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Reconciliation :
Session 6: The Wall

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nekonamida ( member #42956) posted at 3:23 PM on Wednesday, May 26th, 2021

2. At this point, my wife really can't go 5 weeks between sessions.

I find this curious. Do you think why she quickly fell back into old habits is because she wasn't getting enough counseling? Is your WW typically someone who needs a point made to them over and over again before she "gets it" and can choose to use what she learned without her hand held?

posts: 5232   ·   registered: Mar. 31st, 2014   ·   location: United States
id 8662768
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BluerThanBlue ( member #74855) posted at 4:34 PM on Wednesday, May 26th, 2021

Anyone can change behaviors and patterns but no one— not even the most talented therapist on the planet— can make someone fall back in love and start caring about someone again. The person who acquired that superpower would be richer than Jeff Bezos by now.

Again, Capt, I’m not trying to be mean, pessimistic, or dismissive of the little progress you have seen thus far, but the reality is that if your wife didn’t have half a dozen kids with you and tons of pressure from your family and religious community to stay married at all costs, she would be gone by now. She belittles and lectures you as way of venting her resentment and frustration with feeling trapped.

She is not emotionally invested in you as a human being or in the relationship; she’s doing counseling and therapy because it’s the only option at the moment for making the marriage tolerable. If you’re going to survive being in this relationship, you not only need walls, you need motes filled with sharks and electric eels.

In other words, the next time she lays into you over something as stupid as a parking ticket, there needs to be consequences for it. You can’t demand her love or compassion, but you ought to demand her respect.

[This message edited by BluerThanBlue at 10:37 AM, May 26th (Wednesday)]

BW, 40s

Divorced WH in 2015; now happily remarried

I edit my comments a lot for spelling, grammar, typos, etc.

posts: 1943   ·   registered: Jul. 13th, 2020
id 8662787
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sisoon ( Moderator #31240) posted at 5:03 PM on Wednesday, May 26th, 2021

Today's session really showed me two things.

A. We have an awesome counselor.

2. At this point, my wife really can't go 5 weeks between sessions.

I was initially shocked to read point A, since this C has proved herself to be damned good already. Then I came to agree, because that 'defend his walls' comment really was a better comment than I could imagine from any C.

*****

Did you mean to use 'A' and '2'? Why not '1' and '2' or 'A' and 'B' or 'A' and '1'1? In any case, I liked the incongruity.

*****

Cap, You've endured years of attacks from your W. What are you getting out of your M? Is it just your sense of duty?

*****

Cap, Your report brought tears to my eyes ... mainly because I've always felt my W honored my walls, even while cheating. She has always supported me in doing what I want to do, and I've supported her.

fBH (me) - on d-day: 66, Married 43, together 45, same sex ap
DDay - 12/22/2010
Recover'd and R'ed
You don't have to like your boundaries. You just have to set and enforce them.

posts: 29933   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8662801
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thatbpguy ( member #58540) posted at 5:15 PM on Wednesday, May 26th, 2021

CR, incredible counselor and posts. I have nothing to add, but I do have a question...

How does your wife feel about these sessions? Does she them as valuable? Does she feel she's getting beat up on but not you? Will she continue? I mean, this person seems like solid gold.

ME: BH Her: WW DDay 1, R; DDay 2, R; DDay 3, I left; Divorced Remarried to a wonderful woman

"There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind." C.S. Lewis

As a dog returns to his vomit, so a fool repeats his folly...

posts: 4480   ·   registered: May. 2nd, 2017   ·   location: Vancouver, WA
id 8662805
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ISurvivedSoFar ( member #56915) posted at 5:30 PM on Wednesday, May 26th, 2021

To me this is something DD (my WS) said a few posts back. You are a reflection of her rather than she being a reflection of herself. If you are unhappy then she deems herself worthless particularly because your unhappiness is in direct response to her actions. This is not for you to fix. The damn is either going to break or it isn't. She needs some very deep work on her self worth else she will keep taking out her deficiencies on you.

I have no great advice other than to say that the behavior is totally recognizable to me. And this makes me sad for you. I did find that having the MC call BS when she saw it was a great catalyst for my WS to want to fix his own stuff. He didn't believe me when I would tell him things but certainly he knew when we were in MC that an objective observer was able to see it.

Sigh...for you.

DDay Nov '16
Me: BS, a.k.a. MommaDom, Him: WS
2 DD's: one adult, one teen,1 DS: adult
Surviving means we promise ourselves we will get to the point where we can receive love and give love again.

posts: 2836   ·   registered: Jan. 15th, 2017
id 8662809
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 CaptainRogers (original poster member #57127) posted at 7:40 PM on Wednesday, May 26th, 2021

Is your WW typically someone who needs a point made to them over and over again before she "gets it" and can choose to use what she learned without her hand held?

Let me say it like this neko...

I like root beer. I like various types for their distinct "bite", while others I like for the easy vanilla cream flavoring (that would be the Goose Island root beer).

And every year for Father's Day, she buys me cream soda. And every year, U tell her that I don't like cream soda, that I like root beer. This has been the dance for 20 years. Seriously.

So yes, she needs the handholding at this point.

Blue, it is actually very interesting that you bring up the "like" and "love" things. At our last session, she actually brought up that she "likes me" again. But, that seems to have fallen to the wayside when the sessions stopped being regular.

sisoon, yes, I very much meant the A, 2 structure. My next items in line were ☆, then IV, and finally 6. Just because I think that way. 😁

To the question of what I get out of the M at the moment...well, there is that sense of duty. There is also the part where I have seen some of the changes being made, so I hate to give up on something the day before the breakthrough came. I have that Cub fan hope inside.

How does your wife feel about these sessions? Does she them as valuable?

Mrs. Cap LOVES the counselor and has expressed as much virtually every time we've been in our sessions. Once we walk out the door, her entire demeanor changed to being pleasant, talking about what we need to do once we get home, etc. Totally different person outside of the session.

ISSF, there really is a lot that still needs worked out on her side. And it was certainly abundantly clear to the counselor. Mrs. Cap had started the session talking about how she used to get anxious and lash out when I was upset, but she "doesn't do that anymore". Then less than 10 minutes later, she is getting upset and lashing out. The counselor called her on it. She didn't like it. She has, on many things, but especially on her behaviors towards me, lied to herself enough about "progress" that she wholeheartedly believes it. The doses of reality certainly appear to hurt.

BS: 42 on D-day
WW: 43 on D-day
Together since '89; still working on what tomorrow will bring.
D-Day v1.0: Jan '17; EA
D-day v2.0: Mar '18; no, it was physical

posts: 3355   ·   registered: Jan. 27th, 2017   ·   location: The Rockies
id 8662839
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nekonamida ( member #42956) posted at 7:53 PM on Wednesday, May 26th, 2021

Let me say it like this neko...

I like root beer. I like various types for their distinct "bite", while others I like for the easy vanilla cream flavoring (that would be the Goose Island root beer).

And every year for Father's Day, she buys me cream soda. And every year, U tell her that I don't like cream soda, that I like root beer. This has been the dance for 20 years. Seriously.

So yes, she needs the handholding at this point.

This didn't answer my question so let me rephrase - is your WW GENERALLY like this with everything or is this kind of behavior only coming out when it's about you and A stuff? Like for instance if your WW knew that she was over watering her plants, would she need to keep overwatering and killing them a few times to get that she needed to change what she was doing and implement it?

Edit: I also asked about if you think her relapse was due to a lack of counseling. I think your response implied a "yes", is that correct?

[This message edited by nekonamida at 1:56 PM, May 26th (Wednesday)]

posts: 5232   ·   registered: Mar. 31st, 2014   ·   location: United States
id 8662844
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secondtime ( member #58162) posted at 8:00 PM on Wednesday, May 26th, 2021

Thanks for posting these updates, Cap.

They've been helping me soften towards my husband, in way now that I feel more comfortable being vulnerable more vulnerable again.

The counselor finished up by saying "true compassion is seeing someone who is hurt, knowing that they are protecting themselves from more hurt, and defending their right to do that...even though you are the one who hurt them."

My husband has been doing this for about three years. I never saw it as compassion. So, again, I appreciate learning through you.

Your wife reminds me so much of my mom. At this point, the specific dysfunction doesn't matter anymore..whether it's codependent, personality disorder, clinical depression..

I marvel at how you still are trying to have marriage with a broken person, though. I wonder what you get out of that.

posts: 1101   ·   registered: Apr. 5th, 2017
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 CaptainRogers (original poster member #57127) posted at 8:58 PM on Wednesday, May 26th, 2021

I tried to get the "it's just how she is" in that story, neko. Sorry that I wasn't clearer. She needs constant reminders and handholding and takes a great deal of repetition in order to make anything stick. Thats why I came to think that having 5 weeks between sessions was too long at this point.

BS: 42 on D-day
WW: 43 on D-day
Together since '89; still working on what tomorrow will bring.
D-Day v1.0: Jan '17; EA
D-day v2.0: Mar '18; no, it was physical

posts: 3355   ·   registered: Jan. 27th, 2017   ·   location: The Rockies
id 8662865
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nekonamida ( member #42956) posted at 9:00 PM on Wednesday, May 26th, 2021

Has she ever been evaluated for anything? Like a developmental disorder or autism or some other mental health issue?

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 CaptainRogers (original poster member #57127) posted at 9:17 PM on Wednesday, May 26th, 2021

Nope. And she really wasn't ever that way until post-kids.

BS: 42 on D-day
WW: 43 on D-day
Together since '89; still working on what tomorrow will bring.
D-Day v1.0: Jan '17; EA
D-day v2.0: Mar '18; no, it was physical

posts: 3355   ·   registered: Jan. 27th, 2017   ·   location: The Rockies
id 8662873
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Rnzwithscissors ( member #57292) posted at 9:18 PM on Wednesday, May 26th, 2021

Captain Rogers,

Thank you for sharing this personal journey.

I find it interesting that she is not able to "retain information" without hand holding". I wonder if this is linked to losing her mother at a young age and after (sorry if I'm getting this wrong) a long illness.

I believe you metioned her father was not there for her emotional afterwards. I just wonder if this inabilities foundation is based on seeking a way to be taken care of (e.g. hand holding)

If this is true that is she not able to remember a drink you enjoy, or even things her children enjoy. (you never said this, but you did say this is her) I find that very strange and think there is something psychological or neurological going on.

You do have a fabulous therapist!!!



posts: 60   ·   registered: Feb. 6th, 2017   ·   location: NJ
id 8662874
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 CaptainRogers (original poster member #57127) posted at 2:55 AM on Thursday, May 27th, 2021

It really didn't start until after kids, Scissors. Growing up, she would remember anything and everything (sometimes to the detriment of relationships because she held grudges). She was valedictorian of her graduating class, graduated summa cum laude with her bachelors, magna cut laude with her MBA. Never had any issues retaining information until after she started having kids. And with each successive one, it got worse.

At this point in time, she will tell me the same story 3 days in a row, not remembering that she ever told me either of the first two times.

Sometimes it worries me along the lines of early onset alzheimers. Sometimes I just think it's because she really doesn't care to store it in the memory bank.

Tonight was a prime example. She asked a simple question that she had asked yesterday. While asking, she said "I know I asked this before, but I have no idea what you said about it. It didn't stick with me."

BS: 42 on D-day
WW: 43 on D-day
Together since '89; still working on what tomorrow will bring.
D-Day v1.0: Jan '17; EA
D-day v2.0: Mar '18; no, it was physical

posts: 3355   ·   registered: Jan. 27th, 2017   ·   location: The Rockies
id 8662943
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BraveSirRobin ( member #69242) posted at 5:27 AM on Thursday, May 27th, 2021

It really didn't start until after kids, Scissors. Growing up, she would remember anything and everything (sometimes to the detriment of relationships because she held grudges). She was valedictorian of her graduating class, graduated summa cum laude with her bachelors, magna cut laude with her MBA. Never had any issues retaining information until after she started having kids. And with each successive one, it got worse.

At this point in time, she will tell me the same story 3 days in a row, not remembering that she ever told me either of the first two times.

Honestly, this happened to me, too. At one point, I had almost 200 people reporting to me, and I knew them all by name. I could quote entire long conversations back to you. Now, my auditory memory is shit. I'm probably average or slightly below average in terms of my actual retention, but it's functionally worse because I never developed the skills to record information for future reference. Up until I had children, it was just there in my brain on demand. In contrast, my H has always been bad at remembering names, so he developed assorted techniques for holding on to them. The night we met, he went home and was thinking about me as he was falling asleep, so he leaned over and wrote my name in the carpet with his finger so he'd see it first thing in the morning.

I have no idea why the kids affected my memory. It might be the 7 years of sleep deprivation (I had three babies in four years, and the last one didn't sleep properly until he was a toddler). It might be hormonal. It might be something to do with blood pressure, a micro-stroke that wasn't caught. It might be that in those years of SAHM, I perfected the art of tuning out constant noise in order to preserve my sanity, so now I do it unintentionally. All I know is that it's real, especially with information that's conveyed to me verbally. I remember things better if I read them, and even better if I write them down.

I got worried enough that I went in for neurological testing, and I passed everything. Again, though, it's hard to tell what that means, because an acceptable result is far below my prior performance.

It's frustrating for my family, and it's frustrating for me. I hate being an unreliable narrator, especially as a reformed WS.

WW/BW

posts: 3627   ·   registered: Dec. 27th, 2018
id 8662954
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BraveSirRobin ( member #69242) posted at 5:58 AM on Thursday, May 27th, 2021

Over time, if you stay on his side of things, he will be healed enough to start giving back again. But you have to commit to months, even years of seeing it from his perspective. If you can do that, you will eventually get the benefit back from that hard work.

(Brief t/j, Cap, I hope it's ok!)

Stevesn, I think it's iffy to make such transactional guarantees. As we know from several of the stories here, sometimes broken is broken, and no matter what the WS does, it can't be fixed. A wayward can be certain they they'll benefit from finding their whys, developing healthy boundaries, and rebuilding themselves as honest and trustworthy. Those improvements aren't dependent on anyone else, and they'll carry forward with the WS regardless of whether the marriage survives.

WW/BW

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ISurvivedSoFar ( member #56915) posted at 10:28 AM on Thursday, May 27th, 2021

Cap, it could be something else.

Sometimes it worries me along the lines of early onset alzheimers. Sometimes I just think it's because she really doesn't care to store it in the memory bank.

I had this with my WS and it would irritate me no end particularly because it seemed to have gotten way worse after infidelity although it was bad before. Sometimes when we are so steeped in trauma and lizard brain takes over we just cannot retain information. Could be that having children and the awesome responsibility that goes with it really impacted her. With each subsequent child the responsibilities only increase and the fear of something happening to them increases too. After infidelity I would posit she's traumatized herself. What I perceive she is fighting now is her own self image and so she's protecting herself from seeing it.

I hope she gets into intense IC. When the Mr. and I were going through intense MC (we went twice per month) he was in weekly IC because we were tapping into that space in him that he was trying so hard to protect and he needed to work through some difficult issues and we could tell where he was at during MC sessions. Then our MC would call his IC (and my IC too) and it would help his sessions which in turn helped our MC sessions. Same was true for me with my IC but I went to IC twice monthly at the time.

I'm wondering without the immediate follow up with her IC that the impact of your work with your great MC gets diminished. My two cents...

DDay Nov '16
Me: BS, a.k.a. MommaDom, Him: WS
2 DD's: one adult, one teen,1 DS: adult
Surviving means we promise ourselves we will get to the point where we can receive love and give love again.

posts: 2836   ·   registered: Jan. 15th, 2017
id 8662962
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ISurvivedSoFar ( member #56915) posted at 10:28 AM on Thursday, May 27th, 2021

Cap, it could be something else.

Sometimes it worries me along the lines of early onset alzheimers. Sometimes I just think it's because she really doesn't care to store it in the memory bank.

I had this with my WS and it would irritate me no end particularly because it seemed to have gotten way worse after infidelity although it was bad before. Sometimes when we are so steeped in trauma and lizard brain takes over we just cannot retain information. Could be that having children and the awesome responsibility that goes with it really impacted her. With each subsequent child the responsibilities only increase and the fear of something happening to them increases too. After infidelity I would posit she's traumatized herself. What I perceive she is fighting now is her own self image and so she's protecting herself from seeing it.

I hope she gets into intense IC. When the Mr. and I were going through intense MC (we went twice per month) he was in weekly IC because we were tapping into that space in him that he was trying so hard to protect and he needed to work through some difficult issues and we could tell where he was at during MC sessions. Then our MC would call his IC (and my IC too) and it would help his sessions which in turn helped our MC sessions. Same was true for me with my IC but I went to IC twice monthly at the time.

I'm wondering without the immediate follow up with her IC that the impact of your work with your great MC gets diminished. My two cents...

DDay Nov '16
Me: BS, a.k.a. MommaDom, Him: WS
2 DD's: one adult, one teen,1 DS: adult
Surviving means we promise ourselves we will get to the point where we can receive love and give love again.

posts: 2836   ·   registered: Jan. 15th, 2017
id 8662963
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Cooley2here ( member #62939) posted at 12:42 PM on Thursday, May 27th, 2021

Until I had my first child I could remember pages of poetry. Not any more. When I woke up after she was born I knew my brain was different. I had a spinal and think it had an effect.

But. It could be that having children when her own childhood was traumatic might have put her right back to the age she was when her needs weren’t met.

If her cognitive ability is compromised have you brought this up in therapy? Something is interfering with her retention.

When things go wrong, don’t go with them. Elvis

posts: 4231   ·   registered: Mar. 5th, 2018   ·   location: US
id 8662974
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Stevesn ( member #58312) posted at 1:10 PM on Thursday, May 27th, 2021

BSR. You’re right. I should have said “if you want the chance”. Nothing is guaranteed. It’s a leap of faith if you want to save your marriage after infidelity and the BS owes you nothing even if you choose to commit to rebuilding in this way.

Good catch. Rewriting...

Over time, if you stay on his side of things, he could find healing enough to start giving back again. But you have to commit to months, even years of seeing it from his perspective. If you can do that, find that empathy, you may eventually get the benefit back from that hard work. If you truly want to rebuild, you need to commit to it, with no guarantees of what the future holds. Only you can decide if that’s what you want and if you have it in you to make it happen.

fBBF. Just before proposing, broke it off after her 2nd confirmed PA in 2 yrs. 9 mo later I met the wonderful woman I have spent the next 30 years with.

posts: 3603   ·   registered: Apr. 17th, 2017
id 8662977
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nekonamida ( member #42956) posted at 4:58 PM on Thursday, May 27th, 2021

Sometimes it worries me along the lines of early onset alzheimers. Sometimes I just think it's because she really doesn't care to store it in the memory bank.

Tonight was a prime example. She asked a simple question that she had asked yesterday. While asking, she said "I know I asked this before, but I have no idea what you said about it. It didn't stick with me."

Has she ever spoken to a doctor about this? Has this been brought up to her IC or your MC?

posts: 5232   ·   registered: Mar. 31st, 2014   ·   location: United States
id 8663016
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