Question on becoming emotionally self-reliant and self-sufficient - Page 10 - Talk About Marriage
General Relationship Discussion Although anyone can post anywhere on Talk About Marriage, this section is for people interested in general relationship and marriage advice.

User Tag List

 224Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread
post #136 of 232 (permalink) Old 04-11-2017, 10:32 AM
Moderator
 
farsidejunky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 7,606
Re: Question on becoming emotionally self-reliant and self-sufficient

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jessica38 View Post
4. Give it a time frame to see if this works (6 months, 1 year). If not, you may need to consider separating, unless you intend to live in a sexless roommate situation for another decade. Keep in mind that your son is watching your relationship to learn what it means to be married. I'm all for trying to fix the marriage first, but you can't do it alone.
This one part I think bears emphasis for you specifically, Dazed. Set this time limit, and have the discipline to follow through, lest you be here three years from now still trying to perform CPR on the dead.


"Our ability to feel joy is directly related to how much pain we are willing to feel." - Mavash.

"The truth is, everyone is going to hurt you. You just got to find the ones worth suffering for." - Bob Marley
farsidejunky is online now  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #137 of 232 (permalink) Old 04-11-2017, 10:44 AM Thread Starter
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 140
Re: Question on becoming emotionally self-reliant and self-sufficient

Quote:
Originally Posted by jld View Post
Did you admit you were defensive and apologize for it, then ask her to please continue to share her thoughts?

That kind of empathetic, responsible and genuinely interested response can go a long way towards deepening her trust in you, and keeping communication lines open. It takes a lot of inner strength to do, but can pay big dividends.



I understand it is tempting to be defensive when you hear those words. But responding in a self-justifying way, and being aggressive back to her, is unlikely to earn her trust and deepen the relationship.

Instead, take an inner deep breath, and with genuine interest, either engage in Active Listening (the easiest way is to repeat her words back to her, or paraphrase them), or just say, "Tell me more," and then sincerely listen to what she has to say.



How about reflecting this back to her?

"Wife, you feel I may not be spending my time as profitably as possible by spending time on TAM. You feel it might be wiser to spend it doing x,y,z? If I did those things instead, it might make you feel a,b,c? Is that correct? If not, please help me understand."

Again, the idea is to open up genuine, heartfelt communication by being open to whatever she may be feeling. It does not mean you have to agree with it. But you want her to feel comfortable telling you whatever she may be feeling, without worrying you will get defensive in any way.

You are trying to create emotional safety in the relationship for her. That can start the process of deepening your connection. And it definitely shows intelligence, emotional leadership and inner strength on your part--all likely very attractive to a smart woman like your wife.
I get your point. There is probably a lot more I could do to descalate these sorts of situations (which happen all the freakin' time).

But I'm also not sure how much of a commitment she has to actually communicating.

As with most problems either great or small (and this one was on the small end of the spectrum), they get brought up but there is never either the time or space to hash them out. Especially since we try to avoid arguments and/or fights in front of our son (who is usually always around), and since the friction always arises when we're trying to say, get dinner ready, or get out the door for something, or needing to attend to our son. For several years, our communication has had to happen within five minute time boxes, which is rarely productive and usually frustrating as hell (at least for me).

That's why I was proud of my response the other day, when I was able to resolve the issue in the brief moment when we were actually alone in the same room for a couple minutes and before my wife got out the door. I've got to practice that until I can find ways to accomplish the same thing for most of our conflicts.
Dazedconfuzed is offline  
post #138 of 232 (permalink) Old 04-11-2017, 10:50 AM
jld
Forum Supporter
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 19,544
Re: Question on becoming emotionally self-reliant and self-sufficient

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dazedconfuzed View Post
I get your point. There is probably a lot more I could do to descalate these sorts of situations (which happen all the freakin' time).

But I'm also not sure how much of a commitment she has to actually communicating.

As with most problems either great or small (and this one was on the small end of the spectrum), they get brought up but there is never either the time or space to hash them out. Especially since we try to avoid arguments and/or fights in front of our son (who is usually always around), and since the friction always arises when we're trying to say, get dinner ready, or get out the door for something, or needing to attend to our son. For several years, our communication has had to happen within five minute time boxes, which is rarely productive and usually frustrating as hell (at least for me).

That's why I was proud of my response the other day, when I was able to resolve the issue in the brief moment when we were actually alone in the same room for a couple minutes and before my wife got out the door. I've got to practice that until I can find ways to accomplish the same thing for most of our conflicts.
Don't worry about her commitment. Focus on yours.

How about saying, "Hold that thought," when time is short. That lets her know that you have heard her and intend to get back to her. You are not dismissing her in any way. That should make her feel respected, especially if you remember to bring it up, and focus on seeking her thoughts on it, during the next five minute interaction.

You did a great job the other day, when you reacted to her worries by reassuring her. Definitely something to build on in the future.

Even if you are not the financial leader in the marriage, you can be the emotional one. That is what I am trying to help you with, anyway.

One of the deepest feminine pleasures is when a man stands full, present, and unreactive in the midst of his woman's emotional storms. When he stays present with her, and loves her through the layers of wildness and closure, then she feels his trustability, and she can relax. -- David Deida, The Way of the Superior Man
jld is offline  
 
post #139 of 232 (permalink) Old 04-11-2017, 11:05 AM Thread Starter
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 140
Re: Question on becoming emotionally self-reliant and self-sufficient

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jessica38 View Post
I'd ask her why bother to be married then? She can do all of that as a single woman. Why have a husband at all?

I'm sure she asks herself that question all the time as well.

I do know that she wants our marriage to work, first and foremost, for the sake of our son. She also says that she loves and cares about me, and would worry about me if we were to go our own way. She doesn't like to see me miserable, and it would pain her even more to think of me being *alone* and miserable if we got divorced.

Quote:
Does she have emotional needs that she expects you to meet at all?
She has said that she would like for me to be more affectionate (that's why she almost broke down when I came home and gave her a hug out of the blue) and would like me to ask about her day more. She would like me to be more warm and engaged, as well as being strong and not letting my negativity and neuroses impact the family. She would just like a nice, relaxed, happy home life. She wants me to be more of a 'rock', as it were.

Quote:
Or does she turn to others to meet them (conversation, affection, companionship, sex)?
I don't know that she has found another 'rock' in her life (of whatever sort). I think her parents fulfill that role some, but I don't see it happening anywhere else.

I think she gets most of those needs met by her work and our son (not the sex, obviously, lol, but definitely affection and companionship). I don't see her reaching out to other people much, if ever. In her last job (that she recently quite because it was overwhelming her with stress almost daily), she worked in a department that was almost entirely women, and I know that she developed some good friendships there. She still tries to get together with them on a semi-monthly basis, but other than that, she usually just wants to be home and with our son. She doesn't do a lot of socializing. She'd rather focus on home, family, and her career than 'emotional needs', I would say.

As you point out, she is very independent, and has always been like that. As beloved as she is by everyone (which, as I've said, she is, at a level that I've never seen in anyone else), she doesn't really do 'close' or 'intimate' much. She's kind of an loner, despite her charming and sociable demeanor.

EDIT:

As far as the "what does she want a husband for?" thing - I think she is like many women in that she wants her husband to be the other half of a 'power couple' sort of thing. She would like to be married to someone who can help her accomplish her goals in life. She wants someone who will help her build the kind of life she really wants.

I read somewhere recently that men are romantics who pretend to be realists, and that women are realists who pretend to be romantics. I think that perfectly summarizes our situation...

Last edited by Dazedconfuzed; 04-11-2017 at 11:17 AM.
Dazedconfuzed is offline  
post #140 of 232 (permalink) Old 04-11-2017, 02:56 PM Thread Starter
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 140
Re: Question on becoming emotionally self-reliant and self-sufficient

Quote:
Originally Posted by farsidejunky View Post
Dazed:

What is your wife actually putting into the marriage?
Working her a$$ off, with almost singular focus, to both advance her career so she can provide a good material life for her family and to ensure that my son has the best opportunities available to him (and she generally does take the lead on things like researching schools, summer camps, after-school programs, educational opportunities/activities, etc).

When I push her to be there more for 'us', she generally points me to the above. She wishes that I could just love her for what she already is doing, rather than making her feel like she still has to do more for 'us.'

Though I usually point out that it's not just a 'doing' thing, but a 'being' thing. I realize that the '15 hours a week' thing (or whatever) may be a logistical nightmare at this point, but I would like to feel closeness and intimacy with my partner regardless.

Case in point - I learned of our second pregnancy three years ago (something I had grave reservations about, given that I thought our marriage was already in enough trouble already) because I read a letter that came in the mail from her doctor. That just seemed so wrong to me (but par for the course at that point). She came home from work and had brought a piece of cake for me in order to celebrate 'the big announcement', but I just couldn't believe she didn't communicate the news directly as soon as she knew the however many days before. It was weird...

The pregnancy ended in a miscarriage, and during that difficult time, she actually took off work and made time to talk. She said, "I miss talking with you", and I almost teared up, because that was the first time in a couple of years that I felt like she even wanted to be around me.

Quote:
Here's the thing, dude. Your wife is in a roommate type relationship with you. She seems perfectly content with that, and any attempt by you to get more effort from her is met by you being accused of being needy?
I wouldn't say perfectly content. She occasionally mentions that she, too, is unhappy with the marriage. And life in general. Nothing has really ended up being as she had hoped and dreamed. I didn't turn out to be the husband she had hoped I was, but she (unlike me) is just doing her best to deal with things and to not let the disappointments distract her from what needs to be done. She doesn't know why I can't just do the same thing.

She also sees me as needy, because (apparently) she feels that the reason we had such a 'perfect' marriage prior was because she was giving too much of herself to the marriage (something that I feel like I did as well, but whatever) and that she lost herself catering to me and my 'needs.' She doesn't want to do that again, nor does she feel like she even *can* do that again, given all the other needs in life. Harsh viewpoint to confront for me...

Quote:
Did I read that right that you have not had sex in 3 years?
Sex became more and more of an issue about seven years ago (during the tumultuous time of me losing my job, us moving to a bigger house, my dad dying and me being gone for weeks at a time trying to help my mom, etc). I could definitely feel her losing attraction for me. The bottom dropped out of our sex life after she got pregnant, and it's been mostly sexless ever since.

In fact, it was easy to establish when we got pregnant the second time - her gyno thought we had determined the conception date incorrectly (off by a couple weeks), but we had only had sex one time in the months prior, so we were pretty clear as to when conception actually took place. Turns out, of course, that the reason the gyno thought the conception date was different is because the fetus wasn't developing normally, which is what led to the miscarriage a few weeks later.

Quote:
I see a willingness from you to try and work for improvement. I see no such thing from her.
She would claim that she is doing a lot of work on her end, mostly to try to be a better person and less of a ***** so we can have a harmonious life (to her credit, she has made progress - she tends to ***** and complain a lot less, and her passive-aggressive behavior and lashing out in frustration has definitely dialed back). She just feels like she is doing everything she can to keep the ship on course, and doesn't like the idea that she should somehow be doing more.
Dazedconfuzed is offline  
post #141 of 232 (permalink) Old 04-11-2017, 03:06 PM Thread Starter
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 140
Re: Question on becoming emotionally self-reliant and self-sufficient

Quote:
Originally Posted by jld View Post
Don't worry about her commitment. Focus on yours.
Yep. Thanks. That's been one of the big takeaways I've gotten from this thread. Again, I can't control or change anyone else, but I can lead by example.

Quote:
How about saying, "Hold that thought," when time is short. That lets her know that you have heard her and intend to get back to her. You are not dismissing her in any way. That should make her feel respected, especially if you remember to bring it up, and focus on seeking her thoughts on it, during the next five minute interaction.
Yeah, I like this. If nothing else, it might make her pause before throwing out her random passive aggressive comments. She will know that *I* won't just drop it, and that she will have to have a conversation about it eventually, if not immediately.

Quote:
Even if you are not the financial leader in the marriage, you can be the emotional one. That is what I am trying to help you with, anyway.
I appreciate that. That is something I came to realize quite a while ago, actually, and I've been trying to create for myself for some time. I just haven't been particularly effective at accomplishing that. This conversation, however, has done a lot to help me focus my mind and my efforts to that end.

I may never achieve being the financial leader again (or, at least, a financial equal, which is usually what I was), but I can do what I can with what I've got. Being an emotional/'spiritual' leader would make a big difference for not just my wife, but for my son. I want him to have a father he can really look up to, feel proud of, and draw strength from. And I know my wife would like for me to 'be the boss' with her again, too.

Thanks for your support! This whole thing has been incredibly helpful to me.
Dazedconfuzed is offline  
post #142 of 232 (permalink) Old 04-11-2017, 03:12 PM Thread Starter
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 140
Re: Question on becoming emotionally self-reliant and self-sufficient

Incidentally, my wife did offer today that she is really getting serious about losing weight (she has really put on a ton of weight in the last few years). She jokingly remarked, "Maybe you could forgive my *****y behavior more if I looked hot again, lol..."

It's good that she can laugh about this stuff. She knows she isn't being my ideal wife, either, and at least she is doing some work on her own to address that.
Dazedconfuzed is offline  
post #143 of 232 (permalink) Old 04-11-2017, 03:13 PM
jld
Forum Supporter
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 19,544
Re: Question on becoming emotionally self-reliant and self-sufficient

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dazedconfuzed View Post
Yep. Thanks. That's been one of the big takeaways I've gotten from this thread. Again, I can't control or change anyone else, but I can lead by example.



Yeah, I like this. If nothing else, it might make her pause before throwing out her random passive aggressive comments. She will know that *I* won't just drop it, and that she will have to have a conversation about it eventually, if not immediately.



I appreciate that. That is something I came to realize quite a while ago, actually, and I've been trying to create for myself for some time. I just haven't been particularly effective at accomplishing that. This conversation, however, has done a lot to help me focus my mind and my efforts to that end.

I may never achieve being the financial leader again (or, at least, a financial equal, which is usually what I was), but I can do what I can with what I've got. Being an emotional/'spiritual' leader would make a big difference for not just my wife, but for my son. I want him to have a father he can really look up to, feel proud of, and draw strength from. And I know my wife would like for me to 'be the boss' with her again, too.

Thanks for your support! This whole thing has been incredibly helpful to me.
My pleasure!

What are the things she says that feel passive aggressive to you? Maybe we can break them down and figure out the underlying message.

One of the deepest feminine pleasures is when a man stands full, present, and unreactive in the midst of his woman's emotional storms. When he stays present with her, and loves her through the layers of wildness and closure, then she feels his trustability, and she can relax. -- David Deida, The Way of the Superior Man
jld is offline  
post #144 of 232 (permalink) Old 04-11-2017, 03:13 PM
jld
Forum Supporter
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 19,544
Re: Question on becoming emotionally self-reliant and self-sufficient

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dazedconfuzed View Post
Incidentally, my wife did offer today that she is really getting serious about losing weight (she has really put on a ton of weight in the last few years). She jokingly remarked, "Maybe you could forgive my *****y behavior more if I looked hot again, lol..."

It's good that she can laugh about this stuff. She knows she isn't being my ideal wife, either, and at least she is doing some work on her own to address that.
Self-awareness.

One of the deepest feminine pleasures is when a man stands full, present, and unreactive in the midst of his woman's emotional storms. When he stays present with her, and loves her through the layers of wildness and closure, then she feels his trustability, and she can relax. -- David Deida, The Way of the Superior Man
jld is offline  
post #145 of 232 (permalink) Old 04-11-2017, 03:38 PM
Moderator
 
farsidejunky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 7,606
Re: Question on becoming emotionally self-reliant and self-sufficient

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dazedconfuzed View Post
Working her a$$ off, with almost singular focus, to both advance her career so she can provide a good material life for her family and to ensure that my son has the best opportunities available to him (and she generally does take the lead on things like researching schools, summer camps, after-school programs, educational opportunities/activities, etc).

When I push her to be there more for 'us', she generally points me to the above. She wishes that I could just love her for what she already is doing, rather than making her feel like she still has to do more for 'us.'

Though I usually point out that it's not just a 'doing' thing, but a 'being' thing. I realize that the '15 hours a week' thing (or whatever) may be a logistical nightmare at this point, but I would like to feel closeness and intimacy with my partner regardless.
Nothing in here is stuff she does for the marriage, other than trying not to treat you like crap. What a stellar way to treat your spouse.

Here is a simple exercise. Ask her to list all of the things she does for you. You list work, providing, advancing her career, researching schools for your child, etc.

Question: If you were to die tomorrow, how much of that stuff would she still do?

Answer: All of it. Why? Because it is not for you; it is for her and your child.

You are lying to yourself if you believe any of that is for you. You may bear some benefit from it because you happen to be a member of the family, but none of it is being done for you. Period.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dazedconfuzed View Post
Case in point - I learned of our second pregnancy three years ago (something I had grave reservations about, given that I thought our marriage was already in enough trouble already) because I read a letter that came in the mail from her doctor. That just seemed so wrong to me (but par for the course at that point). She came home from work and had brought a piece of cake for me in order to celebrate 'the big announcement', but I just couldn't believe she didn't communicate the news directly as soon as she knew the however many days before. It was weird...

The pregnancy ended in a miscarriage, and during that difficult time, she actually took off work and made time to talk. She said, "I miss talking with you", and I almost teared up, because that was the first time in a couple of years that I felt like she even wanted to be around me.
"Wife, the only thing stopping you is you."

Your wife has her ass planted firmly in the victim chair, and is quite comfortable there.

Your actions (and your therapists words) are enabling her to remain seated in said victim chair. She is unhappy, and it is all your fault. Convenient, that.

Did I link this for you yet? If not, read it, and read it very carefully. It will explain much in both of your behaviors.

https://www.lynneforrest.com/articles/2008/06/the-faces-of-victim/

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dazedconfuzed View Post
I wouldn't say perfectly content. She occasionally mentions that she, too, is unhappy with the marriage. And life in general. Nothing has really ended up being as she had hoped and dreamed. I didn't turn out to be the husband she had hoped I was, but she (unlike me) is just doing her best to deal with things and to not let the disappointments distract her from what needs to be done. She doesn't know why I can't just do the same thing.

She also sees me as needy, because (apparently) she feels that the reason we had such a 'perfect' marriage prior was because she was giving too much of herself to the marriage (something that I feel like I did as well, but whatever) and that she lost herself catering to me and my 'needs.' She doesn't want to do that again, nor does she feel like she even *can* do that again, given all the other needs in life. Harsh viewpoint to confront for me...
Here you are, trying to get back to a marriage you considered ideal, and she is telling you she never wants to be in a marriage like that again. Where is the compromise in those polar opposites?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dazedconfuzed View Post
Sex became more and more of an issue about seven years ago (during the tumultuous time of me losing my job, us moving to a bigger house, my dad dying and me being gone for weeks at a time trying to help my mom, etc). I could definitely feel her losing attraction for me. The bottom dropped out of our sex life after she got pregnant, and it's been mostly sexless ever since.

In fact, it was easy to establish when we got pregnant the second time - her gyno thought we had determined the conception date incorrectly (off by a couple weeks), but we had only had sex one time in the months prior, so we were pretty clear as to when conception actually took place. Turns out, of course, that the reason the gyno thought the conception date was different is because the fetus wasn't developing normally, which is what led to the miscarriage a few weeks later.
I am sorry that happened. I would not wish it upon anyone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dazedconfuzed View Post
She would claim that she is doing a lot of work on her end, mostly to try to be a better person and less of a ***** so we can have a harmonious life (to her credit, she has made progress - she tends to ***** and complain a lot less, and her passive-aggressive behavior and lashing out in frustration has definitely dialed back). She just feels like she is doing everything she can to keep the ship on course, and doesn't like the idea that she should somehow be doing more.
Please recognize what she is saying. She is unwilling to do more. Her ideal regarding marriage is either really screwed up, or she simply resents you so much that she is refusing to see the ideal anymore.

Please, please set your timeline. Without it, you will be dragging the corpse of your marriage for years into the future. Until that timeline, work your ass off to make it better, but allow yourself to recognize if/when the effort is fruitless, and pull the plug.


"Our ability to feel joy is directly related to how much pain we are willing to feel." - Mavash.

"The truth is, everyone is going to hurt you. You just got to find the ones worth suffering for." - Bob Marley
farsidejunky is online now  
post #146 of 232 (permalink) Old 04-11-2017, 03:41 PM
Moderator
 
farsidejunky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 7,606
Re: Question on becoming emotionally self-reliant and self-sufficient

This comment is the lone shimmer of hope I have seen from her in this thread.

The weight explains some. She does not like either you or herself, so not only are you bearing the brunt of how she feels about you, but also how she feels about herself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dazedconfuzed View Post
Incidentally, my wife did offer today that she is really getting serious about losing weight (she has really put on a ton of weight in the last few years). She jokingly remarked, "Maybe you could forgive my *****y behavior more if I looked hot again, lol..."

It's good that she can laugh about this stuff. She knows she isn't being my ideal wife, either, and at least she is doing some work on her own to address that.

"Our ability to feel joy is directly related to how much pain we are willing to feel." - Mavash.

"The truth is, everyone is going to hurt you. You just got to find the ones worth suffering for." - Bob Marley
farsidejunky is online now  
post #147 of 232 (permalink) Old 04-11-2017, 11:34 PM Thread Starter
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 140
Re: Question on becoming emotionally self-reliant and self-sufficient

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jessica38 View Post
It's fixable, but it will require that she work to improve the marriage too.
I think she is going about working to improve the marriage her own way, which is to work on herself first. I know she has been doing a lot of work on having compassion and giving up resentments. She is trying to open her heart to me again.

Quote:
1. Schedule 15 hours a week together to meet the top 4 emotional needs: intimate conversation, affection, recreational companionship, and sex.
While I sometimes feel like scheduling 15 hours a week may be trying to get blood from a stone, I have no doubt it would help.

The first thing to determine, though, is what she actually she's as her needs. As someone so independent and so averse to all things emotional (at least, overtly emotional - she is certainly as emotionally-driven as any other woman I know), that may prove to be a trick.

And is it bad that I feel like all of those are needs for me? lol

Quote:
2. Eliminate all lovebusters: withdrawal, criticism, contempt, anger, annoying habits.
I think this is where she has been working. I certainly notice that she has been trying to tone down the criticism, contempt, and anger, as well as being more 'open' to the idea that we can actually work together on things.

Quote:
You can lead by example here- if you change how you respond to your wife, she will likely change how she responds to you. Stay positive in your interactions with her.
And that is something I'm really taking to heart. I am committed to stopping my own passive aggressive behavior and negativity.

Quote:
Continue investigating her interaction/texts/contact with other men- if she has feelings for someone else (an EA) none of this will work. You'd have to bust up any relationship where another man is possibly meeting her emotional needs first, otherwise you're in competition with him and it will be hard to compete when he's a fun release from real life and you're....real life.
I totally get this.

Like I said, I almost wish I could blame the problems on something like an affair, instead of them being a result of her resentment of and contempt for me. The depth of her hurt is really disturbing to me.

I am no stranger to cheating and cheaters (unfortunately or fortunately, I'm not sure). Not only do I recognize the signs, but my gut feelings were pretty accurate as well. Because of that, and the fact that my wife would have had to completely change her standard MO (not likely, even under stress - her MO is driven by some pretty deep-rooted and powerful personality characteristics that I can't imagine would have suddenly lost their grip on her), I feel fairly confident that cheating isn't the issue. It's me/us.

And our problems started years ago and haven't changed much since. So either an affair has been going on under my (naturally suspicious and sensitive) nose for many years without my ever seeing a red flag or getting a strong gut feeling, or an affair isn't the culprit. If nothing else, I feel like I can do a pretty good accounting of everywhere she spends both her time and her energy. There aren't many outstanding questions or missing pieces, by my account.

Quote:
Give it a time frame to see if this works (6 months, 1 year).
Are you suggesting this for my own use, or that I use it as an ultimatum?

Quote:
In all of this, the ONE area I think you need to focus on independent of your marriage is fixing the job situation. This will not only make you more attractive to your wife, but it will prepare you to move on without her if she does not work with you to fix the marriage.
It does need to be done. I don't know that I'll be able to land the kind of job that will make me attractive to her (or most women I know, for that matter), especially within the next six months or year, but clearly that would be one way I can develop more independence. I gotta admit - I'm stopped by the overwhelm, but I'm just going to have to figure it out.
Dazedconfuzed is offline  
post #148 of 232 (permalink) Old 04-12-2017, 12:09 AM Thread Starter
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 140
Re: Question on becoming emotionally self-reliant and self-sufficient

Quote:
Originally Posted by farsidejunky View Post
Here is a simple exercise. Ask her to list all of the things she does for you. You list work, providing, advancing her career, researching schools for your child, etc.

Question: If you were to die tomorrow, how much of that stuff would she still do?

Answer: All of it. Why? Because it is not for you; it is for her and your child.
Well, and she would probably say that if she died, I would have to take over that stuff, and I am not even in as solid of a position to do so. I'm not sure I can win that particular comparative analysis.

Quote:
You are lying to yourself if you believe any of that is for you. You may bear some benefit from it because you happen to be a member of the family, but none of it is being done for you. Period.
Well, I tend to look at anything done for my child as something done for me, as his well-being is of utmost importance to me.

And I think she could easily make the same argument about my contributions. Yes, she benefits from my taking care of our domestic life as much as I can, but I would keep doing them (albeit with less workload and concern for her desires) if she were gone.

Quote:
Your wife has her ass planted firmly in the victim chair, and is quite comfortable there.
Yeah, we probably both are. This is where I need to lead by example.

Though I would say that both she and our therapist are encouraging me to stop holding on to the past and to move forward. My wife claims that that is what she is doing (or really trying to do), but I do know that I'm still harboring many hurts and resentments that are stopping me from really opening up again and moving forward. I'm not sure exactly how I am going to go about bringing down my walls, but clearly that needs to happen.

Quote:
She is unhappy, and it is all your fault. Convenient, that.
Well, at this point they may be right. My wife says that she has accepted me for who I am and is willing to forgive the past and move forward, but I haven't done the same. One of my problems is that I am no longer entirely sure of who she is (especially if she felt like she was playing a role for most of our many years together) and what our relationship is at this point.

Quote:
Did I link this for you yet? If not, read it, and read it very carefully. It will explain much in both of your behaviors.

https://www.lynneforrest.com/articles/2008/06/the-faces-of-victim/
The link seems to be dead. I tried to Google it as well, and came up empty handed.

Quote:
Here you are, trying to get back to a marriage you considered ideal, and she is telling you she never wants to be in a marriage like that again. Where is the compromise in those polar opposites?
Well, first of all, I do understand that having a child 'changes everything', so I know there is no going back to that previous ideal. But I'm just trying to figure out what *parts* of that ideal I can/should expect, and which were the result of my own self-centeredness, neediness, or stubbornness. My wife has said she feels like she was an 'enabler' for me and/or that she may have been a 'narcissistic supply' for me. It's been hard to establish what is real and what isn't around all this stuff.


Quote:
Until that timeline, work your ass off to make it better, but allow yourself to recognize if/when the effort is fruitless, and pull the plug.
First I have to work on getting myself where I want to be in life, I think. If it is even possible at this point, but what else am I gonna do?

I have much more to lose by pulling the plug than my wife does (before factoring in the impacts on our son), and that isn't a good position to be in, even when a couple is healthy.
Dazedconfuzed is offline  
post #149 of 232 (permalink) Old 04-12-2017, 12:11 AM Thread Starter
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 140
Re: Question on becoming emotionally self-reliant and self-sufficient

Quote:
Originally Posted by farsidejunky View Post
She does not like either you or herself
Hey, and I do not like either her or myself! Perhaps we're destined for each other at this point! hahaha...ugh.
Dazedconfuzed is offline  
post #150 of 232 (permalink) Old 04-12-2017, 05:45 AM
Moderator
 
farsidejunky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 7,606
Re: Question on becoming emotionally self-reliant and self-sufficient

Try this one:

https://www.lynneforrest.com/article...ces-of-victim/

Or Google Lynne Forrest Three Faces Of Victim.

"Our ability to feel joy is directly related to how much pain we are willing to feel." - Mavash.

"The truth is, everyone is going to hurt you. You just got to find the ones worth suffering for." - Bob Marley
farsidejunky is online now  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on Talk About Marriage, you must first register. Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

Important! Your username will be visible to the public next to anything you post and could show up in search engines like Google. If you are concerned about anonymity, PLEASE choose a username that will not be recognizable to anyone you know.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools Search this Thread
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome