SurvivingInfidelity.com Forums
Reconciliation
User Topic: Am I blowing this out of proportion?
MylarPineapples
Member
Member # 39570
Default  Posted: 7:23 PM, January 7th (Tuesday)

H and I had an argument tonight, and I'd like some objective opinions on if I am overreacting.

Back story: This weekend there is an annual convention for a hobby H is very involved in. He always goes to this convention. I have never gone with him, as I don't share this interest with him and I have never really hung out with that group of people - they are really "his friends" and not "our friends", and being that I'm naturally pretty shy this is kind of uncomfortable for me. He has always included our eldest son in this hobby, and has always taken him to this convention.

Last year, H was secretly planning to bring Coworker #1 to this convention, just the two of them. He told our son that he wasn't going to bring him (because he obviously couldn't bring our son on a date with his OW), which caused a HUGE amount of hurt feelings on my son's part and an argument between them. H told me at the time that he just wanted to hang out with his friends for once without having to cart one our kids along, etc etc. I thought it was odd, but I supported him and told him if he needed "guy time" without our son then he should take it. I talked to our son about it, and tried to make him feel better. H ended up cancelling his "date" with Coworker #1 at the last minute and taking our son after all, he says because he realized how odd it would seem to his friends that he had brought this random girl with him and he was afraid it would get back to me. I learned the real story about what had gone on some time later.

Fast forward to now: The convention is this weekend. It is a HUGE trigger point for me. H and I discussed it a couple of weeks ago, and I told him how the prospect of him going made me feel. He said that if it bothered me that much then he wouldn't go. I told him that I didn't want him to miss out on something he looks forward to every year, but I also didn't want to sit home wondering what might really be going on either. We decided to compromise, and agreed that I would go along with my H to the convention. Although I have no interest in this hobby, we have also talked about how it's important for us to try to be more involved in each other's social circles and lives outside of our home, so it seemed like a good idea on several fronts.

Now, this convention runs Friday-Saturday-Sunday. I have to work nights that weekend, so H took Friday off and we planned to go together on Friday. Today he suddenly says, "So do you mind if I go on Saturday with *male friend*?" This seems to me to kind of defeat the point of our compromise. Also, in looking back at his text messages, he made plans with *male friend* a week ago to go to the convention with him on Saturday (AFTER we had our initial discussion) and never mentioned it to me until now.

I got pissed. I told him that I feel like he was being dishonest with me - either he never truly intended to not go without me, or he changed his mind after the fact when he got an invitation and just chose not to mention it to me. I told him that it was meaningful to me that he had said he would give up going this year to protect my feelings, and now I feel somewhat betrayed and misled.

He just keeps saying that he was just hoping I might feel more confident now (since things in our M have been going so well in the last couple of weeks) that he was not trying to meet up with any OW. He is refusing to see that to me, that is NOT really the point. He just keeps saying "If you really don't want me to go, then I just won't." But he is not STATING anymore that he won't go, he's waiting for me to tell him not to.

I feel like it's the same pattern as with the cheating. I TELL him how hurtful something is, and he promises to not do anything to hurt me again. UNTIL the opportunity comes along, then my feelings don't matter so much. I told him this, and he just said he doesn't think it's the same thing at all. I just basically want to tell him to forget about going with me on Friday and go whenever with his friends, I really don't care. I don't WANT to go to this stupid thing to begin with!!! I was putting myself out there to try to strengthen our marriage, and now I feel like his taking me on Friday is just him throwing me a bone so he can go with his friends on Saturday which is what he really wants to do. He knows that means I will be sitting at work on Saturday wondering WTH might really be going on, and he says he doesn't want that, so "If you really don't want me to go I won't." Of course I don't want him to go! How many more times do I have to say how hurtful it is to me! But I am expected to be his mother and tell him what he can and can't do.

Ugh, I am so angry right now. Am I being a looney toon about 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
Morhurt
Member
Member # 40166
Default  Posted: 7:30 PM, January 7th (Tuesday)

You are not being a loony toon. He is being selfish. You're right, you're not his mother you're his wife. He needs to do what it takes to help you feel safe and this is NOT helping.

Too bad he didn't stop to consider the consequences before he chose to have an A right? Well this is a consequence. Buuut... I agree with what you're saying, if you tell him not to go he's doing it to appease you and that may well just piss you off (at least it would me). This is an opportunity for him to do the right thing. To help you heal rather than reopen the wound.

Talk talk talk.


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

Posts: 897 | Registered: Aug 2013 | From: Canada
ILINIA
Member
Member # 39836
Default  Posted: 8:31 PM, January 7th (Tuesday)

If I read it correctly, he made plans with the friend AFTER both of you agreed to go together. Then he WITHHELD this information, hoping you would feel comfortable letting him go when the convention came closer?

Seems deceitful and manipulative especially how he puts it back on you. He wants you to be the bad guy and tell him he can't go, when he was childish all along. You are his partner not his parent, he needs to be an adult.

I would be ticked.



Entering R slowly and cautiously...

Posts: 441 | Registered: Jul 2013
MylarPineapples
Member
Member # 39570
Default  Posted: 1:09 AM, January 8th (Wednesday)

Thanks for telling me I'm not totally off base. H went to lay down in the bedroom at 6:30 right after our brief argument and never came back, so I guess we're not talking about it tonight.

I'm just feeling really hurt about it. This particular interest of his is something he has used to initiate his relationships with ALL the OWs, so I am really beginning to hate it. Maybe I just attach too much importance to minor things, but I really felt like his voluntarily sacrificing that time with his friends and us going to together instead (even if it was just for the day instead of the whole weekend as he'd like to) was meaningful and symbolic of our new start. I guess I was the only one who felt that way.


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
Dreamland
Member
Member # 40488
Default  Posted: 1:15 AM, January 8th (Wednesday)

Honestly he should give up this hobby if he's met ow through it. I would suggest finding a new lobby that you both like.
To mee it sounds like he's should not go and he's definitely with held telling you when his friend suggested they go on Saturday...
Well tell him tomorrow you thought about it and it would better if he not go this year.
Stay strong sending hugs..


Me-BS 50 Him-WH 47, DD17
Together since 1993, Married 19 yrs
DDay 3/12,4/12,7/12 EA-PA OW - 25 single husband chasing bastard whore

Posts: 515 | Registered: Aug 2013
MylarPineapples
Member
Member # 39570
Default  Posted: 1:21 AM, January 8th (Wednesday)

He has not met any other women through it, but it is a hobby that his OWs apparently find appealing so he encourages their interest in it as well, and all the sudden VOILA they have something to text about a hundred thousand times until they start sending him naked photos of themselves. Ugh.

I would love it if he would give it up, but I know it will never happen. I won't even go there - that would be a battle I would never win. He has a large amount of his identity wrapped up in it. Thanks for your reply and the hugs.

[This message edited by MylarPineapples at 1:22 AM, January 8th (Wednesday)]


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
headdesk
Member
Member # 40787
Default  Posted: 2:15 AM, January 8th (Wednesday)

Oh, I hear you. You're talking about boundaries. In specific, how he cannot respect yours. Exactly the problem I had with my WH.

It didn't stop till I threatened to kick him out and instead kick his butt in the basement for 2 months. The only reason he got the privilege to stay in the basement at all was that he promised to do the things I set out. I had spent 3 weeks trying to nice him. It so didn't work.

1. Seek IC on his own, set it up, attend them and grow. Staying static or not putting 100% was unacceptable. I wasn't going to define how he had to grow, just that it couldn't stay the same.
2. Make an appointment for STI testing at our mutual drs - test for everything even though he said it was only kissing. Bring me the test results.
3. He could not enter the bedroom or ensuite bath. That was to be my safe zone and if I needed time away from him that could be where I could go (I have health stuff, so leaving the house isn't usually practical for very long)
4. Had to text a NC letter to her and then keep NC. Even if she responded (oh and boy did she) he couldn't and had to let me know if she ever contacted or saw him.
5. Had to evaluate seriously and figure out why he couldn't respect my boundaries and why he couldn't figure out things without me walking him through them (ie I would be upset by x sort of behaviour. seriously dude, if I can say 'if it was you that was x and me that did that, how would you feel' and you can go 'ohhhhh' why the hell can't you do that on your own??)
6. He had to be accountable and transparent.

If he failed at any of those things, he was out and he damn well knew it. Any of those may be what you want or not - the point is that you need to put your big ol' bitch boots on and let him truly have it if you want change. Otherwise he'll continue to run you over because it's easy and it's worked so far. Make it NOT work.

I've been lucky in that my WH decided that it was time for him to change and dump the FOO issues and entitlement. To date he has been doing the full list (though he has been allowed back in our room now) and has figured a lot out in a short time. He's also been working seriously on healing the relationship he had with the kids, which has been amazing for them and me. I'm watching him talk himself through logic jumps he was unable to do before - like how he was very entitled as the male child and how he's actually passed some of that on to our kids and that he had to stop that crap in it's tracks. I'm now working through feelings of frustration that he didn't do this earlier, because this isn't the first issue we've had - just the first A.

Hugs.


Me: 39
WH: 42
DDay:Sep 19 2013 (only TT of EA)
Oct 4th 2013 revealed PA through snooping.
Marred 16 years, together for 20. Looking to R at this time. We have awesome kids (12/14).

Posts: 273 | Registered: Sep 2013
Dare2Trust
Member
Member # 21183
Default  Posted: 3:12 AM, January 8th (Wednesday)

MylarPineapples,

My Opinion: Your husband is being manipulative and he went back on his word -- Both of you had an "agreement" about this Convention and weekend; and he basically LIED....when he made plans with his guy friend behind your back for Saturday!
HE KNOWS THIS....and YOU KNOW THIS!

Now, he wants to put everything on your back with his "whiney, pitiful, little boy act" and make you out to be THE BIG BAD MOMMY who tells him:
"He can't go out and play with his little friends!"
What a crock of crap!

Personally - I'd tell my husband:
"IF YOU GO on Saturday - your belongings will be piled in the middle of the driveway in black trash bags, when your butt comes home!" But that's just me.
I don't allow my husband to manipulate me any longer - those days are long over.

Your husband gave you THE PERFECT CHANCE to do exactly what you really want to do, when he said:

"If you really don't want me to go I won't."

So very sweetly tell the man:
"Honey - I don't want you to go!

THEN - I'd give some very serious thought to how I was going to convince him he really does want to give up this little hobby of his...IF HE WANTS TO REMAIN MARRIED TO ME!


Me BS 59
WH 58
Married 19 years
D-Day Nov 3, 2005
Child: Adopted Daughter 21 College Student now

I can understand being alone; but I hate being with someone and feeling lonely.


Posts: 6113 | Registered: Oct 2008 | From: Texas
hikingwithkoda
Member
Member # 41891
Default  Posted: 11:20 AM, January 8th (Wednesday)

It sounds like it went like this:

1. You and WH agreed to go on Friday only to the convention, since you have to work.

2. He contacted a male friend and made arrangements to go on Saturday, when you would be unable to attend.

3. Later, he "asked" you if it would be okay to go with a friend, making no mention of the fact that he had already put that plan into motion.

This isn't just being insensitive to your feelings. Of course he should realize how upsetting it would be for him to go to this convention. But he LIED. He pretended that he hadn't already made arrangements. There's no such thing as overreacting to a lie at this point (well, I guess stabbing him in the head might be an overreaction). He is supposed to be earning back trust, through openness and honesty. Instead, he tried to fool you again. And then he runs off to the bedroom and won't talk about it? Bull SHIT.

I understand what you're saying about "If you don't want me to go, I won't" crap - he should voluntarily decline to go, to respect your feelings. But since he seems incapable of that, I agree with Dare2Trust: tell him. His reaction will give you more information about what your marriage's future holds. If he cheerfully agrees and drops the subject, there's reason for optimism. If he chooses to get butt-hurt or resentful about it, things look a little bleaker.


Me: BH, 50
Her: WW, 50
D-Day 12/27/2013 3-month PA with family friend

But also:
Me: WH, 50
Her: BW, 50
D-day: 12/27/2013 (about A that happened 14-15 years ago w/coworker)


Posts: 69 | Registered: Jan 2014 | From: Southern California
gonnabe2016
Member
Member # 34823
Default  Posted: 11:32 AM, January 8th (Wednesday)

Your WH has put you in a lose/lose situation.
My stbx used to put me in these same exact types of scenarios and I asked my IC how I was supposed to handle it.

I was told to NOT offer my opinion/suggestion/desire. I was to tell him to make the decision that was best for his family/marriage. Period.


"Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive." - Sir Walter Scott

In my effort to be *concise*, I often come off as blunt and harsh. Sorry, don't mean to be offensive.


Posts: 7866 | Registered: Feb 2012 | From: Midwest
Morhurt
Member
Member # 40166
Default  Posted: 11:35 AM, January 8th (Wednesday)

I talked to my H about this and how I had responded and he said that although he agreed with me it wasn't very constructive. As in, how do you let him know that you need him to just do the right thing?
Sigh... It seems so obvious to us BSs doesn't it?

He told me that as embarrassing as it is to admit, it was actually hard for him to fully figure out what I wanted at first. For 15 years we did it one way and all of a sudden there was a new way.

I asked him to post his thoughts but he was exhausted and has a crazy busy day today so I doubt he will. I'll try to get the gist down instead.

He said he really needed to see me break down to "get it". Every time I really allowed myself to feel and express he learned so much. He says it's not fair to me but that it really truly helped him to understand the depth of pain and despair. When I could freely express (no brave face) it was much easier for him to see which path to take.

It actually doesn't seem at all fair to me but I remind myself that it's a process. We are both learning a new way to "be" in our M.

I hope that made sense.


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

Posts: 897 | Registered: Aug 2013 | From: Canada
MylarPineapples
Member
Member # 39570
Default  Posted: 4:48 PM, January 8th (Wednesday)

Thanks for all your replies, it has given me some things to think about.

H and I "talked" (loudly) about this again today. It was incredibly frustrating for me. I told him that for me, the BIG DEAL is not so much him going to the convention itself at this point, it is the fact that I feel betrayed, misled, and disregarded in the way he has handled this whole thing. He said he doesn't feel like he did anything wrong because I never explicitly said, "You are not allowed to go to the convention without me." My response was no I hadn't, but I had told him my feelings about it, and HE had told ME that he was not going to go without me - and that I need to know that I can trust his word and that he will follow through on promises he makes to me. He said that he doesn't feel like not telling me his new plans right away was a lie of omission, that he was just "waiting for best time" to bring it up. He said that in his mind he didn't do anything wrong, because he hadn't *actually* gone without talking to me about it and he could've just cancelled his plans at anytime.

Every time I tried to discuss my feelings or how these issues relate to our M in general, he just kept steering the conversation back to this convention, how important it is to him, and a discussion of can he or can't he go. I felt like he was not addressing anything I was telling him because he was just focused on getting what he wants. When I brought up what I see as the parallels to his behavior when he was pursuing OW, he chastised me for "dredging up everything I've ever done in the past." I got very frustrated and told him to forget about me going on Friday, and that he should decide what he wants to do for himself. The conversation ended with him saying, "So that means I'm not going at all?"

So now he is acting all depressed. I would like to believe he is sad about this coming between us, but I think it's far more likely that he is upset that he didn't get what he wanted. I don't really care to ask him what he's feeling, because I don't care to hear anymore about how important this stupid hobby is to him. After I told him I wasn't going to go, he started going on and on about how he wanted to share this with me so I could have a better understanding of this interest that's so important to him; as he was saying that, all I could think was how nice it was that he wanted to share all of that with his OW last year.


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
MylarPineapples
Member
Member # 39570
Default  Posted: 4:51 PM, January 8th (Wednesday)

The really big deal to me is that in the past week, we've had multiple good conversations about how important it is for us to be totally open and honest with each other, and not withhold information to avoid conflict, in order to build trust. In retrospect he was having those conversations with me AFTER he had made those plans and WHILE he was continuing to choose not to tell me. This really really bothers me. I asked him why he would do that. He just said he doesn't feel like that's what he was doing. Ugh.


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
Morhurt
Member
Member # 40166
Default  Posted: 5:06 PM, January 8th (Wednesday)

Oh man, that is so frustrating! I'm seething for you.

He seems hell bent on making this about his wants/needs and you being the bad guy. To be honest he is very lucky that you haven't told him to shove his stupid hobby up his ass where his head seems to be residing these days!

My H was gym addicted during A time, swore it was all about staying healthy and looking good for ME etc. He had the beginnings of a slippery slope happening there but none of the actual As were involved at all and I still told him how his going made me feel after DD and he's never been back. I'm sure he misses parts of it but he knows what a trigger it is for me and so he doesn't even want to go. Your H needs to really GET that part. He needs to really WANT to help you feel safe and loved and like #1. (sorry if I'm repeating myself, I'm a serial poster today)

p.s. I'm very curious what the hobby is but I'm trying to not be nosy


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

Posts: 897 | Registered: Aug 2013 | From: Canada
MylarPineapples
Member
Member # 39570
Default  Posted: 5:19 PM, January 8th (Wednesday)

LOL Morhurt, not mentioning it because I'm trying not to post too much identifying info, but he's been gym addicted in the past too so I know how that goes. Thanks for your replies, it helps to know someone is listening.


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
Dare2Trust
Member
Member # 21183
Default  Posted: 5:27 PM, January 8th (Wednesday)

MylarPineapples,

You stated:

we've had multiple good conversations about how important it is for us to be totally open and honest with each other

OK...then you need to be 100% honest and let your husband know: You do not want him going to this hobby/convention without you...and he AGREED he would not go without you. SO- him making plans with is friend behind your back WAS deceitful; and you do not want him to go on Saturday.

This man is playing "word games" with you - simply because he wants to get his way; so he can go to the convention with his friend. It's that simple.

I'm enraged on your behalf - because this man is manipulating you BIG TIME!


Me BS 59
WH 58
Married 19 years
D-Day Nov 3, 2005
Child: Adopted Daughter 21 College Student now

I can understand being alone; but I hate being with someone and feeling lonely.


Posts: 6113 | Registered: Oct 2008 | From: Texas
mountainmomma
Member
Member # 34388
Default  Posted: 5:41 PM, January 8th (Wednesday)

I can also relate to this
My WS also said this to me about a recent boys night out he had the opportunity to go on with his ex boss (who's disabled and quite famous and another guy too) after I communicated possible concerns about things that might come up on the night out or places they may frequent.

I got very worked up about it too and, like you thought I was over reacting, and blowing things out of proportion, but I assure you you are not. I spoke to my IC and our MC about it, I wanted it to be him that saw it and got it. I didn't like as gonnabe says being put in a lose lose situation, nor in the position of being his mummy and telling him he couldn't go.

He knows full blooming well your feelings, like mine did. He has a choice to make like mine did. In the end after discussing it a lot with counsellor a x2 I simply said, part of me feels scared to tell you I'm scared about you going, and another part of me wants you to go out and have a nice time. ItS your decision.

I did not make the decision for him. He decided not to go. And didn't sulk about it!. It spoke greatly to me about his consideration for my feelings and my healing.

I also like what gonnabe said and think that it is also a very good way to handle things. Keep the focus on the decisions HE needs to make for the greater good, and not let him squirm out of things and decisions he should be making and not putting on you and behave in the fashion of running away to bed early, and ignoring you.

I've rambled a bit here about my own sitch, I'm trying to give context and just want you to know I SO empathise with your frustration and understand totally you questioning yourself and wondering of your overblowing things, you're not, he is and it's because you are a reasonable kind person that you're questioning yourself, it's a shame he's behaving so immaturely and I considerately (IMO). Hope I haven't overstepped the line here by saying that.
Please keep us posted .
Big hugs and thinking of you
MM


Me 37
WS 42 (Mitty)
4 kiddys 9,7,4 &20 mths no5 due August 14
seeing hookers, NSA sites, escorts, anyone willing from 07/08 (i didn't know)left to do full time with no restraints 2010 Returned home march 2011 in R DDay 2.4.2010 OW 30+ age 18-60

Posts: 180 | Registered: Jan 2012 | From: U.K
sisoon
Member
Member # 31240
Default  Posted: 5:51 PM, January 8th (Wednesday)

A couple of thoughts...

On way of looking at it:

Without infidelity, this would probably be no big deal. With any infidelity, it's could be a small issue - but you'd have to confront it because it could so easily turn into a big deal. With infidelity connected to his hobby and the convention, it's a big deal from the start.

Another way of looking at it:

You discussed it, and...

HE had told ME that he was not going to go without me

It went off your radar, and it should have. He played a giant trick on you with his new decision. That behavior - changing a decision unilaterally - really effs up R.

He said that he doesn't feel like not telling me his new plans right away was a lie of omission....

Wow, I got angry when I read that! A lie is a lie! And, oh, gee - he wraps it around violating a commitment to you. And he doesn't see this as another betrayal?

He sounds like my 4 year old GS. It's very funny on my GS. It's very troubling in an adult who claims to want to R, IMO.

He said he doesn't feel like he did anything wrong because I never explicitly said, "You are not allowed to go to the convention without me."

If he's R'ing to please you, it'll never work - he'll resent you to the max. He needs to commit to R because HE wants R.

He should know that his hobby itself is a slippery slope and act accordingly.

Is this a deal breaker for you? If it is, you could tell him, it's his choice - convention or you.

You mention multiple ows associated with this hobby. Have you considered making dropping this hobby a requirement for R?

Bottom line: I don't think your H is ready for R. He may become ready, but he just doesn't get it yet.

Have you considered doing the 180? Not to manipulate him, but to get you out of his sphere of influence. IMO, there's almost nothing you report that computes out to his being a good candidate for R.

[This message edited by sisoon at 5:52 PM, January 8th (Wednesday)]


fBH (me) - 70, 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: 9918 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: Chicago area
MylarPineapples
Member
Member # 39570
Default  Posted: 5:53 PM, January 8th (Wednesday)

Dare2Trust, I agree that he is trying to manipulate me. I told him that, and I explained that I believe his decision to make the plans and then withhold the information, and the way he is discussing this now, are all efforts to manipulate the situation and my reaction to his advantage. I truly believe that he does not understand this. I'm not sure how to make him recognize what manipulation is, or how to recognize it in his own behavior.

This is the frustrating part: He KNOWS I don't want him to go. He always knew this. I have TOLD him that I am not comfortable with him going. In his mind though, there is nothing wrong with trying to manipulate me to try to change that and get what he wants. He doesn't SEE it as manipulation - he sees it as continuing discussion where he can keep trying to come at the issue from different angles until he gets the result he desires. Looking back, he has always done this, and it usually has worked. It is exhausting.

I don't want it to be my job to police his behavior anymore. I don't want every issue to have to come down to me telling him that he is not allowed to do this or do that because it is hurtful to me or our relationship. I am sick and tired of me telling him that something hurts me and upsets me and getting the response, "Soooo.... Can I still do it though?"


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
MylarPineapples
Member
Member # 39570
Default  Posted: 6:50 PM, January 8th (Wednesday)

Thanks for sharing, mountainmama. I keep holding out hope that my H will "get it". I really have trouble even imagining a scenario where my H doesn't go to this convention regardless of my feelings, so to imagine him not going and not sulking about it would seem miraculous!

Sisoon, your post really got me thinking. Honestly, I am not ready to D over this convention so I am not going to threaten that. However, you bring up some really good points about R. While I have felt like we have been making great progress and he's been doing a lot of work, I now realize that he's been doing everything I have ASKED him to do (reading, Retrouvaille program, establishing NC for the most part - he still works occasionally with one OW) but he hasn't actually initiated any of it himself. It makes me wonder if he does the things I ask him to do because it makes him feel good - makes him feel like he is being a good husband, and alleviates some of his guilt. I wonder if he is doing these things when we're in our little bubble at home together because it feels good to him, and he gets positive strokes from me for it, and not because he truly believes deep down that there is a problem that he wants to solve.

Things for me to think about...


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
ILINIA
Member
Member # 39836
Default  Posted: 7:37 PM, January 8th (Wednesday)

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: 441 | Registered: Jul 2013
MylarPineapples
Member
Member # 39570
Default  Posted: 8:55 PM, January 8th (Wednesday)

*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)

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!

GAH!

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.
Unknown


Posts: 1138 | Registered: Apr 2012 | From: La La Land
MylarPineapples
Member
Member # 39570
Default  Posted: 12:56 AM, January 9th (Thursday)

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
NowWhat106
Member
Member # 35497
Default  Posted: 11:36 AM, January 9th (Thursday)

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.


Me BS
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: 271 | Registered: May 2012
Morhurt
Member
Member # 40166
Default  Posted: 12:21 PM, January 9th (Thursday)

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: 897 | Registered: Aug 2013 | From: Canada
tushnurse
Member
Member # 21101
Default  Posted: 12:53 PM, January 9th (Thursday)

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)))


Me: FBS
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: 8077 | Registered: Oct 2008 | From: St. Louis
MylarPineapples
Member
Member # 39570
Default  Posted: 5:45 PM, January 9th (Thursday)

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
sisoon
Member
Member # 31240
Default  Posted: 6:21 PM, January 9th (Thursday)

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, 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: 9918 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: Chicago area
MylarPineapples
Member
Member # 39570
Default  Posted: 9:34 PM, January 9th (Thursday)

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
Topic Posts: 30