I never really watched and understood the dynamics with FWW, her DDs and xH, and others. This weekend, I saw it all with the scales off my eyes. It was a sitcom. FWW's xH and his wife brought 3 dogs with them and stayed with stepdaughter and her fiancée in their small house. Dogs were nervous and peeing and pooping everywhere. Younger stepdaughter and her boyfriend were also staying in the small house. All sharing one bathroom (6 people).
Both FWW's DDs do not get along. Older DD (the one graduating) through a fit because FWW's xH's brother called FWW while she was there. She did not answer, but they hate xH's brother, so older DD tore into FWW for getting a call.
FWW left sobbing for being told how horrible she is. I am banned from the Fiancé’s house because I told FWW she did not need to defend herself to her older DD, she just needed to say good-bye. FWW and I had left because she was in tears, but she returned to say goodbye, but the fight started up again. There is more, but it is just to bizzare. Honestly, I am not spinning this.
FWW has progressed so far, I saw her trying to use her new skills with her DD. She did not blame me (a big change, not that I did anything). Seeing her older DD is like a window to FWW 20 years ago. No fucking wonder I could not figure things out.
FWW's older DD has the same, if not more, traits that FWW is working to resolve. Projecting, black and white thinking, emotional amnesia, all of it. Clearly BP.
At the graduation, I was introduced to people FWW's older DD described as "my other mother", "my other sister".
Overall am enlightening trip. It will take a while to process it all, but I have more empathy for FWW and her life. I thought she had left me out of trips to her family because she did not like me. that was a part of it with her perceptions then, but I also now belive when she said she wanted to "protect me" from all the dysfunction. It really is sad. With the IC and work, and FWW's changes, I see that I was not the problem.
HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY TO EVERYONE!!
People taking advantage of other people’s hospitality without even realizing it. People getting angry over for things that happen in which that person had no control over. People hating others within families because they have never been taught to forgive. People saying hurtful things to another. Good for your wife for not blame shifting you any more. I sure hope you affirmed her with a very nice compliment. She certainly deserves and has earned that. As for the comments by those people. Those are people that can see who she really is. Think about, she acts like your mother? I hope you took that in good humor. Yes, no doubt about it, when you deal with a bunch of woman, there is always a bunch of bossing, instructing, etc. I’m sure some good things happened.
My mom’s favorite saying these days... “So be it”
Happy Mother’s Day you all the woman on the SI board!
yesterday I was busy doing college stuff and having fun so this is for yesterday. Nell, based on the picture we saw months ago, yes! you are smoking hot.
Today - Nell, you always post notes that makes me think you are a great mother.
I was going to make the following smart-ass comment in response to your
no doubt about it, when you deal with a bunch of woman, there is always a bunch of bossing, instructing, etc.
But then you went and said nice things about me, so now I just am thinking *awwwww... thanks!*
XO to the tribe! Nell
Thanks for the Mother's Day wishes.
Hope all the moms on SI had a nice day!
Can't write much. Very little time.
Wanted to give an update on EMDR for those interested.
EMDR on Sat was good. I am starting to develop a real rapport with the therapist which is great.
EMDR is (as I understand it) a process designed to help you get rid of the hurt from past experiences. It is designed to allow you to function better in daily life - to make the triggers easier to handle. In fact I expect it will probably make some triggers become "non triggers". KWIM?? eg At present I often "relive" the evening I told him I knew. When I do, I "see" myself and him, recall words we both said, experience a mild chest pain, tear up and feel miserable. She says that through EMDR I will be able to remember the event but I will not have the emotional/physical response I have now. I will remember all that happened but the feelings will be gone. It will simply be a memory.
I now have a huge challenge. The therapist says she cannot help me while I hold onto the past. I have to put it into a box and close the lid. She says there is no point in her treating my triggers from the past which haunt me (eg visions, memories etc) if I continue to bring the past into the present by insisting on talking to my H about what he DID (during the As) or asking him to tell me when the OWs are working or looking at OW3's FB. She says I have to let it go. Thinking/talking about it just makes the trauma present. She says I cannot heal while I continue to keep the past alive. Hmmmmm. So hard. I think I understand what she means but I'm still trying to get it clear.
She says the As are only relevant if they affect our relationship today. I can only discuss with FWH aspects of the A which effect our relationship now. So eg I could say I get worried when he is on night shift because he often visited them after work at night. I CANNOT discuss what he did during those visits. I'm bringing the past into our present by talking about what happened then. I can only talk about NOW.
This really makes sense to me in some ways but I know will be really difficult. At the same time, I can see the logic. She says the past is done. What he did, said, thought then is irrelevant. What is happening now is what matters. If the past is affecting the now then it is OK to talk about it in the context of the influence it is having on the present but not in the context of the hurt it caused/is causing.
So? Any thoughts people? I feel a little bit like a guinea pig. I'm not sure how/if this will work. But as I said to her it's worth a try. I have nothing to lose and nothing could be worse than what I feel now.
I would not be surprised if she tells me to abandon SI for a while. I hope not because I will miss you all so much. Whatever happens I will stay in touch somehow.
BTW: I had a GREAT mother's day. It started out tough because Sat was exactly a year since mum was admitted to hospital and Sun was the first MD without her BUT my DS gave me the most beautiful card (I cried) and FWH really tried hard with presents etc.
HUGS to all.
he says I have to let it go. Thinking/talking about it just makes the trauma present. She says I cannot heal while I continue to keep the past alive.
For me, it started with forgiving. That task was to stop bringing it up around my wife. Stop making her feel guilty about what she did. I have done very well at that. It is within my heart that is not gone yet.
Today, I think about cheating everyday and often everyday. I don't hurt though. Why? I think my brain has somehow conditioned to beleive and accepting that bad things happen to people.
OK my mothers day gift to you these past few days was to give you honest compliments in writing so you would not have to compliment yourself. Now, don't be afraid to tell Mr. Nell you need affirmations of somekind everyday. True affirmations!
Peace out to everyone today.
I would not be surprised if she tells me to abandon SI for a while
My thoughts exactly.
In any event, I think it's great Laura that you are taking these steps to be happier.
I agree, that you have to let it go. For me, the problem was that I could never get to the point where I felt I really knew my H again. I was still processing the inconsistencies between everything I had learned about about my H, things I learned about him from his behavior during the A and following DDay and what he was telling me.
So, that was an important piece that prevented me from moving forward.
Your H has been doing great, so I guess that's why maybe this is the last piece of it for you - dealing with your triggers.
I'm so proud & happy that both you & Strongish are doing pro-active things to help yourselves. I really am.
Hope all enjoyed the day yesterday.
And I don't have a lot of time to go into it now so I'll post again later.
But one thing I did find interesting during our fight/discussion was that he said two things that really struck me.
First, he still has no idea whatsoever why he did this.
Second, his best reason was that he has some sort of mental deficency. He was very genuine and frustrated in saying this.
Also -- he was shocked when I told him that I think about this at least 10 times a day.
One thing he said was -- what do you want me to do? Bring it up repeatedly so that I can say I'm sorry again? And I explained to him that it would help more than hurt because it wouldn't cause me additional pain to bring it up since chances are I would have been thinking about it sometime during the last hour anyway.
He was very shocked by this.
he also randomly apologized repeatedly over the rest of the course of the weekend.
I think I need to change my plan of attack here. This is extremely complicated. (Isn't it always?)
I do believe there has been NC.
He has been transparent.
I don't know that he's more remorseful than regretful -- but I think with more communication that will come.
I believe that he thinks he's telling the truth when he says this will never happen again, but I also know that unless it's more throughly dealt with it will.
He said he'd do whatever I ask. So, I guess I'm going to give him a list and we'll see if he'll really do it. It's pretty long.
It just really strikes me that he has some awareness that he's got these NPD traits. I also see he's been trying to work on them -- he started off with the NPD language, but each time corrected himself -- he did a little stomping off, but came back and was more open.
So, I'll have to give his IC more credit than I'd thought.
One thing I'm going to ask him to do is tell me his whole sexual history. I've reached the point where I could probably listen to it in one shot and tell him exactly why he did it and whether or not he can avoid doing it again and how to do that.
If my feet were held to the fire, and I had to come up with the reason right now, I would say it's because he's incredibly impulsive, is only comfortable attaching to another person up to a point before he's got to divert some of that elsewhere to relieve the discomfort that causes him and just for pure thrill-seeking.
That's preventable (maybe not 100% but decently) with good boundaries and strong attachment (including spending very little time apart from the spouse) but the question is developing those things and also whether he can live pretty much in my pocket without resenting it. And the attachment is the greatest issue because he says there is an implicit or explicit threat from me to leave every time we fight -- meanwhile we're fighting about stuff like him telling our son he'll be there when the boy has surgery then bailing out to go to work, or spending the day at a basketball game with his mistress when I have emergency surgery for a miscarriage, or texting XHSGF 1200 times, or having a 6 year affair, or crossing the line from discipline to emotional abuse with one of the kids, or sneaking drugs... so my thoughts are like, well DUH.
I honestly have a great book about having a healthy marriage with an NPD spouse and I think I can use it and fix the marriage if he'll meet me halfway an do what will be on my list (which the most important part of the list will be parenting counseling for us both specifically focusing on verbal and emotional abuse and discipline)
But there will be other things as well -- and we've already been working towards one of them, which is buying a home we can afford on just my salary and him quitting his job to find something much less stressful and where he can be home dramatically more. This is big -- I mean we're talking about him voluntarily agreeing to take a job that won't be a puffed-up ego-feeing fancy lawyer job and also taking a six figure pay cut.
Anyway, I just want to let you know it's been a tough week at the M3 house, but I see real progress towards R here and I thought that I should share that. still don't know if we can make it, but I know definitively what needs to be on the list for us to make it so it's ultimately his choice, but he's shown me through several actions that he's willing to make that choice and I think now the question is more whether or not he's capable. NPD is extremely hard to treat and there's never really a full recovery, but I am really encouraged about his prognosis in many ways -- this awareness, and also that I see him genuinely loving and selfless in many ways -- he essentially gets progressively more NPD the more threatening the person he's interacting with is to him. So, he gets extremely attached to pets and babies, but I'm the second most threatening person in his world (after his Mom...)
It's sort of a paradox. I can't promise to stay with you if you're going to be abusive or unfaithful but you can recover enough to prevent those behaviors unless I promise to stay with you. AAAGH.
My books about this pretty much split the difference and I think this is smart. They advocate building the attachment and also a large amount of dependency of the NPD spouse on the non-NPD spouse and then they advocate limits -- essentially saying "we're your family and this is your home but from now on if you act like X then you will have to live in the basement, leave the home, etc. until you do Y -- but I'm not ever going to divorce you and as long as you do Y you can always come back." Takes time, but it usually eliminates or close to eliminates the NPD behavior in the home. I think it's worth a try.
Like, and example would be, if you break NC it needs to be re-established and OW's BH will need to know and we'll have to get a post-nup.
Or, if you say something emotionally abusive to me I'll have to end the conversation until you can control yourself and speak respectfully.
Or if you say abusive things to the kids you'll have to go to parenting classes.
Or if you threaten to hit I'll have to call the police because I just don't know how to deal with that and will need help showing you that you can't act like that... etc.
So, I'll let you know how my list, etc. go.
and I hope everyone had a happy mother's day! I got breakfast in bed, which was really sweet. My 9 year old pampered me all day.
Isn't it weird when you spend time thinking about the way people interact and then see it in action... as opposed to thinking "that's just how they are" and being surprised that they interact abnormally? It's like a light switch is turned on. I think in addition to marriage counseling prior to getting married, couples should also have to pass an intermediate-level college psychology course to identify mental/psychological disorders. Honestly. I would have done a whole lot differently had I known about Mr. Nell's mental processes and understood his FOO. The stuff I did "right" in response was purely by accident and had more with my own stubborn nature and reaching a breaking point of sorts than any sort of dealing with issues.
If you must leave us, please know that I will always remember you fondly and that certain things will "trigger" memories of you... butterflies and ducks, for example.
Laura, Lostsuol, NJgal, Allgood, Miracle, Strongish, UKgal, Nofun, Honest... who am I missing? (I could be a bit "Sound of Music" and God-bless-Whatshisname.) I hope all the women of the tribe had a wonderful Mother's Day.
I gave myself a pedicure, read a bit of the Forgiveness book, had breakfast and lunch made for me, read the paper outside on the new deck furniture (a birthday gift from Mr. Nell and the Boyos), went to the zoo, ate burgers and fries for dinner, stayed away from alcohol (yay, Nell... not even a beer with the burger!) and had a great night's sleep. Mr. Nell gave me two compliments... one yesterday involving the word "cute" and this morning he said, "You look beautiful." Now THAT is what I am talkin' about.
the problems and or questions i can forsee for now....he is still currently giving you information about his pre-dday behavior....what happens when this occurs....as much as you might have worked through all of your triggers or most of them would this now create new ones or re-ignite the old ones...
are you ready to let go of that entire history....does he still open up to you about it all.??
you will still have to deal with contact at times...or he will, when he tells you about said contact what does this do to the process?
has there been enough time for you to process this enire past and really let it go?...
what can she tell you about the difference between saying it and doing it?...we would all love to let it go and its not just triggers that prevent this from happening but an ongoing process of building trust...if you are not ready to give that over then fear will set in some preventing you from letting go i would think.....
for me: i am having a hard time letting go because i am still in the fire so to speak....to be able to detach completely whilst still having contact, whilst still having to listen to idiocy....for you...whilst he is doing everything he can does this mean you are ready to trust in him again...
i believe he has already earned some of that back...he has been wonderful with doing everything he is supposed to do.....and if you are ready to do this i think you will be very happy.....
as for abandoning si:
i could understand taking a break and even leaving permanently if it holds you back from progressing.....and don't worry about announcing,
PUBLIC EXIT ANNOUNCEMENTS: Members come and go, but when you make a hasty announcement that you are leaving, this will result in your Private Messages being disabled OR your profile being banned.
tryn the guideline you are talking about is put in place for those people who do not leave on good terms...you are allowed according to the guidelines to take a break...the key word in the above guideline is hasty.....
and i am with allgood....i love that you are being proactive in your healing...
allgood: once you are no longer living together your healing will take a turn....of course for you having 4 small kids you will first have to go through the adjustment of no longer having another adult body in the house to help, even if the help is minimal....but once this adjustment in your new routing is established there will be no stopping your progress if you are proactice too....like i said before....its really hard to heal the burns whilst still being in the fire so to speak...
he still has no idea whatsoever why he did this.
I've reached the point where I could probably listen to it in one shot and tell him exactly why he did it and whether or not he can avoid doing it again and how to do that.
you cannot do this for him....for several reasons you cannot do this for him...
first: you are not qualified to make an abjective diagnosis of his problems...yes you may know this man better then anyone and you may have a really good idea where he went wrong...but you cannot be involved with this process...kind of like why doctors are not allowed to treat family....
second: you still have lots of anger on your own end to process...that will not help keep you in an unbiased frame of mind
third: for him to really get anything out of the process he needs to take the journey on his own....like leading a horse to water...you cannot make them drink....
i agree that you give him a list of your needs, and your dealbreakers....then let him do what he has to do on his own...you cannot force this, you cannot hurry it along and most imporantly you cannot make him do it just because you said so...he has to want it.....he has to want it for the right reasons or it will not work....
and think long and hard on whether or not you want him to give up a good paying job...because if his priorities are fucked up it will not matter that he has more time...and there are alot of people who create their own extra stress....
if you do opt to divorce in the future, his income might be an issue with settlement...protect you and your first and foremost...
ats: i love when you "see"...
soul: i wish you could find a way to let go, worrying is not going to change anything....all it will do is cause you "worry", stress and unhappiness....and it sucks that he is not reassuring you when clearly its what you need....i am glad though that you managed to enjoy your moms day, you deserve it
miracle house update:
my kids were wonderful and beyond wonderful for me and to me yesterday...cannot say the same for pfm...as much as he tries its still all about him....he did right gift wise.....but had an attitude because i was not warm, accepting or gracious to him and with him....
and at one point i wanted to hit him, nope make that lots of points...the kicker...one of my sons was giving me a hug (something he does not do anymore) and then my other son joined it and called group hug so my dd joined in and then pfm said: "can i join in too??"...manchild told him "no, she is not your mommy, she is ours"...i love that kid....and then he called my mom in to join...it was "mom-love".....
you would think after the fucking week of hurt he would have sense enough to back off and let it be about me, what would make me comfy...but no...not...
and i am not going into all the other shit he pulled all week....he is a monumental asshole...he couldn't push me away faster....
the one thing it does it keeps me firm in my decision, no wavering...none, nada, zilch.....
i will stay the course first and foremost til manchild is settled, hopefully i can hold out to be able to do it all for scrawny boy too, but i know if i cannot he will be fine,....manchild...not so sure...he needs as much bolstering as possible....
Like here's a nice example from the convo -- he promises it will never happen again -- and I say oh, like when you said our relationship needed to be exclusive when we were dating or when you married me, or when you married me again in the church or when she ratted you out and I didn't believe her???
first time it occured to him and he did concede that I've got a point there.
ok, ok. I'll start small, MC and parenting things. The job change is supposed to be a move for two or three years from now. I think I'm going to say we need to do a half-move. look for the house we want and pick it up if we find the right deal -- but get an apartment here too until we are either fully R or D. It would be less change for everyone to just live a bit down the street.
I think in addition to marriage counseling prior to getting married, couples should also have to pass an intermediate-level college psychology course to identify mental/psychological disorders.
Nell, I did
My undergraduate was in education and psyc and sociolgy classes were a part of that. FWW and I also had pre-M counseling with the pastor, an absolute waste of time. Better, would have for him to go through the 7 love languages with us.
I knew going into this that FWW had a family history of "issues", but she had been through "Terrap" to deal with her anxiety, agoraphobia, and other issues. She really presented well, and borderlines are characteristically very attractive early in the relationship with their adoration and chameleon-like tendency to be who they think you want them to be.
If I had understood then what I know now, she would be a fondly remembered ex-girlfriend.
M3 - I see you have a whole thing going on & I hope everyone was able to help you. When I have the presence of mind, I will go back & read everyone's posts. (I always do, lol).
But, right now I'm going to vent here because it may prevent me from screaming at the top of my lungs that I hate my H!
I initiated sex with him last night. Knew it would be a bad idea & did it anyway.
It always ends the same way. Does he still have feelings for me? Does this make him miss me? I miss him....
I started to talk to him about it today & he de-railed me with information he just learned about one of my older investigative tricks (which I'm no longer using).
I definitely snapped - that this is what he's concerned about - of all things to be on his mind - he's worried about what I did however long ago to snoop on him.
A ridiculously stupid conversation followed, ridiculous because it's circular & the same conversation we've had for the past 1 1/2 years, but shorter & with less curses & with surprisingly no mention of "whores". Lol.
In summary, he definitely thinks he did everything he could & that if there was any chance this was going to be a normal relationship, he would stay.
I told him I just felt disposable - that he walked away without a fight.
Blah, blah, blah.
My overall feeling was that the only serious regret (not remorse) is as to the things that are happening to HIM: he's not going to be able to retire in 2 years, he's going to have to move out, etc.
Every f-n time I try to talk to this man I wind up angrier & more hurt than before, yet I keep doing it.
Well, at least I'm not doing it as often.
Got to go.
Peace to all.
It is really hard to find any empathy from him in the things you post. Without empathy, R would not seem possible.
Sorry you are struggling today, but I do not think detatchment is a clean break initially.
After asking her if we needed to talk, and getting an ambivalent answer, I told her I was surprised she was reading my posts. She said it helped her to know what I am thinking. I suggested she could just ask me what is on my mind.
If my feet were held to the fire, and I had to come up with the reason right now,....
m334455, His feet need to be held to the fire until he comes up with some answers for why he did it.
Still, I get what you are saying. He needs some emotional space to work through this, so long as the space does not become limbo and rug-sweeping. I understand that you are his biggest trigger. I wonder often if FWW would be better off emotionally with me out of her life, at least day to day. She says no.