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post #76 of 271 (permalink) Old 03-24-2017, 01:21 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Question on becoming emotionally self-reliant and self-sufficient

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Originally Posted by farsidejunky View Post
Dazed:
You are a man first, a husband second, and a father third. Those are the order of your priorities. Never forget that.
You and our marriage counselor are of one mind on that, lol. Definitely a goal for me.

I feel like, before I had a kid (and lost my job), that was more true. My life, my mission, come along for the ride, that sort of thing. Though I really did love being a husband.

My wife, however, felt that she lost too much of herself in that dynamic, that she just went along with me and 'spoiled me', perhaps even fearful to cross me (though my hand to God I swear that she had a blast most of the time herself), and now the chickens have come home roost, as it were.

Incidentally, if you don't mind my asking, where did you learn that? Is it just conventional wisdom, or is there something more specific?

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The only thing that has changed in this situation is you.
I'm clear on my own failings, yes.

I specifically avoided MC for a long time because of this. One, because I am actually not a huge fan of marriage counseling in general, but two, because I realized that, no matter where I go, there I am. The problem always starts with me. Get my **** together first, then start working on the things around me.

I started MC, however, because I realized that I was not making any progress individually, and part of it was the ongoing dysfunction at home. I intend to get back to working on myself solely once my wife and I can stop reactivating each other and walking on eggshells around each other.

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A healthy single parent household is better than modeling a dysfunctional but married family.
And a healthy functional marriage is better than both.

I don't want to leave when I am at my most disempowered. If I'm going to leave, I want to do so when I'm empowered to do so, not because I can't hack it where I am.

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However, you have to be willing to risk it all to find out...Or just continue as is while your soul is sucked dry.
As I mentioned elsewhere, I get how much *I'm* sucking my soul dry. All the feeling sorry for myself, being sad, feeling lonely, feeling neglected and worthless, all of it - it's crippling me.

I'm present to the idea that we can't always choose our circumstances (or our relationships), but we can choose our reactions. My reactions have been disempowering and literally sucking the life from me (and from my wife, I'm sure, and even my son, which is a terrifying thought). All my energy (and thusly, not an insignificant amount of time, too, I'm sure) is going into that disempowered reaction. The first thing to do is to cut the resentment and frustration and loneliness and depression and self-pity/self-loathing. Easier said than done, but I get now just how much it is costing me. Life can still suck, but I don't have to make it worse with my reaction.

Yesterday, I had a moment of energy that I haven't felt in a long time. It was relatively short, but it reminded me of what can be. I am starting to tap into it.

Thank you for helping me see my way.

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post #77 of 271 (permalink) Old 03-24-2017, 01:32 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Question on becoming emotionally self-reliant and self-sufficient

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Hmmm, it's pride; unfortunately a double edged sword.
Truer words have never been written, I think. 'Pride' came out of my mouth in MC recently, though I can't remember exactly why it did.

I've always had pride. Often, it has served me well over the years. It has been a great protection, without my feeling like I have had to be 'guarded' or alone. But sometimes, like in the last few years, I can see it working against me. Maybe pride goeth before a fall? lol
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post #78 of 271 (permalink) Old 03-24-2017, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Jessica38 View Post
You are both putting your son first. This has to stop. You need to focus on improving your marriage.
Maybe.

The reason I try to take care of so much is so she can give him her love as much as possible. I don't feel like I'm trying to neglect her just to be with him, even if that sometimes happens.

I get the father -> mother -> child dynamic, and I respect it and try to support her in supporting him. I'm just not very good at accomplishing that, I suppose.
You have good intentions but I'm trying to point out that they may be misguided, especially since you admit you are not in love with your wife and are losing attraction for her, and since she's not interested in sex, she likely is too.

You can blame overwhelm, stress, child care, etc. but the truth is, we ALL have challenges to deal with and it takes real effort to work on the marriage and put that first, especially when you have children. Many couples fall out of love. It's the ones who recognize what's happening and work to fix it.

What are you doing to fix your work situation? Have you talked to her yet to let her know that's a priority? Are you scheduling time this week for more family time, in an effort to get closer to your wife and show her you're going to lead your family? Have you downloaded the book recommended yet?
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post #79 of 271 (permalink) Old 03-24-2017, 02:35 PM
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Also wanted to add that she's also not interested in spending time with you. She is not in love either. You need to fix this.
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post #80 of 271 (permalink) Old 03-24-2017, 03:42 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Question on becoming emotionally self-reliant and self-sufficient

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Originally Posted by farsidejunky View Post
What was your previous career field?
Essentially, Business Operations Management.

I had a 10+ year career with a large global IT corporation, doing a lot of back office work creating and implementing processes and tools. Process analysis, change management, intra-company client services, tool implementation and training, etc. I have worked in Project Management Offices (though not as a project manager) and in procurement departments (setting up tools - like ERP - and global processes for both). The latter had me working internationally and managing an team of buyers (despite my not having any buying experience myself).

The problem is, that was all over seven years ago. I definitely don't feel like I am able to talk about today's business needs and solutions, and honestly, I'm not even sure how I can get that back without spending a lot of time in business again.

I think that my quickest path to anything might be to try to be a buyer, though, unfortunately, buyers don't really make a whole lot of money, so I would have to get promoted quickly, or it really wouldn't be much of a solution.

Additionally, I'm going to have to figure out how to get both my attitude and energy up so I can take that on in addition to everything I'm doing now. As you say, I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired. The first thing to do is to stop enabling that by wallowing in it. Just suck it up, stop thinking about what I don't have and start thinking about what needs to get done and how to get it done as productively as possible.

Last edited by Dazedconfuzed; 03-24-2017 at 04:20 PM.
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post #81 of 271 (permalink) Old 03-24-2017, 09:03 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Question on becoming emotionally self-reliant and self-sufficient

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I bet you have more qualities than you think.

Have you ever made a list of all the wonderful things about yourself?

Think about all the nice things people have told you about yourself over the course of your life. That could be a good thing to refer to when you're feeling down.
Sure. Everyone has qualities and wonderful things and many nice things said about them.

I'm not so sure that qualities, even nice and wonderful ones, make a man valuable. They may give him *potential* value, but a man is primarily valued for what he does and what he accomplishes in life.
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post #82 of 271 (permalink) Old 03-24-2017, 09:06 PM
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Re: Question on becoming emotionally self-reliant and self-sufficient

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Originally Posted by Dazedconfuzed View Post
Sure. Everyone has qualities and wonderful things and nice things that are said about them.

I'm not sure that qualities, even nice ones, are what makes a man valuable. They may give him *potential* value, but a man is primarily valued for what he does and what he accomplishes in life.
And you are surely bringing up a very nice, very smart little boy. That is a great contribution to society.

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
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post #83 of 271 (permalink) Old 03-24-2017, 11:08 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Question on becoming emotionally self-reliant and self-sufficient

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And you are surely bringing up a very nice, very smart little boy. That is a great contribution to society.
Haha, while you are not necessarily wrong, I'm not sure that that value is immediately recognized or appreciated.

It certainly isn't the sort of thing that commands respect. Which is relevant here, since respect is directly correlated to attraction for most women.

In fact, raising a very nice, very smart little boy, while definitely making a great contribution to society, is usually seen as 'doing your job' as a parent. Most people aren't really going to give accolades to someone for doing what they are supposed to be doing anyway.
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post #84 of 271 (permalink) Old 03-24-2017, 11:27 PM
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Re: Question on becoming emotionally self-reliant and self-sufficient

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Haha, while you are not necessarily wrong, I'm not sure that that value is immediately recognized or appreciated.

It certainly isn't the sort of thing that commands respect. Which is relevant here, since respect is directly correlated to attraction for most women.

In fact, raising a very nice, very smart little boy, while definitely making a great contribution to society, is usually seen as 'doing your job' as a parent. Most people aren't really going to give accolades to someone for doing what they are supposed to be doing anyway.
I hear you; I am a sahm. My husband is very supportive, but I know well the feelings of doubt and insecurity. I am lucky in that he always wanted me to be a sahm, and holds sahms in very high esteem.

It sounds like you are a devoted parent, OP. And you love your wife. And she loves you, too.

This is a challenging time of life for both of you. But I promise it will get easier. Your son will grow and need less direct and immediate care. There will be time for you and your wife to spend together. Some of it you two will spend basking in mutual satisfaction with your son.

Please believe in your work and in your worth, Dazed. It is valuable. You are not expendable. You are nurturing your son and your wife, and I bet they appreciate it more than they sometimes let on.

One more thought: I remember reading an article last year about how women, as they become breadwinners in ever increasing numbers, need to start viewing men as emotional supporters rather than financial ones. This can help them better adjust to new economic realities, and feel happy in their emerging family dynamics.

I can't seem to find it right now. But if I come across it, I will link it here for you. I really think it could be encouraging to your wife, and reassuring to you.

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
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post #85 of 271 (permalink) Old 04-03-2017, 03:54 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Question on becoming emotionally self-reliant and self-sufficient

Sorry for the lack of timely responses - I've been on vacation with the family, and where I was, there was no viable internet connection (nor much time), and writing responses on my phone seems to take forever.

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Originally Posted by jld View Post
I hear you; I am a sahm. My husband is very supportive, but I know well the feelings of doubt and insecurity. I am lucky in that he always wanted me to be a sahm, and holds sahms in very high esteem.
I hold SAHMs (and SAHPs) in high esteem as well. My whole life, if I were to ever have kids, I always held it as a goal to *not* have the sort of family that required a baby/child to spend their days in the primary care of a non-family member. Once my son was born, the thought of turning him over to strangers became even harder to entertain, though the circumstances for being a SAHP were not at all like the ideal that I had imagined (not to mention, my son turned out to be super high-maintenance in so many ways - had troubles feeding, wouldn't sleep ever, etc.).

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It sounds like you are a devoted parent, OP. And you love your wife. And she loves you, too.
I definitely care about my wife, whether there is 'love' present or not. As angry or resentful as I might be about the turns our marriage has taken, I really just want her to be happy and taken care of. That's why the idea of divorce has never really been an option - as much as I might find our marriage difficult and even untenable at times, the idea of ripping my son away from her - even if only for, say, half of the week - just seems unconscionably cruel, and it is hard for me to justify taking such action, no matter how bad things might be. I can't imagine anything worse you could do to another person than to deny them access to their child, even if it's just part of the time.

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Some of it you two will spend basking in mutual satisfaction with your son.
This is definitely the glue that keeps us together, as well as our history and, frankly, stubbornness. Seeing my son so happy, and so happy to be with mommy and daddy at the same time (something that, even at five, he expresses regularly) gives us a lot of satisfaction.

Quote:
One more thought: I remember reading an article last year about how women, as they become breadwinners in ever increasing numbers, need to start viewing men as emotional supporters rather than financial ones. This can help them better adjust to new economic realities, and feel happy in their emerging family dynamics.
While I think such sentiments are good *in theory*, I have little faith that they can be translated into reality. I think that sort of situation cuts against the very grain of the nature (or maybe nurture? either way...) of male/female attraction. My situation is certainly not unique - I know of no men IRL who have been able to keep their wives' respect as SAHDs/house husbands, unless they are simultaneously fulfilling their primary role as protector and provider in other ways (one successful guy I know has a trust fund and also a thriving side business that doesn't require much time investment on his part, for example).

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post #86 of 271 (permalink) Old 04-03-2017, 04:05 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Question on becoming emotionally self-reliant and self-sufficient

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Also wanted to add that she's also not interested in spending time with you. She is not in love either. You need to fix this.
Clearly, lol. I'm trying to figure out how to fix things without inadvertently making them worse (as seems to happen more often than not).

Events of the past week or so have shown me two things - first, there are some really serious issues that need to be addressed (she crossed a boundary a couple weeks ago, and that threw into stark relief just how deep-seated our issues remain), and second, that if we can just find a way to spend some time together and actually have conversations long enough to reach some kind of mutual understanding and resolution (instead of the usual 'we're going to have to talk about this later', with the 'later' part never actually happening), our connection might be able to be reestablished.
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post #87 of 271 (permalink) Old 04-03-2017, 04:10 PM
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Re: Question on becoming emotionally self-reliant and self-sufficient

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Clearly, lol. I'm trying to figure out how to fix things without inadvertently making them worse (as seems to happen more often than not).

Events of the past week or so have shown me two things - first, there are some really serious issues that need to be addressed (she crossed a boundary a couple weeks ago, and that threw into stark relief just how deep-seated our issues remain), and second, that if we can just find a way to spend some time together and actually have conversations long enough to reach some kind of mutual understanding and resolution (instead of the usual 'we're going to have to talk about this later', with the 'later' part never actually happening), our connection might be able to be reestablished.
I know you're trying but you haven't yet read the book I recommended to you. Totally fine if you don't wan to go that route, but realize, I read this and see you're making tons of mistakes here. First, time together should be FUN and spent meeting emotional needs, not hashing things out. This is very hard for me to do personally in my own marriage, so I got stuck on just this point alone in trying to reconnect with my husband last year. You really need to read the book if you want a concrete plan.
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post #88 of 271 (permalink) Old 04-03-2017, 04:45 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Question on becoming emotionally self-reliant and self-sufficient

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I know you're trying but you haven't yet read the book I recommended to you.
I fully intend to read it. My 'reading time' is unfortunately limited (I get through most books by listening to them on Audible), but I am intrigued by what I've read.

I did bring up his concept of 'needs' to my wife yesterday, and she seemed open to discussing them. Particularly, that she apparently has felt that conversation and affection are needs that I'm not meeting (it's still weird to me that someone who doesn't find me particularly sexually attractive or respectable would want affection from me, but apparently her view of me doesn't affect her desire for me to provide those things). I have actually taken on offering her hugs when opportunities arise, and she was way more receptive to them than I would have guessed. I also have taken on making sure I ask her about her work, what she is doing, what her days look like, etc. She has definitely indicated she would like me to ask her more about her day and the like, so I'm trying to find appropriate avenues for accomplishing that (getting the timing right on that is critical, I find).

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First, time together should be FUN and spent meeting emotional needs, not hashing things out. This is very hard for me to do personally in my own marriage, so I got stuck on just this point alone in trying to reconnect with my husband last year.
Yeah, I can see that. My wife has often said that she just wishes we could be a happy family, and that she resents my bringing up our troubles instead of just focusing on being happy.

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You really need to read the book if you want a concrete plan.
It's at the top of my list. I would definitely benefit from getting more substantial details that might allow me to formulate a workable plan. 15 hours of one-on-one time a week sounds like a dream, given that I definitely see 'recreational companionship' as something I really miss. If that book can show me a way to make that happen (or even a way to get half of that) without engendering additional resentments, it will be worth it's weight in gold, lol.
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post #89 of 271 (permalink) Old 04-03-2017, 04:58 PM
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Re: Question on becoming emotionally self-reliant and self-sufficient

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I fully intend to read it. My 'reading time' is unfortunately limited (I get through most books by listening to them on Audible), but I am intrigued by what I've read.

I did bring up his concept of 'needs' to my wife yesterday, and she seemed open to discussing them. Particularly, that she apparently has felt that conversation and affection are needs that I'm not meeting (it's still weird to me that someone who doesn't find me particularly sexually attractive or respectable would want affection from me, but apparently her view of me doesn't affect her desire for me to provide those things). I have actually taken on offering her hugs when opportunities arise, and she was way more receptive to them than I would have guessed. I also have taken on making sure I ask her about her work, what she is doing, what her days look like, etc. She has definitely indicated she would like me to ask her more about her day and the like, so I'm trying to find appropriate avenues for accomplishing that (getting the timing right on that is critical, I find).



Yeah, I can see that. My wife has often said that she just wishes we could be a happy family, and that she resents my bringing up our troubles instead of just focusing on being happy.



It's at the top of my list. I would definitely benefit from getting more substantial details that might allow me to formulate a workable plan. 15 hours of one-on-one time a week sounds like a dream, given that I definitely see 'recreational companionship' as something I really miss. If that book can show me a way to make that happen (or even a way to get half of that) without engendering additional resentments, it will be worth it's weight in gold, lol.
The book will tell you how to meet those needs for your wife and why they're important. That alone may work to motivate her to begin meeting your needs too. If not, you can always ask specific advice on the Marriage Builders forum for getting your wife onboard with their plan, if you choose to go that route. Again, because you're the husband trying to improve your marriage, you have a great chance of success of leading your wife to do the same. She needs to put in the effort too, but she will likely be more motivated to do so once you learn how and what she needs from you.
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post #90 of 271 (permalink) Old 04-04-2017, 09:35 AM
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Re: Question on becoming emotionally self-reliant and self-sufficient

What boundary was crossed?

"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
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