MrsW, Thanks for your kind thoughts. My father died 25 years ago, which is difficult to fathom.
Did you find plainsong avoid conflict at all, but particularly closer to DDay, in terms of being more acquiescing or not standing up for herself? It's still not resolving conflicts to just give in, but did she assert herself at all or did she feel like she couldn't, not because of anything you did, but because she was the WW? If so, did that change over time?
Before d-day, she said 'no' t me on many things, but she didn't say 'no' to ow. She wasn't eating or sleeping, so she had no energy, and I wasn't blackmailing her; hence she could refuse me.
She was mired in self-hate and co-dependence, and she avoided conflict for those reasons. She saw her A as 'saving a life', so she didn't feel guilty until after she decided to stop and saw my reaction. IOW, her thinking was way off during the A. Important aspects of what she was doing just didn't get connected in her worldview. She didn't avoid conflict before d-day because of her general avoidance of conflict, not because she thought she was doing something wrong.
I guess the flip side is, were you more aggressive in taking a particular stance or stronger in holding your line because you were the wronged party? Like you had a right to get your way (again, still not conflict resolution)?
For some months after d-day, I required her to keep me informed of her activities, location, companions, etc. at all times, and I often withheld that info about my own activities.
But I also knew that there was nothing she could do to make up for her A. She could do every chore around the apartment for the rest of our lives, and that wouldn't make up for her A. She could kill me with sex (which seems like a good way to go), and it wouldn't make up for her A. She could agree with me on everything. she could go with my decisions on everything for the rest of our lives, and it wouldn't make up for her A.
I always valued her for her POV, which was usually different from mine, and for her willingness to share her POV. I think we made better decisions for us by sharing our thoughts than we would have made if one of us had decided alone, so I don't think I forced my POV on her.
I most definitely did make my boundaries more explicit, and I didn't bend much. I had real requirements for R that she had to accept for R to become my choice. There were times I vetoed a decision of hers that I would have accepted before d-day, but I don't think I imposed decisions, even though she often backed down because she had fucked up so badly.
But R was negotiated. There were a couple of things I wanted initially that she was definitely uncomfortable with. She met the requirements, they turned out to be uncomfortable for me, too, and I dropped those reqs. One thing I wanted got a response that was something like, 'ow coerced me into that. Are you willing to coerce me, too?' Well, no, I wasn't willing to coerce her, so I dropped that want from my list.
The biggest want/requirement was honesty, though, and she never wavered on that. The 2nd was probably IC for her. That's a work-in-progress - she still dislikes some of her most salient - and, to me, attractive - characteristics, and that really gets in our way. The 3rd was sex, I guess, and she hasn't wavered on that, either. (OTOH, sex has changed as we've aged. I won't go into that. )
One area I had to work on was not giving into everything because I felt like I owed him everything and I didn't want him to leave me and so on.
This was a biggie for us, too. After d-day, I think she did give in more than she wanted to because she thought she owed it to me. Sometimes i liked it, but I think usually I wanted the real plainsong to come out. I want a partner, someone who helped make decisions about us; I didn;t want thoughtless agreement.
In fact, getting through this roadblock may be crucial for all WSes' healing. IOW, maybe a WS can't heal unless they assert themselves.
Maybe, after infidelity, R - perhaps even healing in general - requires both BS and WS to assert themselves, even though that runs the risk of finding out that they're a bad match for each other. After infidelity, ending the M MUST be considered, IMO.
IMO, conflicts come fast and furious on d-day, both within the WS and BS and between them. For example...
- BS may have lots of questions that the WS doesn't want to answer...
- WS may think the A is over, and it's time to move on, while BS wants to talk about the A(s)...
- One partner wants sex, and the other doesn't...
- One partner wants to leave immediately, and the other wants to stay...
- BS wants to stay in the home and the WS to leave, and the WS wants the BS to get out....
The BS has to decide how to respond to the revelations and to the WS. The WS has to decide how to respond to the revelations and to the BS. The decisions usually come so fast that one doesn't realize a decision has been made.
MrsW and waited, Your posts provoked a lot of thinking and discussion. The discussion is ongoing. Thanks.
[This message edited by sisoon at 7:16 PM, Wednesday, October 13th]