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Wayward Side :
What does this mean? I am so confused

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 MIgander (original poster member #71285) posted at 2:17 PM on Wednesday, January 19th, 2022

Hi everyone,

The trust is kind of like a sacred cow to him. It's from his dad, family money, and his parents lived well below their means for years (when everyone else was moving into bigger mcmansions in our town, dad in law paid off his more modest house and has stayed there instead). BH watched all that and watched his parents being frugal in the day to day stuff while others in our town were blowing money left and right. He knows how hard his dad worked for that trust, and so he has that motivation to be careful with it.

BH also has a need to prove himself to his dad (who doesn't?) and respects him immensely. He's a dad worthy of respect, for sure. So, BH doesn't want to disappoint him (to an unhealthy extent, IMO) and thus doesn't want to blow the trust on things like watches.

That's where "our" income comes into play. It's frustrating because over the years I've felt like the money I make is his and the money he makes is his too. That's been addressed, we're working on it and the perceptions around it. BH has been more attentive to taking care of my wants and is coming to understand where his come from too. He's seeing that his wants for these luxury goods come from his expectations of joyful companionship not being met. "If I can't have companionship, I at least want a watch as a sign of how much you're willing to sacrifice for me. It lets me know I mean something to you."

It's understandable, but still an entitlement. And the stress from the pressure, obligation placed on me, and our financial situation make it difficult for me to be joyful around him. I don't feel free when he's pressing this issue. It's another cycle we get into and is not healthy. I can change my reactions and stop enabling him (still struggling with that), but then have to deal with the fallout- him needing space, him feeling disappointed and not cared for. Which MAKES THE SITUATION WORSE. He's starting to see that his expectations are too high. He's disappointed and trying to come to terms with his disappointment. I'm hoping he can start seeing how his entitlements and maladaptive coping strategies exacerbate the lack of joyful companionship he truly needs.

No one needs a luxury good- no one died from not having a watch. Babies have died from lack of regular warm, loving contact with a caregiver. We're built for relationship. NOT material goods.

The trust is not my money, it's not mine to dispose of. We've dipped into it over the years to build our house, but that's about it. Each time we have to dip into it, we pay capital gains on it. So, we avoid using it for regular expenses.

I focus on cashflow- what's going in, what's going out. He focuses on long term risk taking to make larger financial gains. HOWEVER, we live day by day- not 20yrs in the future. Balancing that is tough as his expectations are too high for the $$ we earn. He's justified his actions of placing me under enormous stress because, "well, we made close to $100k on that house when we sold it." Somehow that makes up for the foreclosure notices, gas and electricity shutoffs, car repo and lack of groceries in the house duh .

Balancing our needs and our expectations is going to be key going forward. Frankly, I think I'm the more practical one when it comes to managing finances. I'm able to tailor my expectations around our financial reality. I would LOVE a family European vacation, an all inclusive long weekend with just us blush . HOWEVER, we're not there right now. SO, I would also like a camping trip. Or a quick day trip to Traverse City. Or a trip to the zoo/art museum (DIA is free here!)/ dinner out.

Do I get frustrated and dissatisfied and disappointed, yes! However, I'm able to reconcile myself to reality and manage my disappointment.

WW Dday July 2019

posts: 663   ·   registered: Aug. 15th, 2019   ·   location: Michigan
id 8710614
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humantrampoline ( member #61458) posted at 6:44 PM on Thursday, January 20th, 2022

MIgander,

In certain ways, your marriage reminds me of mine before the affair. We didn't have arguments or issues with money, but we did with other actions that expressed our own personal values. It led to resentments and to entrenching of our positions and continuing self-validation that our actions and values were the only right one.

After the affair, for me personally, there was a re-evaluation of what behaviour I would or would not accept: with my current husband, in that current situation, in that current marriage. I'm not fully certain why my husband stayed. I will never be. I couldn't focus on his desires or wants, at least in the immediate term, until I decided what I tolerated. I had given much attention to his wants before the affair. I wanted him to be happy, so I allowed actions that I didn't like because I thought he would be happy and then I would be happy. Maybe I am Plan B or C or D or Z. I don't care. I am still happy enough to stay.

All I can suggest is that you decide what is acceptable to you personally in terms of his behavior, stand firm, and don't worry about the rest. He may provide it, or he may leave. You have to mean it and be willing to leave though. It sounds like you are.


Each of you discuss the others actions like they are tied to meeting your emotional wants and needs. There's something about the way they're discussed that doesn't quite follow for me, and I think it's harmful for your relationship. In fact it does sound a bit manipulative at times. I'm not sure I can fully explain, but maybe I can give examples?

The attitudes and actions toward money may be one case. Each person has their own values and tolerances for things like spending on day-to-day items and lifestyle vs. luxury items vs. experiences, as well as investing/saving, and risk tolerance. There is a wide variety among my friends and family, both single and married. It's not always easy to see what people are doing from an outside perspective. One set of money lifestyles isn't more right then another, but there are only certain ranges in each category I will tolerate. And only certain behaviours I will tolerate in my marriage to my current husband. It doesn't seem like you have decided on what those are for you, or that you want validation that they are ok or right.

There was a discussion on spending on eggs and everyday groceries and his watch and also about daily items vs longer-term investments. Your husband doesn't want to spend as much on certain items and wants to take larger risks and buy more luxury items. Is there some acceptable range of his actions in this area that are ok with you? I'm not talking about him doing it because he cares about you and the family or wants to show you he cares about your anxiety. I'm talking about him doing because you are not ok with him not doing it. Are you ok with that? Sometimes it seems you come here to put out your ideas to have people say you're right. That really doesn't matter. It doesn't matter at all what I think of eggs and snacks and watches and trusts. It matters what the two of you can agree upon. I can give my opinion, but it won't help you.

His values in that area don't necessarily reflect anything about how much he cares about you or his children. Yours don't necessarily reflect your love for him. I think that is where "love languages" fails. You want him to not just act, but want to act because he wants to show he cares about your feelings. He's caught up in you doing the same. You want each other to want something. It's like a power struggle or dealing with children in an argument of who-caused-what. It's a circular argument, and it is a bit manipulative. I'm not good at being gentle, and putting gently before a sentence doesn't make it gentle. But I think he didn't go to MC because he was trying to show you he cared about you. He did it because he didn't want a divorce right then. I think that's A-OK. In fact, I think it's great that you are making a boundary. All you can focus on is the behavior and let him worry about his motivations and you worry about yours.

posts: 534   ·   registered: Nov. 17th, 2017
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 MIgander (original poster member #71285) posted at 3:05 PM on Friday, January 21st, 2022

humantrampoline:

And only certain behaviours I will tolerate in my marriage to my current husband. It doesn't seem like you have decided on what those are for you, or that you want validation that they are ok or right.


I've been so desperate for his approval appreciation and affection, that I've not really developed my own sense of boundaries in the marriage. I was so desperate for his validation of them, that if he disagrees, I would blame myself and not stick by them. I was terrified he's going to leave me if I didn't conform. It led to resentment and bitterness toward him. It's like I'm coming out of a fog- I'm realizing more about who I am (not there just yet) and I'm working to develop new behaviors around boundary setting. It's terrifying trying to figure out where I end and he begins as in my psyche, any separation is abandonment. Either me abandoning him or him abandoning me.

I'm not talking about him doing it because he cares about you and the family or wants to show you he cares about your anxiety. I'm talking about him doing because you are not ok with him not doing it. Are you ok with that? Sometimes it seems you come here to put out your ideas to have people say you're right. That really doesn't matter. It doesn't matter at all what I think of eggs and snacks and watches and trusts. It matters what the two of you can agree upon. I can give my opinion, but it won't help you.


The validation the people on this site does help me gain confidence in the new behaviors I'm trying out. Growing up, I was so enmeshed with my mother that I didn't bother to figure out who I was as a person. As long as I did whatever she wanted me to do, she would meet my needs for validation. Now that I'm having to learn to stand on my own and validate myself, it's rather difficult. Especially since my past perceptions were so warped as a WW.

You want him to not just act, but want to act because he wants to show he cares about your feelings. He's caught up in you doing the same. You want each other to want something... All you can focus on is the behavior and let him worry about his motivations and you worry about yours.


THIS! This is the enmeshment we are working to break. He wants me to want to work toward these luxury goods for him to validate him as important. I want him to want to take trips with me to validate my importance. Really it comes down to saying, "I think time spent away with you is important. It is important to me to have this as a building block of our relationship." Just as it comes down to him saying, "I want us to be on the same page in saving for my next watch. It is important to me to have you cooperate on my financial goals in our relationship." Just being honest about the importance of something to us and knowing that, regardless of whether they are excited about meeting our needs or not, that they do.

WW Dday July 2019

posts: 663   ·   registered: Aug. 15th, 2019   ·   location: Michigan
id 8711099
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humantrampoline ( member #61458) posted at 7:37 PM on Wednesday, January 26th, 2022

Your background is all very sad. One of the joys of adulthood is that you have an opportunity to chose what you enjoy and value and dedicate your life energy to pursuing it. Then you might find another adult who has similar interests and values and work as a team to build a family and create a rewarding life together.

If you are relying on external validation, none of that is possible. You are pursuing things others value instead, in order to receive praise and feel good. And in my observation, it was easy for my WH to be manipulated with external validation. It sounds like you are dealing with that in therapy.

If you are certain of your values, you can remove the "wanting the other person to want" part of the equation. I accept and respect that others have different values. I accept that those are just not for me, and I don't want to build a life with that person.

Again, is there any way you and your BS can approach the financial issues together as a team without the emotion? It would require both of you taking responsibility for what you want, brainstorming solutions, and responsibly and fairly implementing them jointly.

For clarity, I was not trying to say that your BH didn't care about you or love you with regard to MC. Only that he may not personally see going to MC as a demonstration of his love for you -- anymore than you appear to see sacrificing on every day expenses in order to buy him an expensive watch as a demonstration of you love for him.

posts: 534   ·   registered: Nov. 17th, 2017
id 8711971
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humantrampoline ( member #61458) posted at 8:16 PM on Wednesday, January 26th, 2022

I think you were also onto something when you asked why a BS stays with a WS. I loved and cared for my WS before, during, and after his affair. That's not a factor in why I stayed or left. You've heard from other BS. My decision to stay at first was deeply personal and based on my values and history and a comfortable risk calculation. It sounds like you want your BH to stay because he loves you. I think you should concentrate on why you want to stay only and let him deal with his reasons.

My marriage wasn't awful before the affair, but we did have struggles with diverging values. They were over priorities placed on immediate family, husband/wife and children vs his parents, siblings, friends, acquaintances and strangers, and general interests. We didn't agree on that in terms of time, resources, energy, and even money to a lesser extent. We were getting further apart.

After his affair, I decided that he was capable of change. He quickly indicated a desire to change and not much fog. If he could be a better father (and husband), it would be worth the risk to me. I am happy with my decision. The thing that differs from your situation is that I expected most of the change to come from my WH. I expected, well really demanded, that he act more in line with my values. I don't know. You don't seem to want to embrace the values that your husband is expressing. There's nothing wrong with that. It's just that we wouldn't have gotten far if my WH had been the same. I'm not sure that's much help to you.

EDIT: Hmm. Well that's not entirely true above. There were several unspoken wants that my WH had that he didn't discuss with me. He said he tried to get me to do them by manipulating the situation in ways. Then he harbored resentment when I didn't go along.

[This message edited by humantrampoline at 8:26 PM, Wednesday, January 26th]

posts: 534   ·   registered: Nov. 17th, 2017
id 8711976
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 MIgander (original poster member #71285) posted at 1:40 PM on Thursday, January 27th, 2022

HumanTrampoline:

Well that's not entirely true above. There were several unspoken wants that my WH had that he didn't discuss with me. He said he tried to get me to do them by manipulating the situation in ways. Then he harbored resentment when I didn't go along.


This was me. I thought, gee, you should know by now what I want- I've been telling you for YEARS. Then proceeded to resent him when I wouldn't be up front about it. Instead I manipulated by complaining. And whining.

If you are certain of your values, you can remove the "wanting the other person to want" part of the equation. I accept and respect that others have different values. I accept that those are just not for me, and I don't want to build a life with that person.

I'm learning to discover myself and accept myself. I'm starting to find that I have a LOT of triggers from my childhood that get in the way of who I want to be. I'm also discovering that I do have good values and, when I enforce them and live them, they do make me a better person.

Values:
-Kindness, patience and respect. I expect them to be shown to me and I am working to enforce that in myself (STILL A WORK IN PROGRESS laugh ).
-Being other centered (w/o being co-dependent). I expect those I am with to consider the ones around them and expect myself to keep others in my considerations (again, still working at that)
-Being responsible for their choices. I expect those around me to own their choices- good or bad- and not excuse themselves for it. I am getting much better at this.
-Being more interested in relationship than "stuff." People who's satisfaction and life is wrapped up in material objects really hold no interest for me. I enjoy material objects too- nice hair cut, nice purse, it's all good. I will not though, resort to manipulations to obtain them. Getting better at this, but still have a ways to go.
-Looking to understand first and judge second. I can't stand people who don't listen and hold space for others' stories. It's ok to judge a person's actions (like BH's work friend who has substance abuse and turns out, was an OW) and not want them in your life. What I can't tolerate though, is when people judge people as all good or all evil (except in rare cases, like what we find in this site). I judged my BH as all bad before and during my A. I'm not going back there.
-Hypocrites. People who pretend their shit don't stink and that everyone else is the problem but them. BULLSHIT! There may be a lot of good things in a person and they may be a very upright and good person in truth. HOWEVER, if they think they're the pinnacle of humanity and criticize others as beneath them, rather than on their level in dignity and respect, that's a RED FLAG and I refuse to be around them. Eventually I'll be put down by them and subjected to their criticism. NOPE nope NOPE.

Anyhow, those are some of my values for now. Working on living up to them.

WW Dday July 2019

posts: 663   ·   registered: Aug. 15th, 2019   ·   location: Michigan
id 8712051
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 MIgander (original poster member #71285) posted at 2:44 PM on Friday, January 28th, 2022

More a journal post than anything.

Starting with a new IC and we're going over family history. It was interesting to hear her say, "You've had a significant trauma history," and then we discussed how others did have it worse, but many others have had it much better.

It's kind of a strange concept for me. That my home environment was significantly traumatic. Like my head gets it- I had a shit childhood, but my heart is still minimizing the struggles and damage done. IC pointed out healthy responses that normal families have in certain situations, and I was floored by how different they were from my own experience.

People with healthy family backgrounds are like people from another continent and culture from me. Totally foreign.

WW Dday July 2019

posts: 663   ·   registered: Aug. 15th, 2019   ·   location: Michigan
id 8712311
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