The Toolkit of the Confident Man - Page 4 - Talk About Marriage
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post #46 of 196 (permalink) Old 01-13-2016, 01:59 AM
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Re: The Toolkit of the Confident Man

Interesting you choose a negative metaphor. A briar patch, when a rose bush would be more congruent with your self-described confidence (thorns but a rose worth keeping) .

Your statement tells me you are in denial about your own mindset. Seeing the briar patch and doing nothing about it while, in your case, passively hating it, is the problem.

I find your situation a bit sad. Only a bit since it's self-inflicted.

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post #47 of 196 (permalink) Old 01-13-2016, 09:51 PM Thread Starter
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Re: The Toolkit of the Confident Man

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Interesting you choose a negative metaphor. A briar patch, when a rose bush would be more congruent with your self-described confidence (thorns but a rose worth keeping) .

Your statement tells me you are in denial about your own mindset. Seeing the briar patch and doing nothing about it while, in your case, passively hating it, is the problem.

I find your situation a bit sad. Only a bit since it's self-inflicted.
LOL - you go with that.
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post #48 of 196 (permalink) Old 01-14-2016, 12:12 AM
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Re: The Toolkit of the Confident Man

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LOL - you go with that.
Of course I'm going with this. Isn't this what I said already?

Oh. I see. You think you are being clever by implying I need your permission.

Except, I already identified you as PA. This is exactly the type of gaslighting comment that I'm sure you try on your wife. Except I know I don't require your permission and I'm immune to gaslighting.

I don't know whether your behaviour is learned from engaging your wife or if you started out PA and this exacerbated the issues with your wife. Either way, if you want to change your situation you need to understand your own behaviour contribution to your situation.

That said, I do understand your unspoken message, which is that you are uncomfortable and want to halt exchange. A confident, assertive response would be to simply say so, instead of trying to shut down the discussion with PA comments. You should give this some thought.

So, peace out unless you ASK for the help you need. I certainly don't have a horse stake in your personal race.

Good luck.
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post #49 of 196 (permalink) Old 01-14-2016, 09:01 AM
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Re: The Toolkit of the Confident Man

A fine line between passive aggressive behavior and emotional communication. From the outside looking in, they almost appear the same.

But when your in it, it really is about intent isn't it?

You aren't doing it to change her, to punish or to teach her a lesson, but to stay out of the drama triangle.

You two have been at this a long time and have seemingly figured out what works for you both. Commendable.
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post #50 of 196 (permalink) Old 01-16-2016, 03:46 PM
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Re: The Toolkit of the Confident Man

I happen to think this is a great place for this discussion. Most of the men on this board were in this situation and never even knew it.

OP saying his wife is PD is not name calling if it is fact. Based on her history and the couples history in therapy I think we have to take him at his word. No different if a woman came here and called her husband an alcoholic. It is what it is.

My question to the OP is if this is a sustainable relationship? I know you love her but you really need to be on your toes 24/7.


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post #51 of 196 (permalink) Old 01-18-2016, 06:50 PM Thread Starter
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Re: The Toolkit of the Confident Man

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I happen to think this is a great place for this discussion. Most of the men on this board were in this situation and never even knew it.

OP saying his wife is PD is not name calling if it is fact. Based on her history and the couples history in therapy I think we have to take him at his word. No different if a woman came here and called her husband an alcoholic. It is what it is.

My question to the OP is if this is a sustainable relationship? I know you love her but you really need to be on your toes 24/7.


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I wouldn't call it being on my toes 24/7.

When you love yourself sufficiently, you no longer look to others to supply that which you are missing. It empowers you to appreciate them for what they are and - in my case - that is her loving me "in her way".

Will she ever be what an outsider would conclude is a "considerate" partner? Absolutely not. They would consider her selfish. She sees her children as an extension of herself and they can - literally - do no wrong. If they're called to account, this activates her PTSD and the result is vigorous defensiveness.

If you're at 50k, you can observe all of this - while enforcing your boundaries. It really has nothing to do with me - it has everything to do with her.

Now, before the catcalls begin - I'm certainly not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. But, I certainly won't be doing the laundry for people that won't speak to me and I would never clean up their overflowing bathroom wastebaskets full of feminine hygiene products that they can't be bothered to throw away.

I know the result of bringing these sorts of things up. So, I don't. But, I also AVOID the #3's associated with gritting my teeth and engaging in doormat behavior.

When it's time to stand up, I do it without emotion. We have the relationship we currently have. We just had our anniversary on New Year's Eve and it was the absolute hottest we've had in our entire marriage. There were no expectations about what "should" happen. We just went with what did.

Living down 8 or so years of screwed up occasions is part of this confidence. Just because you've blown it in the past doesn't mean you can't talk less and do more this time.
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post #52 of 196 (permalink) Old 01-18-2016, 06:53 PM
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Re: The Toolkit of the Confident Man

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You guys have likely figured out I'm married to a disordered spouse. People have asked me if I can ever have the "relationship I want" married to this person.

The answer is simple. We go into any endeavor with our vision of "how it will be". Then, we find out "how it is". We find out what our partner is capable of doing. Then we can make an informed decision.

Last night was a perfect example. My son was over to play darts (a weekly thing). I was out tossing the ball with my pit bull/lab hybrid. 57 pounds of pure muscle and (oftentimes) my only friend at home.

Our next door neighbor came over with his dogs. They spent the night running in the yard - having a blast. We cranked some tunes on my outdoor speakers. It lasted hours. The dog hasn't even made a sound this morning. A wonderful "guy's night". His wife was at the movies. My wife was running errands, but came home in the middle of it.

Instead of asking me to turn down the music, she started playing with the remote (pausing, turning it off). I eventually asked her for it. I also asked HER to set the volume so it wouldn't disturb her. She was intent on escalating the conflict. So she slept in the guest bedroom and left me a ridiculous note about how I don't care about her and she didn't feel we needed to sleep in the same bed.

Suffice it to say, I issued one (and only one) apology for not being sensitive to the difficulty she was having. I listened. When she started dumping her anger, I started walking away. She followed me to clarify. We eventually ended up having dynamite sex.

If you love them anyway, this is what you do. Do not be afraid of your wife's emotions. Friction is the root of attraction. She feels safe when you stand up to her.

Did I think it would be like this? LOL But, I've got the playbook. So, we adjust expectations and realize it ain't all bad
How often to make apologies like this?

Or more to the point....Why

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post #53 of 196 (permalink) Old 01-18-2016, 07:54 PM Thread Starter
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Re: The Toolkit of the Confident Man

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How often to make apologies like this?

Or more to the point....Why
Because I was in the wrong.

I always apologize if I miss something I should have seen. What I left out is that she was having a bad day and evening. It wasn't even on my radar screen. As a committed partner, it should be.

But, remember, when I apologize for something like this, I only do it once.
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post #54 of 196 (permalink) Old 01-18-2016, 10:34 PM
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Re: The Toolkit of the Confident Man

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I wouldn't call it being on my toes 24/7.



When you love yourself sufficiently, you no longer look to others to supply that which you are missing. It empowers you to appreciate them for what they are and - in my case - that is her loving me "in her way".



Will she ever be what an outsider would conclude is a "considerate" partner? Absolutely not. They would consider her selfish. She sees her children as an extension of herself and they can - literally - do no wrong. If they're called to account, this activates her PTSD and the result is vigorous defensiveness.



If you're at 50k, you can observe all of this - while enforcing your boundaries. It really has nothing to do with me - it has everything to do with her.



Now, before the catcalls begin - I'm certainly not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. But, I certainly won't be doing the laundry for people that won't speak to me and I would never clean up their overflowing bathroom wastebaskets full of feminine hygiene products that they can't be bothered to throw away.



I know the result of bringing these sorts of things up. So, I don't. But, I also AVOID the #3's associated with gritting my teeth and engaging in doormat behavior.



When it's time to stand up, I do it without emotion. We have the relationship we currently have. We just had our anniversary on New Year's Eve and it was the absolute hottest we've had in our entire marriage. There were no expectations about what "should" happen. We just went with what did.



Living down 8 or so years of screwed up occasions is part of this confidence. Just because you've blown it in the past doesn't mean you can't talk less and do more this time.

At 50k, I see something different.

From this perspective I see that a PD cannot give me what I need.

Now, your needs are, no doubt, different than mine. Nonetheless, a PD will never strive to meet those needs. They might know what they are but will only use them as a tool to manipulate.


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post #55 of 196 (permalink) Old 01-19-2016, 06:15 AM Thread Starter
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Re: The Toolkit of the Confident Man

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At 50k, I see something different.

From this perspective I see that a PD cannot give me what I need.

Now, your needs are, no doubt, different than mine. Nonetheless, a PD will never strive to meet those needs. They might know what they are but will only use them as a tool to manipulate.


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It's all about making informed choices and accepting the consequences of those choices. While there's been much speculation about "why" I posted this, those this, there are many people in limbo. Should I save the relationship? Well, if you're wanting to "save" it, these are the kind of decisions you need to make - and you need to be ready to live with them.

There's enough here for me. I don't put up with her crap. She's free to deal with her issues as she sees fit. Now, were she to take up with someone else and/or act out in any number of ways we routinely see - well then my ultimate decision would be different.

For you see, we're attracted to each other. That's never changed. That does function as a strong inner glue for the relationship. I find her witty and amusing.

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post #56 of 196 (permalink) Old 01-19-2016, 07:24 AM
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Re: The Toolkit of the Confident Man

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Originally Posted by ReturntoZero View Post
You guys have likely figured out I'm married to a disordered spouse. People have asked me if I can ever have the "relationship I want" married to this person.

The answer is simple. We go into any endeavor with our vision of "how it will be". Then, we find out "how it is". We find out what our partner is capable of doing. Then we can make an informed decision.

Last night was a perfect example. My son was over to play darts (a weekly thing). I was out tossing the ball with my pit bull/lab hybrid. 57 pounds of pure muscle and (oftentimes) my only friend at home.

Our next door neighbor came over with his dogs. They spent the night running in the yard - having a blast. We cranked some tunes on my outdoor speakers. It lasted hours. The dog hasn't even made a sound this morning. A wonderful "guy's night". His wife was at the movies. My wife was running errands, but came home in the middle of it.

Instead of asking me to turn down the music, she started playing with the remote (pausing, turning it off). I eventually asked her for it. I also asked HER to set the volume so it wouldn't disturb her. She was intent on escalating the conflict. So she slept in the guest bedroom and left me a ridiculous note about how I don't care about her and she didn't feel we needed to sleep in the same bed.

Suffice it to say, I issued one (and only one) apology for not being sensitive to the difficulty she was having. I listened. When she started dumping her anger, I started walking away. She followed me to clarify. We eventually ended up having dynamite sex.

If you love them anyway, this is what you do. Do not be afraid of your wife's emotions. Friction is the root of attraction. She feels safe when you stand up to her.

Did I think it would be like this? LOL But, I've got the playbook. So, we adjust expectations and realize it ain't all bad
To a certain extent, Returnman, I can't really help but agree with you! But I really feel that the suggestive concept of walking away from your woman's emotions is pretty much contingent upon her personal psychological and physiological makeup!

IMHO, to negligently ignore her feelings is largely a crapshoot!

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post #57 of 196 (permalink) Old 01-19-2016, 09:27 AM Thread Starter
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Re: The Toolkit of the Confident Man

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To a certain extent, Returnman, I can't really help but agree with you! But I really feel that the suggestive concept of walking away from your woman's emotions is pretty much contingent upon her personal psychological and physiological makeup!

IMHO, to negligently ignore her feelings is largely a crapshoot!

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Arb,

It's not ignoring them.

It's about boundary enforcement.

I'm ready to listen to anything she has to say. The line gets drawn when the conversation turns to her confessing my various sins.
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post #58 of 196 (permalink) Old 02-25-2016, 11:46 PM
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Re: The Toolkit of the Confident Man

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I'm ready to listen to anything she has to say. The line gets drawn when the conversation turns to her confessing my various sins.
Can you give an example of how this happens?

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post #59 of 196 (permalink) Old 02-26-2016, 04:59 AM
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Re: The Toolkit of the Confident Man

RTZ,

We're friends, and you know I highly respect you and have learned much from you. You're a good man. That I know.

When it comes to self-love and assertiveness, I'm in full agreement with you.

When it comes to sustaining dysfunctional relationships, you've lost my vote man. The whole notion of "friction is the root of attraction" only applies to dysfunction. Friction can and does result in sexual curiosity, but it's not the root of attraction. Most rapists absolutely despise/hate their victims the moment they decide to rape them. It's actually this hatred that enables them to perform during an utterly unpleasant and one-sided sexual encounter. So in essence, yes, anger and friction do indeed provoke sexual feelings, but they don't cause attraction.

What you're describing is actually an act of equilibrium your brain takes part in when you feel resentment/anger towards your spouse. Your brain tries to balance things out by upping the level of sympathy/love for the very person you're furious with. It's normal and should not be confused with attraction.

Dysfunction is not a prize. It's pain. Pain that should be eliminated as fast and as permanently as possible. Whether it's caused by personality disorders, childhood abuse or genetics, it's still considered an unnecessary pain. No one (and I mean no one) should tolerate it for long. In some cases there's no choice, but in this day and age, those cases are very rare.

For a man with a good heart like yourself, life should not come with messed up choices like tolerating your wife's nonsense behavior. Life should not be hard. Self-love absolutely dictates that to us and you are my hero when it comes to that.

Dysfunction is a terrible thing. I wish you wouldn't accept it so willingly. I wouldn't. Not after what I learned from fine people like yourself.
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post #60 of 196 (permalink) Old 02-26-2016, 06:02 AM
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What are the benefits of maintaining this relationship? Besides the hot make-up sex.

Imagine a non-disordered spouse coming out to hang with you guys and your dogs. Maybe even cranking up the volume? Dancing? Having fun? Drama-free.

Friction might be the root of attraction for you, but I think not everyone.

Congrats on outwitting her disorder, for now. Its a never-ending game, and can be addictive.

Like Ceege, and Synth, though....I wouldn't want to go back to that. Not after experiencing a satisfying relationship with a non-disordered woman.

Good discussion. Welcome back.
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