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 MIgander (original poster Member #71285) posted at 5:50 PM on Sunday, January 24th, 2021

Thanks Ellie and Twinkies for the insight.

We've talked a bit about the list and what it actually means. His main underlying want is for me to be a companion to him and share his interests. When we were dating, I jumped into his hobbies and interests fully. It was great- learning new skills and sharing good experiences together and seeing him enjoy my company and the activity and having him enjoy teaching me new stuff. It was great.

What fell down though, were my interests. What I liked, he did not share a liking for and was unwilling to learn to like for my sake (as I did for his- I actually enjoyed learning shooting and hunting pheasants. Can't stand deer hunting- can't sit that long with my ADHD ). I liked to play board games with my goofy friends, go to concerts and take camping trips and explore new places and swing dance. I gave up my friends (he was uncomfortable around them), going to concerts was seen as too expensive and a waste of money (and I didn't save for them on my own), camping trips were too uncomfortable for him (didn't like tents and shared bathhouses) and swing dancing he didn't want to learn.

All that was a source of resentment in me. My friends were goofy slightly wacky people with off beat senses of humor, and all around loyal and good people. It hurt to give them up. It hurt not to go to concerts and have my love of live music and sharing experiences with a wider crowd of people seen as a waste of money. It hurt that he didn't want to laugh together as we learned (awkwardly) to swing dance together. I understood the camping- and tried to take less expensive trips to out of the way places by finding little b&b's and small motels (the UP has a lot of cute mom'n'pops). The hotels weren't nice enough for him (he's used to 4* accomodations from living in Europe on his dad's foreign assignment) and it was seen as a waste of money.

The thing that hurt me the most was his lack of desire to enter MY world and want to understand it and become part of it as I did for him. It felt like a rejection (which it was) and it made me so sad because there were all these opportunities for us to bond over these experiences. As the years went by, even if I wanted to do something, I kept it to myself to avoid the rejection I would feel as he would say it was either a waste of money or not something he wanted to do. It still makes me want to cry thinking about it.

When kids came along, I wanted to go out for regular date nights. Nothing special, but going to a book store, going to Chili's, that kind of thing. Money was tight and he was ashamed to ask his folks to baby sit on top of their helping watch the kids when we worked (in their preschool years). He felt he would be using them like his sister did. We would go out maybe once every 2 months. I wanted it to be at least every 2 weeks. We'd have friends over for dinner, but that's not the same as spending time out of the house and away from the stresses and messes just being us together. I ached for this time together. I felt alone and denied and rejected. When we did go out, it was something HE wanted to do and somewhere HE wanted to go.

I think this is what is creating a block in me wanting to be a companion to him. All the years of rejection, lost friends, lost interests... I stopped making me a priority, made work, kids and BH a priority, and I was drained. Aside from taking runs and working out, I didn't have an outlet. I lost a sense of who I was and what made that good and interesting to be with.

I gave up on having many outside female friends and doing things just with them. It made BH uncomfortable as he didn't like to be left alone with the kids after his stressful work day and week. He also wasn't (and still isn't) comfortable with my having emotional intimacy with other people not himself. He had his reasons, as at this point in our marriage, I was complaining about him to all my friends I did have (in our prayer group) and really, my picker for BF's was broken. My BF from highschool that I did hang with during my PPD SAHM days was, well, unhealthy (narcissistic and had BAD experience w/ an ex that made her sour on all men). So yeah, I could see his point. Still, it was isolating, lonely and draining.

Moving forward, I do want to provide closeness and companionship to him. He is becoming more open to exploring dance lessons at home (online- there's a "Show Her Off" program that looks fun that I'm going to do for a Vday surprise (and a nice bracelet he's been eyeing :)). That's healing for me. He did go camping with me right after DDay. It was very healing for me. I opened up about my grief over the vasectomy and all the years of my loneliness and cried and cried at the fire. We did cry together. It was a beautiful trip and the kids were happy and enjoyed it, all of us being together. It was his first time to Sleeping Bear Dunes, and if anyone is EVER in Michigan, go there- don't bother w/ Detroit or Grand Rapids or anything else (except maybe Pictured Rocks in the UP). We took another trip that fall exploring the Petoskey area and that was beautiful too. He is making changes and I do see his determination.

Keeping that in mind is helpful to me too- I've been making changes too. Dressing with him in mind, doing my hair more to his liking, cooking nice dinners for the 2 of us, massage nights. It's improving between the trigger times. We walk the dog through the woods w/ the kids now to a golf course behind our house and take the kids sledding there. All this is improving our companionship. I'm hoping that I can do more for him and build up a positive base for our relationship to heal between these difficult trigger weeks.

His triggered anger really is difficult for me to bear up under and does destroy my sense of emotional safety around him. The yelling and sheer intensity and ferociousness of it (the tone- aside from the occasional "you fucked another guy!!" it's kept clean, but still demeaning). It's so hard to recover. He did do something nice that prompted our making-up. I was getting ready to sleep on the couch and he came down and asked me to come up. Said it was the right thing to do. It sucks for him that he made the first move. I was trying to honor his earlier request not to sleep together and prepare for an IHS.

The back and forth is so hard.

I can only imagine how hard it must be for him.

posts: 173   ·   registered: Aug. 15th, 2019   ·   location: Michigan
id 8627713
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EllieKMAS ( Member #68900) posted at 7:27 PM on Sunday, January 24th, 2021

Look, every relationship (even healthy ones) have normal ebbs and flows. It's just the nature of interpersonal interaction.

It's my opinion that having friendships outside of the marriage is really important. In mine, I had friendships that I maintained. My xwh had NO friends. It was part of the reason why things ended up the way they did. He was emotionally bereft in all relationships, so it followed naturally that he was the same in his marriage. After dday, I caught an earful about how he had "nothing of his own". Honestly, I never had an issue with him having friends, in fact had expressed concerns over the years about that to him, but I did have a major issue with him trying to be "friends" with his 18 yo ap. He made a giant stink about me being controlling because I would "never let him have friends".

He also made a huge deal about my "lack of interest in what he liked/wanted to do". And that we never "tried new things". Well... he had no job. He sat on his ass all day every day, playing video games, contributing not much, while I worked 50+ hours a week to keep us afloat. I had frankly just lost interest in trying. I was exhausted.

All of this came out after he had cheated on me. Looking back I can definitely see how the lack of real communication created space for an affair. But it was (and still is) really insulting that he placed all that on me. His 'poor me' crap is a large contributor to why we divorced. And I don't miss that at all.

Just imho, I see you as a person that seeks validation from others regularly. First your friends, then him when you stopped maintaining those friendships. Then from the ap when your M stopped providing validation. If I'm off-base on that, I apologize. But if I'm on to something there, maybe really dig in to that. Your validations need to come from you. Rarely will it end well when you rely on others for it.

It sounds to me like you are still trying to get your validation from him. It sounds like you are still holding on to a lot of that resentment (a lot of which might be very valid). It seems like a lot of those old patterns are trying to reassert themselves. Please understand I'm not saying that in a critical way. R is hard and that's all part of the hard work, but that's made even more difficult when everyone feels so emotionally overwhelmed just trying to get through the day to day. I understand and empathize. But those old patterns and habits no longer serve you. If you want a chance, you have to be willing to let the old go.

For me, part of the work I had to do as the BW was to face MY resentments head on. I had largely stopped communicating then for a lot of reasons (some of which had nothing to do with xwh). That engendered a lot of anger. At him and at myself. It was unimaginably hard to deal with. And for me? When he made an issue of needing emotional support or safe space when I was in the midst of trying to wrangle with all that in my own self... It frankly felt to me like insult on injury and just more selfish wayward thinking on his part.

Your BH has a lot to deal with. Don't place the responsibility on him of also having to create your emotional safe space. Ultimately the reason there isn't one is because of the infidelity. I understand as much as I can that it must be hard for you, but however hard it is for you I guarantee it's harder for him. He does have a responsibility to himself to manage his own healing, but that is not easy and it's a very broken road with a lot of potholes.

"No, it's you mothafucka, here's a list of reasons why." – Iliza Schlesinger

"Being weird is just a side effect of being awesome."– Unknown

posts: 3138   ·   registered: Nov. 22nd, 2018   ·   location: CO
id 8627724
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gmc94 ( Member #62810) posted at 8:07 PM on Sunday, January 24th, 2021

If you want [your BS] to feel like you're making the effort it needs to be in ways that mean something to [your BS] Truer words cannot be said.

It sounds to me like you are still trying to get your validation from him.

I thought the same thing

It sounds like you are still holding on to a lot of that resentment

ding ding ding. Look, I'm just a BW who is not in R and has no degree in counseling. But I can say that as a BS, this would be a GIANT problem for me. From my perspective, I did not give a good God D*mn about any of my WH's resentments of the past. They were his resentments to figure out (esp when not communicated) and I had ZERO interest in addressing any of it until the infidelity was addressed. Until the wayward thinking was addressed. Until some SOLID healing and restoration of trust and at least a decent semblance of safety AND TRUST has occurred.

MiGander, I don't want to pick apart your posts bc I wholeheartedly support your venting here. This is the place to do that. This is your space in the wayward forum and thus YOUR safe space. The concern (and I believe I've expressed before) is that you seem to carry a TON of anger toward your BH for all of his past (and maybe current) "wrongs" against you. If venting it here helps that anger dissipate, well done and by all means vent away! But if it's just re-churning all of this old anger (or becomes "an another thing" kind of thinking) I suspect that it becomes a wall to YOUR own healing. Not to mention that many BS would smell that underlying anger a mile away, which would not - at least for me - engender much feeling of newfound / remedial safety or trust with their WS.

M >25yrs/grown kids
DD1 1994 ONS prostitute
DD2 2018 exGF1 10+yrEA & 10yrPA... + exGF2 EA forever & "made out" 2017
9/18 WH hung himself- died but revived

It's rude to say "I love you" with a mouthful of lies

posts: 3367   ·   registered: Feb. 22nd, 2018
id 8627730
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Thissucks5678 ( Member #54019) posted at 9:49 PM on Sunday, January 24th, 2021

I just finished reading a book that I’ve seen recommended on this site and another - it’s called The Dance of Anger. I highly recommend you give it a shot.

I think it may help you to get past some of your resentment or decide that maybe this marriage isn’t what you want. Either way, it’s a worthwhile read.

DDay: 6/2016

“Every test in our life makes us Bitter or Better. Every problem comes to Break Us or Make Us. The choice is ours whether to be Victim or Victor.” - unknown

posts: 1792   ·   registered: Jul. 7th, 2016
id 8627749
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prissy4lyfe ( Member #46938) posted at 11:19 PM on Sunday, January 24th, 2021

Honestly...

I see very little acceptance or remorse in your posts. I see a lot of resentment and anger that he doesn't behave in the EXACT manner that you want him too.

And honestly....he must be exhausted. Everything you have done....has been his fault. Your inability to heal...his fault.

I believe I have said this to you before ..you weaponize your "healing".

You resent him for not being just like you...and you need him to NOT be just like you. He is never going to get it right . Because YOU don't like YOU.

His "rejection" of all things you....I question. He doesn't have to like you or be interested in the same things, do the same things as you....to love YOU.

I haven't shared this yet but will share it with you.. you are EXACTLY like my husband. When you first joined...I thought you were him actually. I was exhausted by him, his wounds, his jealousy of me. And I don't mean that other men wanted me...he was jealous my friends supported me, that I liked my job, that I enjoyed volunteering with our kids, that my family loved and celebrated me.

And I was fucking done. I was tired of outing into his bucket. I was tired of the emotional manipulation. So I left. Bought a house...moved me and the kids out. I don't REGRET it at all. I'm doing my work and I hope he does his for us to eventually reconcile. But if God himself accemded from the heavens and said "keep him like he is or forever be alone"... I would chose to be ALL ALONE.

Bluntly.. the person he is...is not worth me even remotely disturbing my peace. Not even for a second.

I don't want that for you..but I understand your husband's view. You say your doing the work.. but you are still full of resentment.

posts: 1978   ·   registered: Feb. 24th, 2015   ·   location: Virginia
id 8627772
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sundance ( Member #72129) posted at 2:21 AM on Monday, January 25th, 2021

Moving forward, I do want to provide closeness and companionship to him. He is becoming more open to exploring dance lessons at home (online- there's a "Show Her Off" program that looks fun that I'm going to do for a Vday surprise (and a nice bracelet he's been eyeing :)). That's healing for me. He did go camping with me right after DDay. It was very healing for me. I opened up about my grief over the vasectomy and all the years of my loneliness and cried and cried at the fire. We did cry together. It was a beautiful trip and the kids were happy and enjoyed it, all of us being together. It was his first time to Sleeping Bear Dunes, and if anyone is EVER in Michigan, go there- don't bother w/ Detroit or Grand Rapids or anything else (except maybe Pictured Rocks in the UP). We took another trip that fall exploring the Petoskey area and that was beautiful too. He is making changes and I do see his determination.

Keeping that in mind is helpful to me too- I've been making changes too. Dressing with him in mind, doing my hair more to his liking, cooking nice dinners for the 2 of us, massage nights. It's improving between the trigger times. We walk the dog through the woods w/ the kids now to a golf course behind our house and take the kids sledding there. All this is improving our companionship. I'm hoping that I can do more for him and build up a positive base for our relationship to heal between these difficult trigger weeks.

These are the things that are good, and showing progress.

Even his triggers, although still happening, seem to be lessening in intensity. Also good!

Remember to thank him for his progress. Positive reinforcement!

I tried looking at your profile to determine when your A ended/was discovered, but did not see a reference. How long have you been trying to heal your marriage?

Rusty: You scared?
Linus: You suicidal?
Rusty: Only in the morning.

posts: 78   ·   registered: Nov. 21st, 2019   ·   location: USA
id 8627800
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hikingout ( Member #59504) posted at 2:17 PM on Monday, January 25th, 2021

Thank you for clarifying. I said *sound* because it was what I walked away with your post.

I don't know if IHS is the answer or not, but in all reality, it might be a very good thing. I feel like you get very tangled up with what is happening in the relationship and it competes with the space of where you need to be working on yourself. It may be easier for him to detach all the time than to have 4 days (again I get this is just an estimate of a pattern) of feeling you abandon him again due to the lack of energy.

From a BS side, he is looking for consistency. In my own situation, I do not trust that my husband wants me or our marriage. If he makes 10 actions towards helping me see the effort is there, and even 1 action that it's not, then it's hard not to concentrate on that 1 action. If he pulls away, I look at it is proof that he's reconsidered, that he's waivering.

So in some ways validation can be an issue on both sides of the fence. The WS has an unhealthy need for it. The BS has just had all the evidence they need to believe that they meant nothing all along. They are two very distinctly different issues and they can not be addressed the same way.

However, I do think this as well, and take it for what it's worth. When we choose our spouse and we are unhealthy, sometimes our pick isn't who we would have picked when we are healthy. So, I can never tell by your posts which of these situations are happening (or maybe NONE of these ideas are right?):

1. You were unhealthy when you picked him and so was he and you both have contributed to your toxic relationship. When one of you gets healthy, it will never work if the other doesn't. Makes odds very hard.

2. It always sounds like to me like prissy points out that your resentment can't be resolved. I am never sure as to why it can't be though. I can't tell if it's because he is a really toxic person who you shouldn't even try and reconcile with, or if you are just never going to be able to love him or empathize with him for reasons of your own.

3. You have been in an emotionally abusive marriage this whole time and you have battered wife syndrome, which is a form of PTSD. I do not blame your affair on that, but I do wonder if the resentment is due to that, but the staying is due to the BWS.

4. There is a personality disorder present in one of you?

I will be honest, it never really sounds like you want this marriage but that you are staying and trying out of obligation (or something else?). That is not unusual really from either the WS or BS, but typically in an R situation you see the reasoning evolve. I just don't see a lot of movement in this way.

I am not trying to be judgmental of you here, but something isn't right. You are not a really new WS. You have been at this for a while. It just feels like to me there is something blocking the progress that isn't as run of the mill as other things we see here.

If you do proceed to IHS, I think this could be a positive thing for you in that you can develop more of a sense of self. I feel like my sense of self was missing around the time that I had the affair, and getting a new sense of self afterwards is a bitch and and uphill climb. But, whatever is happening in your house sounds like you guys just spin off each other and have far before the affair began.

If not for the financial mess, would you be more open to divorce?

[This message edited by hikingout at 8:20 AM, January 25th (Monday)]

WW/BW BH/WH
Turnthepage
My Affair DDAY 9/1/2017- 2 month EA/PA
His Affair DDAY 10/10/2020 - 18 month A - EA?/PA

posts: 5914   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2017   ·   location: Arizona
id 8627850
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nekonamida ( Member #42956) posted at 8:07 PM on Monday, January 25th, 2021

I agree with everything hikingout posted. I think that's why it's so incredibly difficult to give you good advice, Mig.

Even reading your posts is sometimes incredibly difficult to follow only because I often find conflicting statements. For instance, you said:

What fell down though, were my interests. What I liked, he did not share a liking for and was unwilling to learn to like for my sake (as I did for his- I actually enjoyed learning shooting and hunting pheasants. Can't stand deer hunting- can't sit that long with my ADHD ).

The thing that hurt me the most was his lack of desire to enter MY world and want to understand it and become part of it as I did for him.

But then you gave us a detailed list of the times he tried doing some of those things but didn't like it. And then you gave another detailed list of things he's been doing to try and immerse himself in your interests now. That's what hikingout and prissy are picking up on. It wasn't good enough then that he tried but didn't like it and it's not good enough now that he's been genuinely making an effort because otherwise it doesn't make sense to bring this up in a conversation about his needs and desires. At best it's confusing. At worst it looks disingenuous because it sounds like a retort as if you're trying to diminish his list because you feel as if he didn't do a good enough job of it in the past and you did so you should be held to a different standard now. And given you've said his list is a burden... well, it SOUNDS more like the latter than the former.

The other thing I found conflicting and confusing just from your post:

I gave up my friends (he was uncomfortable around them),

My friends were goofy slightly wacky people with off beat senses of humor, and all around loyal and good people.

I gave up on having many outside female friends and doing things just with them. It made BH uncomfortable as he didn't like to be left alone with the kids after his stressful work day and week. He also wasn't (and still isn't) comfortable with my having emotional intimacy with other people not himself. He had his reasons, as at this point in our marriage, I was complaining about him to all my friends I did have (in our prayer group) and really, my picker for BF's was broken. My BF from highschool that I did hang with during my PPD SAHM days was, well, unhealthy (narcissistic and had BAD experience w/ an ex that made her sour on all men). So yeah, I could see his point.

So first your friends are loyal and good but then your friends and BF turned out to be toxic and unsupportive of your marriage? I don't get it. Was BF not included with the "good and loyal" people? Were the church friends entirely separate from the "good and loyal" friends? Was he truly uncomfortable you being friends with the "good and loyal" people or was he uncomfortable around them because he didn't mesh well and you decided it was easier to let those friendships go? Or was he uncomfortable because he was picking up on negative traits about them that you weren't?

I genuinely have no idea what you mean because there are two completely conflicting narratives being told here. Either your BH is uncomfortable with you being friends with anyone and everyone no matter how nice and loyal they are which has been made worse by BF and you badmouthing him OR he's seen you cross lines with friends, been hurt and used by friends, and has appropriately identified and set boundaries regarding friends which has resulted in you not having many friends or being able to foster healthy relationships with friends. The first is largely a him problem and the second is largely a you problem yet I have no flippin' clue which it is because both stories have been told in your post.

Has your IC ever floated any of the theories hikingout listed? Like did they wonder if maybe you had a mental health issue that made it difficult for you to distinguish between what someone was saying and your own negative emotions that may or may not have had anything to do with what they said? Has your IC ever said that your BH is toxic and abusive? Have you or him been evaluated for mental health issues at all? Have MCs ever mentioned anything like that?

posts: 4959   ·   registered: Mar. 31st, 2014   ·   location: United States
id 8627910
Topic is Sleeping.
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