Quick update here, some good progress to report.
H owned up in MC yesterday that his walling off and anger at not getting what he wanted out of our relationship (closeness) was in part due to how he saw his parents being so closed off and distant from one another. I saw him put 2 and 2 together- that he can be hyper sensitive to any kind of withdrawal or overwhelm on my part and take it as me refusing emotional intimacy because he saw it so much with his parents. I used to blame myself so much for him not being happy and get so enmeshed with him- trying to MAKE him happy and PROVE that I deserved his love- because I would take responsibility on myself for his emotions.
So, I can let some of that go now- the need to control his emotions and blame myself for his unhappiness in the lack of emotional intimacy in our M.
Also, I found a hotel key from a place we hadn't visited together in Traverse City in his desk. It shocked me. Like WTF is this key sitting here for? I racked my brain for any time that H had been on an overnight without me this summer. I couldn't think of anything, dug through the calendar and didn't see anything... but there was still this key. I checked out the hotel, and it seemed vaguely familiar. It was the one H mentioned J going to with her BF the same time as our trip to our family friends' cottage where H was texting on Snapchat with J all evening by the fire.
Also, WTF with that stupid desk! No wonder he's not wanted me in there... he keeps squirreling shit away
I called H, and tried being indirect about it, "what do you think of staying in TC and looking at the foliage this fall?" Then said F-it and asked him direct. "Look, I found this hotel key in your desk drawer looking for stamps. WTF??" H explained that at his last lunch with J and friends, she was pulling out her card to pay from the wallet and the card came out of the purse with it. She flung it at him saying, "Here! You take it!" angrily as that was the place she hated going to with her BF.
By the way, I checked out the hotel online and it looked lovely, remodeled, clean and family friendly. Yeah, it wasn't a "luxury" place with sexy/moody décor but, whatever, it was NICE. Spoiled bitch. Don't like the accommodations, how about you get off your ass and book something you like for your BF as a show of appreciation for living with him rent free?
Yeah, I'm that kind of petty judgy.
ANYWAY... After H told me that, I told him that I had been thinking about any time that he could have been away without me on an overnight and OMG was he sleeping with her? I said, "WTF did she think it was ok giving you a hotel key? Who does that??" After which, H admitted, "Yeah, the relationship is fucked up and unhealthy. I'm going to cut it off. I can see now how weird it is."
So, lights went on! Hopefully a combo of the MC, my boundaries (hey, get your ass on the phone and make a meet up happen- I'm not tolerating this anymore) and him actually reflecting on how off the thing they have going is...
So, yeah, small wins are what's keeping me in it.
Sisoon, thanks as always for the good questions.
Does your H value you as a person? Does he value your personhood? Do you want to be in this relationship? If so, what does it do for you?
I do believe H values me as a person, or is doing it more now than ever in our M. He's been much more patient and understanding of when my brain gets foggy, my being tired or spacey and my own depression lately from my menopause starting. I think he's coming to appreciate how much I've had to struggle with over the years with my own baseline FOO things as well as starting to own how much his own actions contributed to my stress. That's opening room in him for compassion and seeing me as more than just a wife appliance in charge of making him happy.
I do want to be in this relationship. We're having more and better days (although the last few weeks have been hard between the J thing and me digging deeper into my FOO trauma/resentment). Our lows are lower (and not helped by my hormones), but H is being more open with his struggles and anger and negativity around our M and my behavior. Which I kind of addressed on my other thread. Don't get me wrong, I have difficulty dealing with his hurts from my behavior, but I'm much more... happy? optimistic?... that the M will work the more H is being honest with me and himself.
What does the M do for me? It challenges me to grow and heal in ways that I wouldn't have had I married a yes-man kind of BF that I had prior to H. It challenges me to be a better parent by giving a better example to my kids of what determination, healing and hard relational work look like. How people have to be intentional, get coaching and push through the hard things if they want any chance of an M actually working out. To learn and teach myself that I deserve respect and kindness and consideration in my relationships and learn how to push for that in effective ways.
It was interesting, in our last MC session to hear H actively asking for better ways to communicate his desires of me, better actual verbiage. If I had a dollar for all the times he's been frustrated with having to "read a script" or walk on eggshells and watch his every word with me (I am a sensitive person now? I think I always was, but buried it), I would probably be able to retire a LOT earlier. Anyway, his words around that would hurt and discourage me as we were in MC for that VERY THING. That careless words from him were the source of great pain to me and the kids in our M. He had grown up watching his gpa say whatever the hell he wanted and his mom dragging his dad down and between them figured if he wanted to get his way, he had to push back on me and say what ever he wanted to say, how he wanted to say it. That that was the only way to be "honest" was by being blunt or completely tone deaf and inconsiderate.
So hearing him openly ask for better communication strategies from MC was a relief to me. It showed H wanting to change and welcoming growth. And actually being open about wanting intimacy with me and understanding he was getting in his own way by the way he was communicating with me. And then wanting advice on how to change that.
Thanks all for hanging in on this thread, I know I go back and forth between rage and despair and cautious optimism a TON.