorry I snapped at you, it was just one more thing going wrong in a stressful couple of hours."

Him: "I know. I'll give you a summary when I get home. Nothing else going on."

When he got home, he went to the porch & started reading. In order to get said summary, I had to go to the porch & start him talking.

So, yes, it was a "last straw" little thing. I did recognize that I'd been overly harsh because of other whatnot, and I did apologize. (Though reading it, it comes off as a "sorry, but..." thing). But I needed him to know I wanted to talk it through, not fight. Not that he fights. He doesn't. But still. That concept of making sure it's a "safe" space for conversation is something I kinda understand. I know he won't have a real discussion if he thinks I'll escalate it, so I have to keep it all in check on my end & get him to talk enough to figure out what's happening.

[This message edited by splitintwo at 10:26 AM, June 14th (Saturday)]


BH: 42
WW: 37
LTA ended Jan. 1, 2014; NC started in April.
Married 17 years.
No DDay; this, like all of life's decisions, is a work in progress.

My best thinking brought me to SI.


Posts: 213 | Registered: Mar 2014
rachelc
♀ Member
Member # 30314
Default  Posted: 10:42 AM, June 14th (Saturday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that he knows or feels something is wrong in the relationship. He may think he's crazy or that he's coming unglued but can't put his finger on it. Because of that, he finds communication with you difficult. JMHO....


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: 4777 | Registered: Dec 2010
splitintwo
♀ Member
Member # 42951
Default  Posted: 1:27 PM, June 14th (Saturday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

he knows or feels something is wrong in the relationship. He may think he's crazy or that he's coming unglued but can't put his finger on it. Because of that, he finds communication with you difficult.

I'd agree with this, except for the fact that he said, "It's been like this for 20 years. How do you not know this about me by now?"

It's not a new thing, at least not in terms of his silent phases. It's new-to-me to question it, at least to this degree. When I was really depressed, I'd just go along with it for a bit of a break, if that makes sense. And it's new to get that phrasing out of him--his belief that his mood is a reflection of mine.

I had this back-&-forth with AP re: this type of thing. He & I called it a feedback loop. He gets quiet for whatever reason -> me not being as chatty -> him being less likely to engage & staying quiet -> and so on. He also had zero ability to understand how destructive the silent treatment is on the relationship as a whole. This was true from our "friend" phase on.

BH & I don't engage in this type of thing often, where he goes off quiet for however long. It drives me crazy to live with it, so I'll intervene to fix it when it starts. BH is correct in his assessment that I get this way (moody,etc) every few months. I'm thinking that's just life...things will get under my skin from a bunch of aspects of life, & I just don't have the energy at that moment to play peacemaker anymore.

The silent treatment bit did come up in MC, too. The MC & I agreed on the destructive aspects of it, and I thought BH understood my need to talk things through, to at least acknowledge whatever the issue is at the time. But apparently, we're not quite on the same page with that. Since she taught me how to communicate major concerns more effectively with BH & help him feel heard, it stemmed much of that tension. I'm capable of creating an environment in which we can coast along, & all feels fine in the home.

I can see fixing me becoming an issue though. Some of the things I consciously do for him--celebrating accomplishments at work, asking questions to show I'm engaged in the conversation & interested in what's going on, and so on--he doesn't do for me. That feedback isn't there. If he doesn't generally share an interest in something, he simply doesn't ask. He'll listen if I talk, but there's no discussion.

I saw this "Masters of Love" article on The Atlantic this AM, and it resonated: http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/06/happily-ever-after/372573/

Just noticed that Gottman was one of the researchers. I should move those books up on my list.

Anyway, this section relates to what I'm talking about:

Let’s say that one partner had recently received the excellent news that she got into medical school. She would say something like “I got into my top choice med school!”

Those who showed genuine interest in their partner's joys were more likely to be together.
If her partner responded in a passive destructive manner, he would ignore the event. For example, he might say something like: “You wouldn’t believe the great news I got yesterday! I won a free t-shirt!”

If her partner responded in a passive constructive way, he would acknowledge the good news, but in a half-hearted, understated way. A typical passive constructive response is saying “That’s great, babe” as he texts his buddy on his phone.

In the third kind of response, active destructive, the partner would diminish the good news his partner just got: “Are you sure you can handle all the studying? And what about the cost? Med school is so expensive!”

Finally, there’s active constructive responding. If her partner responded in this way, he stopped what he was doing and engaged wholeheartedly with her: “That’s great! Congratulations! When did you find out? Did they call you? What classes will you take first semester?”

Since MC, I've learned to respond in "active constructive" ways to BH, & to prompt for the initial share. That's often how I talk to people anyway...it gets people chatty, etc, helps them open up.

BH tends to respond to me in more of an "active destructive" or "passive destructive" way. When I'm in a depressed state, that response is more of the same, so I don't really notice it. He's simply not interested in my work or whatever, so he'll let me talk, go with some "that's nice" one-off, and that's that. There's no feedback.

The more I think about it, the more I'm aware that that lack of feedback is what made me so vulnerable to an A with AP. AP doesn't give a damn about anything real in my world, but AP & I had a natural "active constructive" banter about trivial nothings. There was a responsiveness to our chatter in our "just friends" days that resonated with me (I checked the quizzes, we were "just friends" for real at first). Even though it was a lot of nothing, it felt good to be acknowledged like that again, to be really engaged in the chatter. When AP turned to silent treatment for a myriad of reasons that had little to do with me, that loss was the proverbial straw, and I stepped into crazy trying to get my friend back. That loss triggered my escalation into EA & eventually into PA, and I made many illogical (though logical in my broken brain) choices to try & salvage things.

Anyway...rambling a bit. I suspect I have a bit of a fear with starting IC. It's already going to be a hard sell, and I'm going to have to postpone that salespitch a bit because we just had some major expenses, & I know how he is with money, especially on things he views as unnecessary overall.

But the more work I do in terms of reading, reflecting, staying more in touch with my feelings, etc, the more of an issue it's going to become if I fix me. It'll be hard for me to accept not feeling heard, not mattering, like it doesn't even matter whether or not I'm in the home...likely feeling much like BH did when he said we should go to MC. But that's where IC will come into play, I suppose. I need to figure out how to navigate this path. It's just so hard when it all starts with feeling unworthy of anything because I had an A.


BH: 42
WW: 37
LTA ended Jan. 1, 2014; NC started in April.
Married 17 years.
No DDay; this, like all of life's decisions, is a work in progress.

My best thinking brought me to SI.


Posts: 213 | Registered: Mar 2014
Sal1995
♂ Member
Member # 39099
Default  Posted: 3:44 PM, June 14th (Saturday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that he knows or feels something is wrong in the relationship. He may think he's crazy or that he's coming unglued but can't put his finger on it.

Yep. BTDT.


Me (BS)-45, WW-42
PMs with men only, please
DDay 2/17/13, 9-10 month PA/EA
Final NC late Feb. '13
M - 18 years, 4 children
Reconciling

Posts: 1357 | Registered: Apr 2013 | From: Texas
WalkinOnEggshelz
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Member # 29447
Default  Posted: 9:16 PM, June 14th (Saturday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage


you, admittedly, had built up irritations, snapped at him over something small (that was the straw that broke the camels back kind of thing, yes?), then got angry because he withdrew.

This is the same take I had on the situation.

and I did apologize. (Though reading it, it comes off as a "sorry, but..." thing).

The apology seems off hand. Not genuine. It happened too far along in your exchange to make an impact. It was more along the lines of "well all of my defenses aren't working so I'll try an apology".

Your BH may need to work on his communication, but you need to take responsibility for your part. I think it's highly unfair to get upset by his lack of communication when your own communication is suffering.

You two have created a dynamic that will be impossible to break until you can own your own behavior, and if you can't own over reacting on an already formed resentment (him not lining your things in the car), then how do you expect to do so on even bigger deeper issues? How do you expect him to break the cycle if he had no idea what the cycle even is?


Me: WS 42
Him: BH 43(HoldingTogether)
M: 18years, together 22
2 Daughters: 13 and 10
D Day: 7/24/2010; TT to 10/17/10
If you keep asking people to give you the benefit of the doubt, they will eventually start to doubt your benefit.

Posts: 650 | Registered: Aug 2010 | From: Texas
SlowUptake
♂ Member
Member # 40484
Default  Posted: 11:12 PM, June 14th (Saturday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Hi Split
I can relate to this situation, except from your BS's POV.

I too go silent and shut down under similar circumstances.

It's not done out of spite, fear or a desire to ignore the situation.

Here's the thing. When your POV is dismissed outright, when it's all about 'winning'
the argument, having to agree with the 'correct' assessment of the situation, being told what your 'actually' thinking instead of what you say your thinking, when what you say is not what the other party wants to hear, it gets a bit much.

So you learn that it's best to say nothing because nothing you say will be accepted, all that happens is the anger escalates. No resolution can be achieved. There is no fix. The outcome will be the same whether you say anything or not.

So you wait it out with the expectation that when things calm down, if the situation was important it will be discussed calmly.

If it was just an emotional flare up and is not brought up again, it's water under the bridge.

Don't know whether that's healthy or not.

YMMV.

[This message edited by SlowUptake at 11:13 PM, June 14th (Saturday)]


Me:WS,50+
Her:BS,50+ (WantToWakeUp)
Married 33yrs
Dday Dec 2009

"Do not say a little in many words but a great deal in a few." Pythagoras

There are two kinds of people in the world.
Those who can extrapolate from incomplete data.


Posts: 390 | Registered: Aug 2013 | From: Limbo in Oz
splitintwo
♀ Member
Member # 42951
Default  Posted: 8:08 AM, June 15th (Sunday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Here's the thing. When your POV is dismissed outright, when it's all about 'winning'
the argument, having to agree with the 'correct' assessment of the situation, being told what your 'actually' thinking instead of what you say your thinking, when what you say is not what the other party wants to hear, it gets a bit much.

So you learn that it's best to say nothing because nothing you say will be accepted, all that happens is the anger escalates. No resolution can be achieved. There is no fix. The outcome will be the same whether you say anything or not.

So you wait it out with the expectation that when things calm down, if the situation was important it will be discussed calmly.

This is my husband's POV. Only, he doesn't always get to the last bit with discussing things calmly. He's fairly settled into "everyone else wants to win" or "saying something changes nothing" mindsets, so he rarely discusses what bothers him.

I play peacekeeper in preventing much from even being an issue, and when it is something that warrants discussion, I've learned ways to get him to have the conversation anyway.

I find his methodology unhealthy overall. He rarely, if ever, talks about things that actually bother him. And I find it to be unfair because even though I've altered how I talk with him/respond to him as a result of MC, he still goes with the default POV described above. Right or wrong, often there are topics that warrant discussion, and I dislike that he doesn't have them, doesn't tell me when I'm doing something wrong/hurtful/whatever. (yes, hypocritical, I know).

It's not just with me. He treats all relationships in his world in this way, even at work. He does not feel that this method of non-communication, silence, whatever, is problematic. I'm guessing it's conflict avoidance...I dunno. I also prefer to avoid conflict, but I achieve that in more active ways, so his version is difficult for me to work with.


BH: 42
WW: 37
LTA ended Jan. 1, 2014; NC started in April.
Married 17 years.
No DDay; this, like all of life's decisions, is a work in progress.

My best thinking brought me to SI.


Posts: 213 | Registered: Mar 2014
tired girl
♀ Member
Member # 28053
Default  Posted: 9:03 AM, June 15th (Sunday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

This is my husband's POV. Only, he doesn't always get to the last bit with discussing things calmly. He's fairly settled into "everyone else wants to win" or "saying something changes nothing" mindsets, so he rarely discusses what bothers him.

I play peacekeeper in preventing much from even being an issue, and when it is something that warrants discussion, I've learned ways to get him to have the conversation anyway.

I find his methodology unhealthy overall. He rarely, if ever, talks about things that actually bother him. And I find it to be unfair because even though I've altered how I talk with him/respond to him as a result of MC, he still goes with the default POV described above. Right or wrong, often there are topics that warrant discussion, and I dislike that he doesn't have them, doesn't tell me when I'm doing something wrong/hurtful/whatever. (yes, hypocritical, I know).

It's not just with me. He treats all relationships in his world in this way, even at work. He does not feel that this method of non-communication, silence, whatever, is problematic. I'm guessing it's conflict avoidance...I dunno. I also prefer to avoid conflict, but I achieve that in more active ways, so his version is difficult for me to work with.


This was how my H also chose to deal with things, and yes it is conflict avoidance. And yes we still deal with it. It is very deeply ingrained in him. However, I had to learn how to communicate differently with him as well. Many of the things you have said in the post resonate with how I used to communicate with my H. You use a lot of "buts" in a way to excuse yourself and justify why it is ok for you to continue to do it your way. Until you really feel that your way is not the best way and you really are interested in having better communication with him, it won't happen. You have to understand, you aren't always right.


Me45 Him 45 Hardlessons DS 25,23,20
D Day 1/18/10 his 3/8/2012 mine
"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." Eleanor Roosevelt

Posts: 4759 | Registered: Mar 2010 | From: az
solus sto
♀ Member
Member # 30989
Default  Posted: 9:13 AM, June 15th (Sunday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

As a BS, I'm going to go out on an unpopular limb and tell you to discard to "codependence" thing and focus instead on your own words and actions, lest you continue to appear blame shifty.

Look, it's not codependence to respond to others. It's human nature. With self-awareness, and when not submerged in a sea of agony, we can learn to moderate--to some extent--our responses to the words and actions of others. But humans interact--they mesh or repel--and this is not symptomatic of some sort of label-able syndrome, but rather because our words and actions affect others. Your husband is in pain. He may not know why--and there may be many reasons. But you're both in the relationship; if he earns a label, consider whether you want to don the complementary one, or would prefer instead to really focus on the solution.

You cannot control his thoughts and feelings. You can spend lots of time examining why he's been the way he is for 20 years. OR you can control the only things you really can: your own thoughts, words, and actions.

Among those, certainly, are whether this is a man with whom you wish to remain. He is who he is. That may not be what you want or need. I'd recommend, though, that you examine whether this is the reality of the situation, or the result of faulty thought patterns.

It's really difficult --even for those of us who are pretty buttoned up and withdraw when in pain (not codependent, but hurting)--- to learn that our partners have chosen to believe the worst of us rather than work to have a deeper and healthier relationship. I'm not saying this is the case for you-just suggesting it's something to think about.

The best decision I made--and it's one I think applies to both BS and WS--is to surrender. To let go of all the things I cannot control. Am I great at it? No, but getting there. (I have a tattoo inside my left wrist that says, "surrender" to remind me, just in case. ) The effects are far-reaching--they extend to everyone I encounter. And I am a much happier and healthier person for it.

I would gently suggest that, on some level your husband's withdrawal is -as much as you protest he's always been this way- because he knows you are holding a bomb, and it's safer to keep some distance. I'd suggest, truly, that you refrain from "working on the marriage" until you're ready to have an authentic one, and to instead focus--yep. On you. And on the things you can control. There is no marriage, no intimacy, no authenticity, no mutual satisfaction with secrets and lies between you. You don't want to change this, and that is your prerogative. So focus on yourself, why you are the way you are, and how to be who you want to be. You will gain greater peace and greater clarity.


BS-me, 52
WH (Trac-fone), 52, PD
2 kids-DD25, DS18
multiple d-days
DIVORCING
Alone, most strangely, I live on~Rupert Brooke

Posts: 8579 | Registered: Jan 2011 | From: midwest
DixieD
♀ Member
Member # 33457
Default  Posted: 10:12 AM, June 15th (Sunday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I am going to mention the codependent thing again because the label is just a label, to explore and read about. It's a starting point for you to look at your OWN behavior. Codependent No More is a very good and often eye-opening book. Given the fact that you have an alcoholic parent and your AP was an alcoholic, I think it would be a good thing for you to look into.

Split, it's not hard to see that you have control issues. Codependent No More addresses that need for control. There are codependents who fall in the compliant (conflict avoider) category (like my husband and it sounds like yours too) and codependents who fall into more of the controlling side of things (that's me). BOTH are unhealthy and dysfunctional.

Me: "Well it was thrown in the backseat, & now part is broken. Be more careful with my stuff."

You talk to him like he's a child. You are the 'parent' in the relationship. I think WOES pointed that out in one of your other threads.

I tried to get the info out of him re: what his issue was, but it took about a full day to get him to re-engage.

Really, what do you think his issue was? You talked to him like he was a child so he reverted back to what probably worked as a child. Keeping his mouth shut. Could he express his feelings to his own parents? Did they listen?

Every 4-5 months, you'll get like this, and I just get quiet, wait it out, & then it goes away. Until then, I have long arguments in my head, but no one should be subjected to that. Saying something never fixes anything, so I say nothing."

He's conflict avoiding. Something he probably learned worked for him as a kid. He feels there is no point talking to you about anything because you won't listen to his feelings. Is there any truth to that?

"WTF?" I explained, directly, that the silent treatment makes things worse, not better. That I need him to engage, to tell me what's going on. That there was no argument required in this case; all he had to do was acknowledge that it was broken, that he heard me. That when he shuts down, it worsens my mood, too, makes me more distant, makes it harder to engage/makes me not want to engage at all, etc. And if it's true that his mood reflects mine, then it's equally true that his mood can make mine worse or make a quiet state last longer.

Instead of looking at how you acted in the first place and talked to him like a child you are fixating on how he reacted (silent treatment) to you and how that affects you and you don't like it and he should stop doing that.

It's very positive he was able to tell you this BTW.

When I recognized he'd shut down, I started trying to get him back involved.

Sorry I snapped at you, it was just one more thing going wrong in a stressful couple of hours."

You apologized only after trying a handful of manipulative things to get him to talk which didn't work. It wasn't about what you did. It was about how he was reacting to you and you didn't like it. Then you finally did apologize and blameshifted in the process. If he hadn't given you the silent treatment to begin with, would you have apologized for your tone or your mood or your attitude?

You know how the silent treatment bothers you and you want that to change, but where's your accountability in this exchange?

[This message edited by DixieD at 10:53 AM, June 15th (Sunday)]


Growing forward

Posts: 1767 | Registered: Sep 2011
rachelc
♀ Member
Member # 30314
Default  Posted: 11:09 AM, June 15th (Sunday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I would gently suggest that, on some level your husband's withdrawal is -as much as you protest he's always been this way- because he knows you are holding a bomb, and it's safer to keep some distance. I'd suggest, truly, that you refrain from "working on the marriage" until you're ready to have an authentic one, and to instead focus--yep. On you. And on the things you can control. There is no marriage, no intimacy, no authenticity, no mutual satisfaction with secrets and lies between you. You don't want to change this, and that is your prerogative. So focus on yourself, why you are the way you are, and how to be who you want to be. You will gain greater peace and greater clarity.

exactly this....


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...


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