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post #16 of 64 (permalink) Old 04-04-2017, 03:04 PM
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Re: The confusion of it all

Would she be willing to give marital coaching a try? Have you seen Marriage Builders? I know I talk about their program a lot here, and other posters do too. I like MB because you can do it from home and it gives concrete steps to take to improve communication and rebuild intimacy and Dr. Harley's work is based on research that works for a lot of couples recovering from affairs. It doesn't focus on the past. I've also heard Dr. Harley say on his radio show that a lot of MC doesn't work because it focuses too much on the issues instead of focusing on rebuilding intimacy. I think their program could really help you guys. It might be worth it to give your marriage the best shot you can.

I also want to add that I think your wife is lucky that you're here trying to improve the communication in your marriage. It really sounds like that is the main issue between you two and that can be fixed if you're able to convince her to try.

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post #17 of 64 (permalink) Old 04-04-2017, 03:53 PM Thread Starter
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Re: The confusion of it all

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Would she be willing to give marital coaching a try? Have you seen Marriage Builders? I know I talk about their program a lot here, and other posters do too. I like MB because you can do it from home and it gives concrete steps to take to improve communication and rebuild intimacy and Dr. Harley's work is based on research that works for a lot of couples recovering from affairs. It doesn't focus on the past. I've also heard Dr. Harley say on his radio show that a lot of MC doesn't work because it focuses too much on the issues instead of focusing on rebuilding intimacy. I think their program could really help you guys. It might be worth it to give your marriage the best shot you can.

I also want to add that I think your wife is lucky that you're here trying to improve the communication in your marriage. It really sounds like that is the main issue between you two and that can be fixed if you're able to convince her to try.
Thanks Jess. I know we have our issues, we've both made mistakes and bad decisions, but it really does come down to our communication, it's horrible and it has been. As far as counseling, the counselor we had seen was focused on moving forward on our relationship as a whole and not bringing up past issues, which was what I liked about him. She still stands pretty firmly that she doesn't believe in counseling, even though she saw an IC years ago and said it did help. I think her problem is that she's been avoiding our problems for so long and as argued my points at every turn, that I think she doesn't want to go to counseling because she's afraid of being proven wrong. She's always been very strong minded and always likes things her way, and as much as I've always let her have her way on most things, the things I really disagree with always turn into an argument.

My biggest issue right now is getting her to open up and just talk about everything without her getting defensive and getting into an argument. That's one of the big reasons I haven't given up just yet. If I can just get her to open up, admit where she was wrong and just make an effort, I think we'll be ok. But she doesn't want to seem to do that.
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post #18 of 64 (permalink) Old 04-04-2017, 04:05 PM
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Re: The confusion of it all

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So many of you regulars have probably seen my post about the problems with my marriage, or at least the recent problems. Long story short, I had and was caught in an EA that never got physical, my wife was caught texting with another man and from everything I've seen during my investigation, it was an EA that never got physical. More recently I found a suggestive text on her phone from a different man that she said was nothing more than an unsolicited text. Again, through my investigating I have found that it was nothing more than an unsolicited text.

What confuses me is this, for about 2 years now we have been having problems. Each time something has happened we have spoken about it and trying to work past things. Within the past couple weeks I have noticed her making an effort, showing more affection, talking more about random interests and not work or our problems, things like that. It hasn't been a great effort, but it's much more than I've seen. But then out of nowhere there's a mood swing where once again it seems like she doesn't want me around, and that mood swing can go on unprovoked for a couple days.

I have asked her many times over the last two years if she wants to stay married and if she wants to try and work on things, and the only answer I've gotten is "I'm not sure, I need to feel comfortable in our relationship again before I can make a decision" Now I know what everyone is going to say, "Why are you still together if that's her answer?" And I do agree, but then there are those times where it really does feel like she's making a real effort and things improve. I can understand her not wanting to give me a direct answer to the question, she is stubborn, always wants her way, and never likes to show her hand until she's ready. She's always been like that and it is something I do like about her, or at least did up until the problems started. But the back and forth of one week seeing an effort and things are good, then back to she wants nothing to do with me for a day or two and then this little truce kind of period before things improve again just confuses me.

I am really at the point that I'm ready to file for divorce because I just don't want to live like this anymore. But on the other hand, when things are good, they're good, and the good days have been outweighing the bad days more and more recently. I go back and forth between how I've been living like this for awhile now so what's a little while longer, to I'm done with this I can't deal with it anymore. I do still love her and the last thing I want to do is divorce, but I keep finding myself more and more on the fence about all it.
It's in her nature.
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post #19 of 64 (permalink) Old 04-04-2017, 04:06 PM
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Re: The confusion of it all

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Thanks Jess. I know we have our issues, we've both made mistakes and bad decisions, but it really does come down to our communication, it's horrible and it has been. As far as counseling, the counselor we had seen was focused on moving forward on our relationship as a whole and not bringing up past issues, which was what I liked about him. She still stands pretty firmly that she doesn't believe in counseling, even though she saw an IC years ago and said it did help. I think her problem is that she's been avoiding our problems for so long and as argued my points at every turn, that I think she doesn't want to go to counseling because she's afraid of being proven wrong. She's always been very strong minded and always likes things her way, and as much as I've always let her have her way on most things, the things I really disagree with always turn into an argument.

That's not going to work out well for her then. She's married and needs to take your feelings/needs into consideration. I get that she's shut down, but her independent behavior is killing your marriage. It's time to let her know that you're no longer willing to live this way and she's got to meet you halfway here and go back to the MC, if she wants to stay married to you. But you need to hold up your end too- be nice to her, show her what's in it for her by working with you on your marriage (not saying you're not nice, just that resentment and hurt can impede success).

My biggest issue right now is getting her to open up and just talk about everything without her getting defensive and getting into an argument. That's one of the big reasons I haven't given up just yet. If I can just get her to open up, admit where she was wrong and just make an effort, I think we'll be ok. But she doesn't want to seem to do that.
Can you let her know that going back to the MC is a non-negotiable? If she's defensive, she's not open to listening to you. You likely need the MC to intervene and help improve the communication. I'd approach it like it isn't all on her- "I know we both have work to do to improve our marriage. I think we need help with communicating our needs to each other. I'm not happy in this marriage and I want to work together with you to fix things, for the sake of our family." Have you had this talk with her? Set the appointment yourself, weekly. Make up your mind that if things do not improve in 6 months, you'll initiate a separation, but only after you've had this talk and committed to giving it your BEST shot- doing all the work the MC recommends.
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post #20 of 64 (permalink) Old 04-04-2017, 04:19 PM
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Re: The confusion of it all

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Originally Posted by AtMyEnd View Post
Thanks Jess. I know we have our issues, we've both made mistakes and bad decisions, but it really does come down to our communication, it's horrible and it has been. As far as counseling, the counselor we had seen was focused on moving forward on our relationship as a whole and not bringing up past issues, which was what I liked about him. She still stands pretty firmly that she doesn't believe in counseling, even though she saw an IC years ago and said it did help. I think her problem is that she's been avoiding our problems for so long and as argued my points at every turn, that I think she doesn't want to go to counseling because she's afraid of being proven wrong. She's always been very strong minded and always likes things her way, and as much as I've always let her have her way on most things, the things I really disagree with always turn into an argument.

My biggest issue right now is getting her to open up and just talk about everything without her getting defensive and getting into an argument. That's one of the big reasons I haven't given up just yet. If I can just get her to open up, admit where she was wrong and just make an effort, I think we'll be ok. But she doesn't want to seem to do that.
You are kinda in the same boat I am and my wife's ultra strong will is the problem. She will never admit to doing anything wrong, it's always Mr. *******'s fault. At this point, the probability of all of the sudden after years of admitting to nothing being her fault to actually owning at least part of the blame is pretty much nil. I'll give you props for trying but I think you're wasting your time. She is not going to go willingly into an environment where she could possibly be proven wrong.

"I've paid double for every transgression I've ever made and that motel and that boat are little to ask for"
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post #21 of 64 (permalink) Old 04-04-2017, 04:20 PM
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Re: The confusion of it all

One of the single best things you can do for someone who is defiant and overly independent is to give them exactly what they say they want.

It rarely works out the way they expect.

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Thanks Jess. I know we have our issues, we've both made mistakes and bad decisions, but it really does come down to our communication, it's horrible and it has been. As far as counseling, the counselor we had seen was focused on moving forward on our relationship as a whole and not bringing up past issues, which was what I liked about him. She still stands pretty firmly that she doesn't believe in counseling, even though she saw an IC years ago and said it did help. I think her problem is that she's been avoiding our problems for so long and as argued my points at every turn, that I think she doesn't want to go to counseling because she's afraid of being proven wrong. She's always been very strong minded and always likes things her way, and as much as I've always let her have her way on most things, the things I really disagree with always turn into an argument.

My biggest issue right now is getting her to open up and just talk about everything without her getting defensive and getting into an argument. That's one of the big reasons I haven't given up just yet. If I can just get her to open up, admit where she was wrong and just make an effort, I think we'll be ok. But she doesn't want to seem to do 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
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post #22 of 64 (permalink) Old 04-04-2017, 04:30 PM
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Re: The confusion of it all

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You are kinda in the same boat I am and my wife's ultra strong will is the problem. She will never admit to doing anything wrong, it's always Mr. *******'s fault. At this point, the probability of all of the sudden after years of admitting to nothing being her fault to actually owning at least part of the blame is pretty much nil. I'll give you props for trying but I think you're wasting your time. She is not going to go willingly into an environment where she could possibly be proven wrong.
Have you tried? I'm sure you have, but I mean, have you explained to her (or even better, had a MC explain to her) that independent behavior kills marriages? That interdependency is necessary for a marriage to thrive? I ask because independent behavior has been an issue in my marriage and it was only through Marriage Builders describing it as a MAJOR lovebuster that was hurting my love for my husband that he was finally able to see that I wasn't trying to CONTROL him, I just wanted to be treated like a partner and have him take my feelings into consideration like I do his (it comes more naturally to many women, obviously not your wife though).
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post #23 of 64 (permalink) Old 04-04-2017, 04:32 PM
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Re: The confusion of it all

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One of the single best things you can do for someone who is defiant and overly independent is to give them exactly what they say they want.

Only after they clearly understand that independent behavior is destroying the marriage and that it isn't just the spouse trying to control them though. I think many people truly don't understand that difference, especially if they married later in life, which is increasingly more common.

It rarely works out the way they expect.
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post #24 of 64 (permalink) Old 04-04-2017, 04:51 PM
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Re: The confusion of it all

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Have you tried? I'm sure you have, but I mean, have you explained to her (or even better, had a MC explain to her) that independent behavior kills marriages? That interdependency is necessary for a marriage to thrive? I ask because independent behavior has been an issue in my marriage and it was only through Marriage Builders describing it as a MAJOR lovebuster that was hurting my love for my husband that he was finally able to see that I wasn't trying to CONTROL him, I just wanted to be treated like a partner and have him take my feelings into consideration like I do his (it comes more naturally to many women, obviously not your wife though).
Jessica, I wish you were right but she takes anything that I suggest whether it's MC or anything else as an attempt by me to control her. As you say, all I have ever wanted in this marriage is to be treated like a partner instead of a beast of burden. I want her love, always have, but I think after 27 years of a totally broken marriage I'm unlikely to get it and I'm not even sure at this point I would even want it if she did give it to me. I've spent so much time trying to fix this I'm not sure what else to do or what else to try that I think mentally I just gave up.

I think back to the beginning when things were good before we were married. We worked with the precision of a Swiss watch. Now I realize that was only her attempt to get me to marry her. It was all fake. How do you fix it now??

"I've paid double for every transgression I've ever made and that motel and that boat are little to ask for"
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post #25 of 64 (permalink) Old 04-04-2017, 04:53 PM
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Re: The confusion of it all

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Jessica, I wish you were right but she takes anything that I suggest whether it's MC or anything else as an attempt by me to control her. As you say, all I have ever wanted in this marriage is to be treated like a partner instead of a beast of burden. I want her love, always have, but I think after 27 years of a totally broken marriage I'm unlikely to get it and I'm not even sure at this point I would even want it if she did give it to me. I've spent so much time trying to fix this I'm not sure what else to do or what else to try that I think mentally I just gave up.

I think back to the beginning when things were good before we were married. We worked with the precision of a Swiss watch. Now I realize that was only her attempt to get me to marry her. It was all fake. How do you fix it now??
She sounds dreadful, I am so sorry. I do admire your staying for the sake of your children though. I hope you find great joy in them, it sounds to me like you do.

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post #26 of 64 (permalink) Old 04-04-2017, 05:38 PM
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Re: The confusion of it all

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She sounds dreadful, I am so sorry. I do admire your staying for the sake of your children though
@jb02157 is staying married because he thinks he'll be wiped out financially, he's posted as much several times.
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post #27 of 64 (permalink) Old 04-04-2017, 06:01 PM
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Re: The confusion of it all

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@jb02157 is staying married because he thinks he'll be wiped out financially, he's posted as much several times.
I've seen that, and I think that's a big reason why many people stay in unhappy marriages, especially if kids are involved. There really are only 2 choices- fix the situation (even if that means leaving it) or accepting it.
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post #28 of 64 (permalink) Old 04-04-2017, 08:58 PM
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Re: The confusion of it all

You are a talker not a doer and your wife knows this very well.
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post #29 of 64 (permalink) Old 04-04-2017, 09:19 PM
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Re: The confusion of it all

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Thanks Jess. I know we have our issues, we've both made mistakes and bad decisions, but it really does come down to our communication, it's horrible and it has been. As far as counseling, the counselor we had seen was focused on moving forward on our relationship as a whole and not bringing up past issues, which was what I liked about him. She still stands pretty firmly that she doesn't believe in counseling, even though she saw an IC years ago and said it did help. I think her problem is that she's been avoiding our problems for so long and as argued my points at every turn, that I think she doesn't want to go to counseling because she's afraid of being proven wrong. She's always been very strong minded and always likes things her way, and as much as I've always let her have her way on most things, the things I really disagree with always turn into an argument.

My biggest issue right now is getting her to open up and just talk about everything without her getting defensive and getting into an argument. That's one of the big reasons I haven't given up just yet. If I can just get her to open up, admit where she was wrong and just make an effort, I think we'll be ok. But she doesn't want to seem to do that.
Hi @AtMyEnd

Thanks for all your messages.

There have been a number of points that various members have made which are valid but I'd like to tackle this from a slightly different angle.

What you're going through is not easy. When a relationship is not experiencing true love and passion and there is poor communication, then it can be extremely painful and bring out the greatest fears within us.

Firstly I honour you for wanting to make an effort here to improve. Lots of guys walk out on this situation so your stickability is to be admired.

I think to help resolve your situation, it's important to get to the heart of what's real. The short of it is that, IMO, your partners needs weren't being met. In my work, i've never come across a couple where each partners needs were being met at high levels and then they still felt the need to cheat or engage in EA's.

So the first question you need to ask yourself if - what does she truly need? What is it that she's screaming out for?

Secondly, there has been mention of the difficulties you have faced communicating with her. The most important thing here is to ensure that an environment is created where she feels safe enough to vocalise her thoughts and emotions and feel truly understood. She needs to feel like you aren't going to get defensive or lose the plot if she was to speak her truth.
This is often the hardest part here because men, in general, really battle with criticism because it ultimately brings out their greatest fear that they aren't good enough. Hence, all the defensiveness which creates a cycle of communication that never serves either party. So in this situation, you need to drop any sort of defensiveness and come purely from your heart. Listen to the messages, the underlying messages and come from a place where you are serving her.

Thirdly - you mentioned that she changes her tune regularly which ultimately confuses you. This is just the nature of the feminine energy - it does go through peaks and troughs and its important for you to stay strong, constant and as her rock during all this time. Show her that you are prepared to fight tooth and nail for her if you truly love her.

Remember, love is about giving, not getting. As long as you are stuck in the mode of "she's not doing this, she's not doing that", then you playing the game at a very low level and you are setting the wrong foundations.

In my personal opinion, given the length of time you have been together and the fact that you have kids, you owe it to all parties involved to give everything you can for the next 60 days minimum. Serve from the heart, meet her needs in the way that she needs it and if at the end of that time, things aren't shifting, then you can choose to make plans for the future.

Hope that all makes sense.

Thanks
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post #30 of 64 (permalink) Old 04-05-2017, 08:21 AM Thread Starter
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Re: The confusion of it all

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Hi @AtMyEnd

Thanks for all your messages.

There have been a number of points that various members have made which are valid but I'd like to tackle this from a slightly different angle.

What you're going through is not easy. When a relationship is not experiencing true love and passion and there is poor communication, then it can be extremely painful and bring out the greatest fears within us.

Firstly I honour you for wanting to make an effort here to improve. Lots of guys walk out on this situation so your stickability is to be admired.

I think to help resolve your situation, it's important to get to the heart of what's real. The short of it is that, IMO, your partners needs weren't being met. In my work, i've never come across a couple where each partners needs were being met at high levels and then they still felt the need to cheat or engage in EA's.

So the first question you need to ask yourself if - what does she truly need? What is it that she's screaming out for?

Secondly, there has been mention of the difficulties you have faced communicating with her. The most important thing here is to ensure that an environment is created where she feels safe enough to vocalise her thoughts and emotions and feel truly understood. She needs to feel like you aren't going to get defensive or lose the plot if she was to speak her truth.
This is often the hardest part here because men, in general, really battle with criticism because it ultimately brings out their greatest fear that they aren't good enough. Hence, all the defensiveness which creates a cycle of communication that never serves either party. So in this situation, you need to drop any sort of defensiveness and come purely from your heart. Listen to the messages, the underlying messages and come from a place where you are serving her.

Thirdly - you mentioned that she changes her tune regularly which ultimately confuses you. This is just the nature of the feminine energy - it does go through peaks and troughs and its important for you to stay strong, constant and as her rock during all this time. Show her that you are prepared to fight tooth and nail for her if you truly love her.

Remember, love is about giving, not getting. As long as you are stuck in the mode of "she's not doing this, she's not doing that", then you playing the game at a very low level and you are setting the wrong foundations.

In my personal opinion, given the length of time you have been together and the fact that you have kids, you owe it to all parties involved to give everything you can for the next 60 days minimum. Serve from the heart, meet her needs in the way that she needs it and if at the end of that time, things aren't shifting, then you can choose to make plans for the future.

Hope that all makes sense.

Thanks
It does make sense. And the main reason I have been backing off lately and not pushing any issues is because she's told me that she needs to feel peace and to feel comfortable with our relationship again before she feels she can start trying to work on things. After reading and posting on these forums, and reading other articles and books, I do see where I have gone wrong trying to work on things and I understand that now. Lately when we do talk about things I don't offer up my opinion as easily and openly as I used to, instead I just listen to her. If she asks a question or asks for any opinion I do give it to her, but I'm not as free with my thoughts as I used to be. Since I've been doing that I have seen a difference, but like I said, it's the random mood swings for no known reason that throw me off.

Personally I have dropped all expectations of her other than the typical things regarding our house and our son. That has seemed to help a lot with my attitude. I have told her that she needs to do the same, but as must as she's agreed I don't think she has. Her thinking always seems to revert back to thinking about how I used to be in the past before I really started making an effort for all this. I do plan on giving things some more time, most likely through the summer and fall, we always seem to spend the most time together and have the most fun together during the spring, summer and early fall, so I'll see what happens through then and go from there.
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