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General :
Losing the idea of yourself as the prize.

Topic is Sleeping.
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 MintChocChip (original poster member #83762) posted at 2:44 PM on Sunday, September 24th, 2023

I'm doing relatively okay to be honest since separating from my WS.

I just woke up today feeling heavy about something. The loss of that feeling of being "the prize".

I realised my entire life I'd felt like that, and doubly so with my WS. He used to always say he was punching above his weight.

I realise how sad it feels not to feel that way. That there was (albeit a brief) time where he wanted something else.

I wrestle a lot with how far that extended. It was an A when we were long distance. He said he only went near her because she was there and I wasn't and that he never felt any kind of romantic infatuation with her.

I try to comfort myself with those thoughts. But he also spent days and nights with her when he could gave zoomed me. He still rejected me. That's my view. He also had sex with her, many times.

Worst of all, despite being completely sure it was me he wanted after Dday, he definitely missed her after the A stopped.

He definitely felt a very close bond with her (even if it was toxic and she was nuts). He definitely grieved (but he says he wasn't grieving HER but more the time before the A when everything was OK.

I guess I just feel like I wasnt the prize, and because he never put 100% into R - I don't think I ever regained that feeling.

I just feel like my sense of who I am is a bit lost now. I still feel stuck on why he acted after the A ended like he was addicted and coming off heroin.

Yes, I've read everywhere - affairs feel like addictions, but I don't really get it. It sounds to me like they just fell in love.

So part of me wonders if he did.

I pored over every detail and spoke to AP. I've read every message. Objectively it looked like friends with benefits with her desperate for more and him saying he wasn't interested.

She even told me herself in one of her many tearful assaults that he never acted romantic towards her and wouldn't shrug away from physical affection. But I dont know if that's because he wanted to or if it was a weird version of loyal.

So that makes it hard to process. I guess I worry a lot.

Years later, no contact, and I genuinely believe he doesn't give a crap about her and he said it was simply this:

Right or wrong he'd spent all his time with her and (along with being nuts) she'd become his emotional support system, that he was alone after Dday, far away, trying to deal with terrible circumstances and he missed her being around to talk to and do things with.

I dunno.

I think other people have other stuff that just sits on them, but for me it was losing the feeling that I was the prize for him.

[This message edited by MintChocChip at 2:48 PM, Sunday, September 24th]

D Day: September 2020Currently separated

posts: 273   ·   registered: Aug. 20th, 2023   ·   location: UK
id 8809173
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InkHulk ( member #80400) posted at 3:12 PM on Sunday, September 24th, 2023

From my vantage point, you are expelling three years of pent up toxicity created by the A and false R. And maybe even more with the traumatic death of your first fiancé?

I’ll just tell you that posting here has helped me align my heart with all the truths that my head knows. I have a ton of hope for you that you are going to heal, recover, and be better than ever.

People are more important than the relationships they are in.

posts: 2098   ·   registered: Jun. 28th, 2022
id 8809174
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 MintChocChip (original poster member #83762) posted at 3:22 PM on Sunday, September 24th, 2023

Im definitely doing that IH, but I think this particular hurt will be the one that lingers.

D Day: September 2020Currently separated

posts: 273   ·   registered: Aug. 20th, 2023   ·   location: UK
id 8809176
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Stillconfused2022 ( member #82457) posted at 4:16 PM on Sunday, September 24th, 2023

MCC: It is a little scary to me how similar the circumstances seem in some ways to my situation. Every statement you made here is the same: no evidence romance (except getting physical), WS has always claimed he was batting above with me (this is based on superficial qualities), the hookups essentially took place in the offices during his 80 hour work week so he could argue he never chose to spend time with her when could have spent time with me, dumped her hard immediately and quite clearly has been disgusted with her for a long time.

I had mentioned NPD traits in another post but I completely agree with the overlap with ASD. All of our lives I have ascribed certain things to the very mild and certainly undiagnosed ASD (also our son was previously diagnosed mild ASD and its just very very obvious). Only after the A did I start to worry that there was an NPD trait side to this. That could just be my resentment talking and/or the selfishness of an A and the terror of facing the consequences may have spawned the NPD trait behaviors (defensiveness, selfishness about helping with recovery, etc.). I think the inherent difficulties with reciprocal communication in even super mild ASD makes the recovery process essentially too challenging sometimes.

That was background to address the loss of « you are the prize » that you’ve been experiencing. First of all you are definitely the prize. Its obvious that you are smart and kind and loyal - most definitely the prize. But the whole A thing has taken that feeling away from you. I am weirdly behind you (because I found out it was physical a year ago which put me back at square one) and ahead of you (because this all happened 8 years ago). At three years post D-day 1 (when I knew there had been an EA and severe betrayal) I could still not feel I was the special one. Now, after 8 years, and the fact that my WS has never demonstrated the most remote desire to reconnect with this woman it feels very obvious that this thing meant really nothing to him. So if you were to decide to get back with your WS I do think eventually you would feel the prize again.

I believe a lot of the A is down to the ASD. Essentially my husband has difficulty making friends. He is sensitive and quiet but works in a profession filled with a bunch of guys who think they are alpha males. He clearly prefers female coworkers because he’s just not a loud backslapping guys guy so he keeps his male peers at a distance. He also prefers support staff to same level colleagues. I think the insecurity of the social anxiety makes them lest threatening. When they are in the A they have their own personal cheerleader, chock full of flattery and ego kibbles. For someone who struggles a bit socially I think that is incredibly addictive. Even if they essentially see the AP as beneath them and not as someone they would ever get together with in real life. I definitely saw the withdrawal when he sent her on family leave for 6 weeks on my insistence. He then went behind my back and let her back into the office. I found out a week later and she was finally let go with severance.

You said « I guess I just feel like I wasnt the prize, and because he never put 100% into R - I don't think I ever regained that feeling.«  It is completely understandable that you would feel this way. But, it probably had nothing to do with his sense of you being the prize. He probably isn’t really capable of putting 100% into R. It is reasonable for you to decide you can’t accept that but it sounds like him not putting in 100% is more due to his personal challenges with intimacy than the fact that he doesn’t care enough about you.

Anyway, just a thought…. It sounds like she was a warm body willing to give him alot of positive affirmation and in no way a potential replacement for you. But, the traumatic experience of this attachment injury just continues to kick up doubts and questions for you. It is understandable, but it is possible that will evaporate with time.

[This message edited by Stillconfused2022 at 10:25 PM, Sunday, October 1st]

posts: 379   ·   registered: Nov. 27th, 2022   ·   location: Northeast
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Tanner ( Guide #72235) posted at 4:23 PM on Sunday, September 24th, 2023

Your are the prize, maybe the WS doesn't see it but you are the prize. I battled this the first year also, but after reading SI and all the shitty things WH's do to their BW's, my W didn't appreciate what she had. She didn't appreciate having a loyal hardworking, successful H. We are absolutely better than an AP that is willing to accept the number two spot. We BS's expect and demand the number one position, so they have to lie and hide their A's. The AP knows they are second place and willingly accepts it.

You are just now dealing with the healing aspect of this mess. I've always said that healing is hard journey that must be taken. I used to get discouraged as a new member of how many people returned 3-5 years later and were still struggling with the same issues, triggers, etc. It's because they swept it under the rug and now are sitting on a pile of toxic waste. They never took the journey

After Dday I told my W to buckle up because we are dealing with every trigger, intrusive thought, question, or whatever I needed on the journey to healing. About 18 months to 2 years I realized I was carrying all the baggage I had already processed, I gave myself permission to discard some of it along the road without feeling I was rugsweeping. That is when relief and healing began when I let go of the weight.

You are the prize go find someone that recognizes it and appreciates it.

Dday Sept 7 2019 doing well in R BH M 32 years

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id 8809185
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AintDatSpecial ( member #83560) posted at 4:49 PM on Sunday, September 24th, 2023

I can relate. I wrote in my journal a few days ago about not feeling "first" anymore. I’ve realized this goes back to my childhood and I never felt first in anyone’s life until I started dating my husband. When he cheated, it took away that feeling for me. Although I wonder if that was ever a healthy dynamic. He always thought I was "above" him and out of his league (his words). But underneath that was an insecure man who never felt like he deserved me and was always worried I’d leave. The AP was picking up extra shifts at work just to be with him and suddenly he felt wanted and special. He totally ignored the fact that she was leaving behind her own husband and kids to do that. When I brought this up in MC and stated how I showed him commitment in numerous ways- sharing finances, buying a house, marrying him, having a child together, etc.- he had a negative excuse for each one of these that he truly believed. He basically argued with the MC about how those things had nothing to do with him. A long term partner cannot compete with someone who has zero obligation paying attention to an insecure person who does not love themselves. They feel like we love them out of obligation despite plenty of evidence to the contrary.
I’m working on getting through those feelings myself. I am trying now to allow my WH to take away my worthiness.

Me- BW/ Him- WH, both early 40s/ D-day June 2023/ working on healing me

posts: 55   ·   registered: Jul. 6th, 2023   ·   location: United States
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 MintChocChip (original poster member #83762) posted at 5:06 PM on Sunday, September 24th, 2023

Thank goodness for this place. I felt so low and reading these replies as well as just getting it out made me feel better. Normally, before I left, these feelings would be more fleeting. Because, well, hey there is this man making my breakfast and smiling at me and then it feels a lot more obvious you are the prize - but now he's gone it's harder to push the thoughts away.

I had mentioned NPD traits in another post but I completely agree with the overlap with ASD. All of our lives I have ascribed certain things to the undiagnosed ASD (which I feel entitled to do as a psychiatrist, also our son is diagnosed mild ASD and its just very very obvious). Only after the A did I start to think there was an NPD trait side to this. That could just be my resentment talking and/or the selfishness of an A and the terror of facing the consequences may have spawned the NPD trait behaviors (defensiveness, selfishness about helping with recovery, etc.). I think the inherent difficulties with reciprocal communication in even mild ASD makes the recovery process essentially too challenging for them.

I have a big family, and at least half of them are autistic, so I can recognise what's what pretty easily. I think trust your judgement but also remember a lot of the characteristics you're describing are just basic human maladaptive survival mechanisms. My WS is nothing like a narcissist, even if he displays some of their ugly behavior at times.

I think mind blindness plays a role in it. He struggles to "picture" what I feel or imagine it, so he can't. He gets self absorbed and can't feel what I might be feeling. In his mind it was simple: he loved me and not her, so why couldn't I just see how obvious that was? Right now, these last couple of years, she's irrelevant to him. He doesn't even have a positive opinion of her, so I think it's confusing to him that I harbour the feelings I have.

Overwhelm plays a role: autistic people get stressed out and then go into a meltdown and his most stressful thing imaginable is probably be being in pain or angry at him. Communication also plays a role: he doesn't always know the right thing to say even if he wants to. Autistic people can also get stuck in loops of unhelpful thoughts or behaviors which they struggle to leave if they're stressed. And, a big one, autistic people can often get attached to people (like nutty AP's if they are kind to them). They move in the world in different ways.

Maybe you can assess all of that with your husband and see what fits and what doesn't.

After 8 years, and the fact that my WS has never demonstrated the most remote desire to reconnect with this woman it feels very obvious that this thing meant really nothing to him. So if you were to decide to get back with your WS I do think eventually you would feel the prize again.

I think ultimately beyond words: that demonstrates that she meant nothing to him. And I guess it does for me too, but my brain just doesn't want to accept it. I think this just violated a very deep part of me that felt special and almost sacred and I have no idea how to explain that but it's a unique pain for me that there was ever a minute he might have felt any of these things for another human being.

I got a message from him a couple of days ago before we went NC and it said:

I just wish you were home and we could be nearby and everything would be okay again. I miss you so much :( I am so sad when I get home and can't tell you the stories from my day. I just want to share everything with you. I am so sorry I haven't done everything you needed. I really wanted to and am trying to learn. You deserved everything, and not getting it is a shortcoming in me and no reflection on you. I am so lucky to have been with someone like you. You're completely irreplaceable and I am sorry that the things I did made you feel like you were not enough because you were always far more than enough. I am just a fixer upper, and that's why any of this happened. I feel so trapped because I am overwhelmed and have no idea what to do. I am so sad. You are my anchor and I am adrift without you. I love you so much. I miss you so much :( You are the girls of my dreams and you always have been. This is actual physical pain. I can't even breathe. Or see to type. I wasn't sentimental, but I am now. I miss you so much :( I can't bear touching your things because if I leave them where they are then it's like you never left, like you just popped and and you'll be back soon. I miss so much the us that won't do the things we planned. I just wanted everything to be okay again. I am crying and I just can't really breathe. I'm sorry. I don't know what to do. I can't stand it that you're sad. I just don't know what to do. Being with you was the best thing that ever happened to me and I can't think of a world with no us.

I looked at that after I posted this thread and remember reading his message to AP which were largely "Leave me alone!!". At best they were perfunctory like you'd talk to a sister. Even (and this is so awful) basically complaining to her after DDay that he was heartbroken that he had ruined his relationship with me and literally to her face saying how much he loved me. I have no idea why AP had such low standards as to accept this.

For whatever reason my head keeps switching itself to the only nice communication he ever wrote her, which was the final goodbye letter which said lots of nice things about her and described a wonderful friendship etc. That still makes me feel physically sick to my bones, and I read it back to him recently and all he could say was "I do not feel anything like that now and I was not in my right mind when I wrote it and I am so sorry"

I believe a lot of the A is down to the ASD. Essentially my husband has difficulty making friends.

I believe exactly the same. I think we were long distance, he had no friends, he's not good with "the guys" and there was just someone being maternal and nice to him (and also pretending to share all his weird special interests at a time he was vulnerable. Not excusing him, but I completely believe he is that dumb that he thought "oh wow, a new friend" because he literally has said to me for years he has no idea how to make friends. Actually, he has none. She was it pretty much.

When they are in the A they have their own personal cheerleader, chock full of flattery and ego kibbles. For someone who struggles a bit socially I think that is incredibly addictive. Even if they essentially see the AP as beneath them and not as someone they would ever get together with in real life. I definitely saw the withdrawal when he sent her on family leave for 6 weeks on my insistence. He then went behind my back and let her back into the office. I found out a week later and she was finally let go with severance.

Yeah, this sounds probably true. I also wondered a lot of time if she has become his "routine". He is prone to gigantic autistic burnout at times of stress (emotional stress is the worst) so I think on some level because he was used to his emotional support dog he found it hard to change that routine.

You said « I guess I just feel like I wasnt the prize, and because he never put 100% into R - I don't think I ever regained that feeling.« It is completely understandable that you would feel this way. But, it probably had nothing to do with his sense of you being the prize. He probably isn’t really capable of putting 100% into R. It is reasonable for you to decide you can’t accept that but it sounds like him not putting in 100% is more due to his personal challenges with intimacy than the fact that he doesn’t care enough about you.

Thank you so much for saying this. I needed to hear this to chase these thoughts away. I really miss feeling like the prize to him. It sounds like we have so much in common! I do think your husband's ASD will have a lot to do with why he is acting like he is. I have a lot of experience with this, so if you ever want to talk or ask questions about it, it is a field of things I am an expert in - having raised an ASD child and completed training on the topic. Part of the reason I fell in love with WS is that I have a real soft spot for autistic people and the beautiful ways they react to the world.

D Day: September 2020Currently separated

posts: 273   ·   registered: Aug. 20th, 2023   ·   location: UK
id 8809192
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 MintChocChip (original poster member #83762) posted at 5:11 PM on Sunday, September 24th, 2023

Thanks so much Tanner - I guess I never felt like I had second spot, not even at the time it was all happening - but just the nagging through that anyone else had anything was enough to mentally kill me. I just feel less now than I did. It's hard to feel precious after this huh?

You are just now dealing with the healing aspect of this mess. I've always said that healing is hard journey that must be taken. I used to get discouraged as a new member of how many people returned 3-5 years later and were still struggling with the same issues, triggers, etc. It's because they swept it under the rug and now are sitting on a pile of toxic waste. They never took the journey

Couldn't agree more emphatically with this and it's exactly what's happening. Feel the pain right? Has to be done eventually and on the other side is hopefully peace of mind.

D Day: September 2020Currently separated

posts: 273   ·   registered: Aug. 20th, 2023   ·   location: UK
id 8809194
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 MintChocChip (original poster member #83762) posted at 5:22 PM on Sunday, September 24th, 2023

When he cheated, it took away that feeling for me. Although I wonder if that was ever a healthy dynamic. He always thought I was "above" him and out of his league (his words). But underneath that was an insecure man who never felt like he deserved me and was always worried I’d leave.

I relate to every word of that.

The AP was picking up extra shifts at work just to be with him and suddenly he felt wanted and special. He totally ignored the fact that she was leaving behind her own husband and kids to do that. When I brought this up in MC and stated how I showed him commitment in numerous ways- sharing finances, buying a house, marrying him, having a child together, etc.- he had a negative excuse for each one of these that he truly believed. He basically argued with the MC about how those things had nothing to do with him. A long term partner cannot compete with someone who has zero obligation paying attention to an insecure person who does not love themselves. They feel like we love them out of obligation despite plenty of evidence to the contrary.


This is the story I had read on here time after time, including the lurking years. It's really sad that people don't find ways to feel better about whatever they need than to do this. I wish there was like an instructional documentary on infidelity they made everyone watch!

D Day: September 2020Currently separated

posts: 273   ·   registered: Aug. 20th, 2023   ·   location: UK
id 8809196
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Tanner ( Guide #72235) posted at 6:13 PM on Sunday, September 24th, 2023

I guess I never felt like I had second spot, not even at the time it was all happening

I hope you didn’t misunderstand, I’m saying as long as an A is hidden the AP is willingly accepting 2nd place. Us BS’s not knowing expect and demand fidelity, AP accepts leftovers.

Dday Sept 7 2019 doing well in R BH M 32 years

posts: 3458   ·   registered: Dec. 5th, 2019   ·   location: Texas DFW
id 8809200
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 MintChocChip (original poster member #83762) posted at 6:22 PM on Sunday, September 24th, 2023

I dunno Tanner.

There were times he was having sex with her instead of zooming me.

There were times he was spending the day or an evening with her instead of zooming me.

At those times I was 2nd place wasn't i?

I guess the point is that I never felt it :(

D Day: September 2020Currently separated

posts: 273   ·   registered: Aug. 20th, 2023   ·   location: UK
id 8809204
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Tanner ( Guide #72235) posted at 6:58 PM on Sunday, September 24th, 2023

At those times I was 2nd place wasn't i?

You were not willingly accepting 2nd place. He knew you wouldn’t accept it, so he lied and duped you. It might not make sense but in my situation AP knew where he stood and accepted it, I didn’t get a vote. If my W came to me and said "I’m having an A and leaving for AP". I still wouldn’t accept 2nd place because I would be gone. You are the prize because you refuse to be second place.

Dday Sept 7 2019 doing well in R BH M 32 years

posts: 3458   ·   registered: Dec. 5th, 2019   ·   location: Texas DFW
id 8809206
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Superesse ( member #60731) posted at 7:09 PM on Sunday, September 24th, 2023

MCC the darnedest thing about being in a relationship with someone with that personality is the overcompensating expected - on your part. That you are expected to accept the best they can offer, and to be okay with it, to value being their bootstrap person. If you are like me, you will reach the point where you don't appreciate being valued primarily for how well you shored up someone else's sense of themself, which IMHO that note he sent you is screaming. It is very sad, and almost pathetic, but still for the most part, it reads like "I, I, I."

To truly be the prize, I think one needs to be in a partnership with someone who isn't drowning or stuck in their own development. I too have been and still am in this same kind of lop-sided relationship and I can assure you it hasn't been beneficial for me. I applaud you breaking out of it if and when you can!

posts: 2061   ·   registered: Sep. 22nd, 2017   ·   location: Washington D C area
id 8809208
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 MintChocChip (original poster member #83762) posted at 7:25 PM on Sunday, September 24th, 2023

You were not willingly accepting 2nd place. He knew you wouldn’t accept it, so he lied and duped you. It might not make sense but in my situation AP knew where he stood and accepted it, I didn’t get a vote. If my W came to me and said "I’m having an A and leaving for AP". I still wouldn’t accept 2nd place because I would be gone. You are the prize because you refuse to be second place.


Tanner, thank you. I never thought about it like this before

D Day: September 2020Currently separated

posts: 273   ·   registered: Aug. 20th, 2023   ·   location: UK
id 8809209
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BoundaryBuilder ( member #78439) posted at 9:58 PM on Sunday, September 24th, 2023

Tanner nailed it "you are the prize because you refuse to be second place." Second place is not good enough for you. STBX (?)may not understand it that way, or understand why it's important to you to be treated as the prize. MCC, your true inner value doesn't reside in how he did or didn't treat you as the prize during the marriage! YOU know your value.

MCC the darnedest thing about being in a relationship with someone with that personality is the overcompensating expected - on your part. That you are expected to accept the best they can offer, and to be okay with it, to value being their bootstrap person. If you are like me, you will reach the point where you don't appreciate being valued primarily for how well you shored up someone else's sense of themself, which IMHO that note he sent you is screaming.

THIS 100%.

Pre A, my H definitely was a "this is the best I can do" kind of guy. During the post A relationship reckoning, I realized my Cool Wife routine enabled that approach. Cool Wife was supposed to be okay with her role - that it was up to me to overcompensate for just about every aspect of how his personality affected me and our D. Shoring up his sense of self was my go-to mode to address conflict and disappointment; it was my job to cheer-lead him through life. Post A, that dynamic is no longer tolerated. I'd had enough of being valued primarily for how well I shored up his sense of self. Cool Wife has retired.

It is very sad, and almost pathetic, but still for the most part, it reads like "I, I, I."

Agreed. MCC, gotta say the message from your partner doesn't bode well for him being able to take responsibility and heal the marriage.

Yes, that message is very woeful and does include a few compliments. But to me, an outsider looking in, it's a sad sausage communication that reads as an attempt to push your buttons with the self-pity channel. He wants you to come back and finish fixing "the fixer upper". Tell him "what to do". If I understand correctly, you've spent the last three years telling him exactly what he needs to do. The message there is "I, I, I," - and how your absence affects HIM. He's not taking ANY responsibility in that message. "I'm trying" is about as good as it gets.

As you said, he may not "enjoy" manipulating you. His mind-blindness may get in the way of his understanding what he's doing or WHY he's doing it. But, IMO he's doing it nonetheless.

[This message edited by BoundaryBuilder at 10:33 PM, Sunday, September 24th]

Married 34 years w/one adult daughter
ME:BW
HIM: 13 month texting EA with high school X who fished him on Facebook 43 years later
PA=15 days spread over final 3 months
D-Day=April 21, 2018
Reconciled

posts: 216   ·   registered: Mar. 4th, 2021
id 8809227
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 MintChocChip (original poster member #83762) posted at 10:33 PM on Sunday, September 24th, 2023

I think in fairness if you have an autistic husband you do hold the reigns on the emotional and development stuff. He's medically impeded on that front:) I never felt like I was carrying any loads until R.

To be honest it felt like two people with complimentary skills. Stuff I was no good at, he handled. He carried some loads and I carried others. I quite liked that.

In R, I knew he would not be capable of leading the way with the emotional stuff. I just needed him to commit his energy and effort to it.

All that said, I feel way better than I did this morning about the prize stuff. You all found exactly the words I most needed to hear.

Thank you

D Day: September 2020Currently separated

posts: 273   ·   registered: Aug. 20th, 2023   ·   location: UK
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 MintChocChip (original poster member #83762) posted at 10:36 PM on Sunday, September 24th, 2023

Also Confused: if you want to chat privately about ASD and how that relates to all this, please hit me up with a message.

D Day: September 2020Currently separated

posts: 273   ·   registered: Aug. 20th, 2023   ·   location: UK
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Stillconfused2022 ( member #82457) posted at 11:36 PM on Sunday, September 24th, 2023

MCC: I would like to do that but I don’t see the option on my screen. Do you have to be a member for a certain length of time? Or maybe I haven’t made enough posts? I tried upgrading my membership before. Maybe I’ll try that again.

posts: 379   ·   registered: Nov. 27th, 2022   ·   location: Northeast
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Superesse ( member #60731) posted at 11:50 PM on Sunday, September 24th, 2023

MCC, thanks for helping me see and accept the main reason I have never been able to R with my SAWH, a man who may or may not have a PD: in 21 years of "trying," it has never gotten better than just lukewarm or minimal efforts from him emotionally, despite all explanations, readings, MC, Hope and Time.

In the 4 years we dated and the few years after we were married before my 1st D-Day, I always thought "He must just be repressed or something, maybe it's cultural?" - which my father suggested - I believed he was really a dear heart who just couldn't seem to find the right thing to say or react with. All that got blasted by the sordid discoveries I made about what he did and always had done! After a year of intensive MC therapy and 11 more years of continued reading, talking, praying, working and hoping came his arrest for committing the same crime: soliciting a prostitute.

He exchanges women like dolls; emotionless sex to meet HIS needs, with a covert sadistic element of doing that on my birthday after being a real sweetie and getting kisses and love and giving me hope he was finally "getting it."

(In the earliest year of my hopium syndrome, at the suggestion of OUR MC, I went so far as to go back to college in my late 50's to earn a degree in Abnormal Psychology, mostly to see if there was a path forward for me and him. I don't know too many wives without children at home who would have gone through that much effort to R.)

Yet now, 13 years after graduation with all that head knowledge, the lack of improvement has just worn me out. So I will agree to disagree about signing up for the role of over-compensator. Hindsight being 20-20, if I were to have recognized my spouse could never give what his partner needed, not even a random compliment, and could never build her up yet is 'right on it' pointing out her every little flaw and so forth, and was in general a cold fish, I'd have stopped the Engagement train after 4 years of his indecision even though it was gratifying to have him pursue me so doggedly in his low-key way.

Pursuit is one thing, but day-to-day life together, quite another. My refrain is that this isn't the life I signed up for, even though I think he's primarily a good guy and is still my "friend." Some people cannot easily do partnership - I assume unless they really want to. By nature he is a lone ranger, yet he has no trouble at his work trying to be co-operative the way he does at home. As the Psychiatrist poster admitted, it can be hard to tell what is going on when you see capabilities they show in some cases but not at home.

On whether change is possible: last year, I came across a website of a young fellow who put himself to the task of improving his social skills and he did a great job turning his personality around, and now he has a website selling what worked for him. Sounded quite hopeful, but I cannot even get my SAWH interested.

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id 8809237
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 MintChocChip (original poster member #83762) posted at 11:51 PM on Sunday, September 24th, 2023

Confused I can't message either. Maybe a MOD can advise?

D Day: September 2020Currently separated

posts: 273   ·   registered: Aug. 20th, 2023   ·   location: UK
id 8809238
Topic is Sleeping.
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