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#274605 - 02/09/09 05:00 PM Need some advice regarding my marriage.
michael banks Offline


Registered: 06/12/08
Posts: 1755
Loc: Mojave Desert, Ca
Hi,

I am very unhappy in my marriage and have been for awhile. But it has been getting unbearable the since I started coming to M/S. Probably because I am not choosing to work all the time and started taking a look at way I am behaving.
I knew that I am a hard person to love because of my difficulties with intimacy and expressing my behaviors. But I am getting really tired of always being the problem. And the other people in my life being unable to address the issues that they bring into our relationship. All my life I have played the role of the problem child so all the focuus could be on me. So that the others in my life don't have to look at themselves or their problems.
Since finding this site I have tried to get my wife to check it out so maybe she can have a little understanding of what is going on with me. Also maybe to find some support for how she is feeling and dealing with in regards to our marriage. But she chooses not to check it out.
I even meet a fellow survivor a couple of weeks ago who was visiting his mother here in Ca. He and his wife were spending a couple nights in Las Vegas. We discussed about maybe meeting for dinner there with the wives. I talk to my wife about going there and getting away for the night. But she wanted no part of it.
Our lives feel as throught they are going in two separate directions. I feel as if I want to stay married to her that things are going have to be her way. I have spent most of my life being and doing what those whom I thought loved me wanted me to be or do.
We saw a T a few years back for marriage counseling for three years. The T at one point told me why not go my own way because she told me that my wife was unable to look at or address her own issues. That no matter what I was the cause of the problems in her life. But at the time I could not deal with being alone. As kid I learned that negative attention is better then no attention.
I have always struggle throwing myself at those whom paid any attention to me. That I wanted to be loved no matter what the cost to me.
Well I am at the point now that I cannot and am no longer willing to pay that price. If need be I am now ready to walk away from this marriage. I have been miserable long enought.

Mike


_________________________
To own one's shadow is the highest moral act of a human.
-Robert Johnson-

"IT ought never be forgotten that the past is the parent of the future" John C. Calhoun

WOR Alumni Sequoia 2009

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#274608 - 02/09/09 05:32 PM Re: Need some advice regarding my marriage. [Re: michael banks]
wes-b Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/17/07
Posts: 438
Loc: Western, Canada

Michael my brother;

I can relate to many of your points. I have lived most of my life, at least the years I could remember until a couple of years back, trying to be perfect and therefore be acceptable to my mother; something I have come to see as not possible and therefore and irrational act on my part :-( That said I now find myself doing what appears on the surface to be the same thing in my recovery from my sex addiction. I am putting other's needs ahead of mine which serves my own healing and recovery, another damn paradox :-\ this is different for me in that I was putting my mother's needs first for decades which was selfish and self centered on my part and was a significant driver of my double life.

That said I have on many occasions wanted my wife to see or do things to understand me of look at her stuff etc etc... I likely killed any willingness for her to look at s-anon when I dumped on her about codependancy, sometimes I can be a jerk. I often find myself surrendering my wants for others; especially my wife and my children. My old learned habits of manipulation and control are stickers :-} ... Al-anon is shedding light of some of these for me.

All that said, I don't know if you can identify or not... as I am certain you know, take what you can use and leave the rest where it sits :-) My simple prayer for you is that you follow God's will for your life.

All is well my brother;

Love and a long distant Hug to you,

Wes

_________________________
Happy to be a recovering survivor. :-)

Continuing to meet more of my fellows as I "Trudge the Road of Happy Destiny".

My Story, 1st pass

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#274610 - 02/09/09 05:44 PM Re: Need some advice regarding my marriage. [Re: michael banks]
Sans Logos Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/31/03
Posts: 5791
Loc: in my own world in pittsburgh,...
mike mike MIKE!!!!!

i am so sorry for this situation. i've always known you to be such a reasonable, compassionate guy? why would she be so unyielding??? why is this happening???

i don't get it. is her playing dead such a passive aggressive tactic? what does she hope to accomplish by not participating and cooperating with the process being offered her?

i wish i had an answer, but i don't and i feel so powerless to help. whatever happens, you have a friend here who understands your deepest heart.

hoping for all the best for you and your family,

ron

_________________________
  1. the past
  2. ReClaiming Now
  3. advocacy


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#274612 - 02/09/09 05:51 PM Re: Need some advice regarding my marriage. [Re: michael banks]
ttoon Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/19/07
Posts: 977
Mike,


All three of my therapists along the way have refered to my first wife simply as, "the selfish bitch." Well, honestly, my daughters do, too.

Who knew? Coming from my background where both my parents were as selfish as any two people could possibly be and, very good at pushing the responsibility for their choices and actions off on others. In retrospect, I guess, I was destined to choose what I knew.

Try as hard as I might, I could not get her to consider what she brought into the relationship. The first two therapists did, too. It just, was not going to happen. Thirteen years later she is blaming her current husband. "Woe is me. Why do I choose men with so many problems?" She'll tell anyone that cares to listen. Mostly, her friends, that encourage her, validate and God only knows how but, tell her she is right. The poor thing.

After I moved out, each time we connected after that, to pickup my daughter or, just casually meeting at a school event I thought, "Man, what did I ever see in that???" She is physically attractive but, is, very simply, a selfish bitch.


That being said, she was the one that wanted the divorce, not me. I would have stayed. One daughter was graduated and out of the house, the other was fourteen. I would have stayed for her. I have a very high tolerance for selfish bitches having lived with my mother for all those years, I figured I could tolerate it for whatever length of time I needed to.

What surprised me, were my daughter's reactions to the decision. They each were very supportive. Upset, of course, because of the change but, in agreement that I would be so much better off out of there.

So often, what brings us together, it seems like, if left unchecked for too long, will, eventually tear us apart it seems like. She was unwilling or, inable to consider what she brought into the relationship...unwilling to do counseling...so, I left.

I am not advocating that it is what you should do, just saying, it worked out well for me. The relationship I am in now...is amazing, I think.

I wish you luck, truly...


wink


Dave

_________________________
checkin out for a few weeks... whistle
02/07/09

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#274620 - 02/09/09 07:02 PM Re: Need some advice regarding my marriage. [Re: ttoon]
brother2none Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/30/09
Posts: 265
Loc: Undisclosed
and if it was 100% up to your heart to decide, you would...?

michael, you never really did ask a question in your original post, despite the title being "need advice".


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#274649 - 02/09/09 10:34 PM Re: Need some advice regarding my marriage. [Re: brother2none]
riveerboy Offline


Registered: 02/04/09
Posts: 84
Loc: Indiana
Don't Know........Life has it's super confusing aspects everywhere. In relationships thru the years I have seen my partners and others being "closed" to dealing with different things. Some of the most powerful energies inside the relationship, or outside and setting it's parameters, are family energies. How one grows up to be who they are. There are too many people who wish or choose, to not move into unmarked and unknown territories. For me, I try to choose to not judge them in their not wanting to be with me, when I am doing what I do.
I try to see their fears of the unknown, and a lot of times, of themselves. I try to see their family energy that is a part of the social surviving energies. Not wanting to go where you are going may not be selfish. There may be a deeper fear and a loss of self, that which is safely contained within the structures they live by. You may have to walk your path alone, even if you remain together. Many of us still move forward without family input.

Good Luck.


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#274650 - 02/09/09 10:43 PM Re: Need some advice regarding my marriage. [Re: michael banks]
joelRT Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor


Registered: 09/11/08
Posts: 1357
Loc: Québec, Canada
(((((Mike)))))

Quote:
We saw a T a few years back for marriage counseling for three years. The T at one point told me why not go my own way because she told me that my wife was unable to look at or address her own issues. That no matter what I was the cause of the problems in her life.
It would seem, Mike, that you typed in your own advice to yourself in your post.

I am so very sorry that this is happening to you - I'm here for you Mike, PM me if you want and we'll talk.

_________________________
My Story 1
My Story 2
The longest journey we take is to self-discovery

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#274657 - 02/09/09 11:33 PM Re: Need some advice regarding my marriage. [Re: michael banks]
WalkingSouth Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16265
Mike,

You've got my support as you go through this tough time. I full well understand where you're at. I've been there. Sometime I think I still am, but really, I believe my relationship has come a long way since those early days of my recovery.

I've heard from a couple of T acquaintances as well as my own T that when one partner in a relationship begins the process of recovery it will often be quite stressful on the relationship. They told me this occurs because over the years of the relationship the partners learned a certain "dance". In essence they've learned to mesh their strengths as well as their dysfunctions. Had not these traits been "complimentary" of one another, the relationship would never have left the ground in the first place. Both partners know what buttons to push, when to push them, and exactly how hard to push them in order to elicit a desired response. This button pushing can be used to provoke fights or bring about cooperative response or even loving response.

Now, several plus years down the pike, one partner begins the recovery journey. Usually the other partner looks upon this event from the viewpoint of, "Finally! Now he's going to get all those things that irritate me fixed."

What actually happens is as recovering partner learns and grows the "dance" changes. He learns not only to draw a boundary against manipulative button pushing but also to refrain for doing the same on his part.

This change of the "dance" usually and quite understandably irritates or even angers the other partner. If the other partner fails to grow along with the recovering partner the relationship is in for some very rocky times if not the rocks themselves. It can be essential at this point for both partners to have individual therapy as well as couples counseling in order for the relationship to survive.

_________________________
“Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ‘Holy ____…! What a ride!’” ~Hunter S. Thompson

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#274678 - 02/10/09 02:55 AM Re: Need some advice regarding my marriage. [Re: WalkingSouth]
fromtoday Offline


Registered: 10/04/08
Posts: 74
Loc: UK
Mike,

I'm so sad to read your post, I don't know you but recognised myself, my mother and my relationship with my husband in your post.

I totally identified with my mother in tton's post, I have been emotionally abused by her all of my life and have only very recently begun to slowly regain some control. Despite my repeated attempts to explain to her why her behaviour damages me, even as a young child she cannot accept it at all. I have lost any hope that my mother will ever accept her issues and work towards change, I've learn't that not amount of me trying will improve our relationship and although it's hard because what child doesn't long for a relationship with their mother I have for the least 2 years been distancing myself from her.

Your wife sounds very scared, I was overjoyed when my husband entered therapy, I'm not looking for any praise in that and identified with walkingsouth.

I wonder why your wife is unable to join you on this journey, do you think she may have been abused herself, before my husband entered therapy of this own accord he wouldn't look at any material, would get huffy if I mentioned the word or issue, I can imagine him acting like your wife if I had entered therapy.

That said, I firmly believe that you can't be expected to withhold your own recovery because your wife isn't ready, I would lay the boundaries down, what you plan to do and what you need from her, it would be as useless as waiting for my mum to be ready for us to tackle our issues together, not going to happen.

I'm sorry that you have this extra burden at this time.

Good Luckxx

_________________________
Is this the real life?
Is this just fantasy?
Caught in a landslide,
No escape from reality
Open your eyes, Look up to the skies and see.....
_________________________________________________
Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody

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#274942 - 02/12/09 12:47 PM Re: Need some advice regarding my marriage. [Re: fromtoday]
cstjude Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/04/08
Posts: 302
Loc: Canada
Mike,

I'm not saddened at all by your post! I think it liberating! You are no longer willing to wear a mask and are getting to a point where you are understandng your own worth as a human being deserving to be loved and supported. You're realizing your marriage won't give you that and you are no longer willing to live a loveless life out of fear of being alone! That is amazing! I can imagine you have put a lot of deep work into achieving that level of self-acceptance. Isn't it incredible when you realize that you have the absolute power to create your own reality, to forge your own happiness?

On the subject of happiness I highly recommend this talk by Matthiew Ricard:

http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/matthieu_ricard_on_the_habits_of_happiness.html

Be good to yourself. This is the only life we've got. Make it a happy one!

C.

_________________________
C.
Female, Friends & Family Forum Fan

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#275015 - 02/12/09 09:51 PM Re: Need some advice regarding my marriage. [Re: cstjude]
1islandboy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 862
Loc: washington
Brother Mike,

I am not really qualified to give advice, but often moments of clarity come, when I hear others tell their story and I get outside of self.

Somewhere it is said that the sick attract the sick and your only as sick as your secrets.

That being said, I helped damage my relationship beyond all repair, my ex in denial of her shortcomings and at the same time magnifying mine...Really not talking about support here. More like a distraction from our lack of communication and understanding within my trainwreck of a marriage.

Scared of the unknown, not wanting to break up the family unit, and fear of of becoming a statistic, I begged her not to leave.

To this day, I can't really give you a good answer, why my reaction was so...

Was it because I was sleeping on such a comfortable couch, while my wife and daughter slept together in the same bed?

Actually I feel kinda blessed, because when I really came to...it was easy for me to see that this wasn't a fixer upper, but more like a realisation that this relationship is BROKEN...!!!

o.k. enough about me, let's go a different direction..

My ecclectic neighbor was so bent out of shape over my removal of an overgrown landscape and aggressive pruning techniques...and here I am a two years later...with compliments of how well I landscape...by making room for new growth. (who woulda thunk).

I still feel I am in the infancy of my new relationship, but when we get far enough along...I plan to listen to the 4 cd set of, "Relationships" through the 12 Traditions. with Dave and Polly P from Birch Bay, Washington. (Acquired from Great Events - Recording and Audio) at the last quarterly speakers meeting.

Just throwing this out...if you feel, there is still hope...


You've only got...Once around the ride (Cinderella)

island



_________________________
Rise above the storm and you will find the sunshine ~ M.F. Fernandez

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#275086 - 02/13/09 11:31 AM Re: Need some advice regarding my marriage. [Re: michael banks]
sweet-n-sour Offline
Member

Registered: 10/03/06
Posts: 409
Loc: chicago
Dear Mike:

This is the third attempt at responding to your post. Since it is in the Family and Friends forum, I'm thinking you are looking for both perspectives regarding your marriage, from survivor's and that of us who are in a relationship with a survivor.

This much I know is true regarding marriage in general. The other person is NOT responsible for your happiness and contentment in life. They should be viewed as an added bonus, a friend and a testament to your life and experiences. Someone you wish to share your life with in a give and take sort of balance. When this balance is off center, resentment grows and with that trouble in a marriage.

I believe that if you are unhappy in your relationship, it is safe to guess that your wife is as well. You stated that a few years ago you were in therapy together, apparently it didn't work and if I were in your position, I would be discussing the option of attending couples therapy once again but find a therapist that you BOTH feel can help you.

None of us can control the other person we are with. I know that Male Survivor's "Family and Friend's" forum was a lifesaver especially in the beginning stages of my husband's journey...the many books I've read in addition to the counseling we've attended, it all seemed to pull us through and I have personally grown from this experience. Just as I can't control what my husband does or does not do regarding his healing, so it stands to reason, you also have no say on how you wife chooses or does not choose to support you or herself at this time.

When in a relationship we all must take responsibility for ourselves, but you and your wife both have an equal stake in your marriage. Such forums here can offer us all a different perspective but at the end of the day, when the computer is off, none of us are in your life living it, you know?

From what you've shared, it seems as if there is a lot that you carried into your relationship, patterns of seeking negative attention that needs to be addressed. Even if your marriage does not make it, without work on this pattern, the next time around the same>
_________________________
"As long as he continues to try, I will meet him in that determination and commitment."

cm 2007

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#275303 - 02/14/09 11:51 PM Re: Need some advice regarding my marriage. [Re: sweet-n-sour]
michael banks Offline


Registered: 06/12/08
Posts: 1755
Loc: Mojave Desert, Ca
Everyone,

Thank You for your replies.

At times in recovery we come to a crossroad where we have to choose which path is the right directions for us. And at these times we also have to part paths with those we love because the direction they must travel is different than the one you must take. Maybe there is no fault only choices that each of us must make for ourselves.
It is difficult to make these decisions because of the impact it has on those we love and care about.

But in the end do we not have to be "True to ourselves"?

Mike

_________________________
To own one's shadow is the highest moral act of a human.
-Robert Johnson-

"IT ought never be forgotten that the past is the parent of the future" John C. Calhoun

WOR Alumni Sequoia 2009

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#275338 - 02/15/09 10:33 AM Re: Need some advice regarding my marriage. [Re: michael banks]
Kathryn Offline
Guest

Registered: 02/08/07
Posts: 303
Edited





Edited by walkingsouth (02/17/09 10:54 PM)

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#275358 - 02/15/09 01:07 PM Re: Need some advice regarding my marriage. [Re: Kathryn]
Kathryn Offline
Guest

Registered: 02/08/07
Posts: 303
Hey Mike,

So, in what way have you acted the "bad boy" to get attention?

This to me is a common dynamic: guy uses distance as a form of self-preservation, but also in a passive-aggressive way, with fantasies of being rescued by the very same person from whom they're fleeing from....

Woman takes on too much responsibility emotionally, she's chosen by the guy, in part because she fits the scenerio of having her own need to rescue others fantasies. She either is too permissive, asks few questions, but takes the martyr stance -- or she takes on the hard, aggressive role and yells and screams to no avail.

Then the guy begins to take responsibility for who he is. A very good thing.

But.... now the woman knows that his odd distance, etc.... says nothing about her worth. And she's pissed because she's allowed this guy to play her for years, making it feel that it was HER, not his own, personal issues.

And she does not want to come to places like MS because she fears she'll get right back into being overly concerned with HIM, yet again. What if she yet again begins to empathize with him -- who's going to empathize with her?

If she reads about HIS life, will HE read about HER life?

So now the guy feels like SHE's not looking at her own issues, and how she contributed to this mess.... And so she should, really.

But because both have been carrying too much of the other person's shit, a period of emotional separation usually happens. And too often that means a period of mutual demonization.

Can both partners find a place of enough separateness with demonizing the other?

Seems that's the trick.

Katie



Edited by walkingsouth (02/17/09 10:57 PM)

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#275391 - 02/15/09 05:18 PM Re: Need some advice regarding my marriage. [Re: Kathryn]
nathan555 Offline


Registered: 01/06/09
Posts: 230
Loc: Australia
Edited



Edited by walkingsouth (02/17/09 10:46 PM)

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#275396 - 02/15/09 06:05 PM Re: Need some advice regarding my marriage. [Re: nathan555]
Dusty Boy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/15/08
Posts: 280
Loc: Australia
Michael,

you could be writing about my ex wife here, we went to couples councelling and she had a list longer than your arm for the T to fix in me so she would have a better life. Then after a few sessions they became about my side of the issues and she was not looking so good and not smelling of roses. My ex then became disruptive in the sessions because her greedy needs were not being met and she was not prepared to meet mine, not even 1% when I said that I had had enough the T agreed with me. I left the marital home and only then could I see the big picture of how I tried for 19 years to meet her needs and the more i did the bigger the list grew.
From my experience it the T suggested that you separate then run, dont bother to slow down to collect $200 when you pass go, just keep running. If she is not prepared to meet you even a little bit I dont see your recovery happening, and your depression getting worse.

Dusty


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#275398 - 02/15/09 06:14 PM Re: Need some advice regarding my marriage. [Re: Dusty Boy]
Dusty Boy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/15/08
Posts: 280
Loc: Australia
Katie... (edited) Altough I agree with you that marriage is a two way thing, that is not happening here. We all have Issues, and if one is prepared to admit their problem and the other is not prepared to even look at helping until her undisclosed ??? are not fixed then how is that 2 way?

Dusty



Edited by walkingsouth (02/17/09 11:12 PM)

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#275406 - 02/15/09 08:00 PM Re: Need some advice regarding my marriage. [Re: Dusty Boy]
WalkingSouth Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16265
Hey all,

There have been some good points made here by all, but please, let's remember to be kind. I'd like to ask that if anyone in this thread made comments that were maybe across the line that they be edited to a more benign form regardless of who you believe may have started it.

Thanks,

John

_________________________
“Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ‘Holy ____…! What a ride!’” ~Hunter S. Thompson

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#275453 - 02/16/09 12:35 AM Re: Need some advice regarding my marriage. [Re: WalkingSouth]
petercorbett Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/27/08
Posts: 2439
Loc: TEXAS
Hi Guys, ooops gals too.

My 2 euro cents worth. (Not for much longer).

My marriage problems are posted elsewhere. It's over.
Did I or we, ever have the right emotional skills for marriage? Certainaly not me. I really wasn't worth a crap after (almost) 36 yrs.

Just two weeks from tomorrow (Tuesday) my married life will be formally over. I am leaving her and Germany far behind. No tears, no regrets and no emotional feelings. GONE FOREVER.

A new beginning, a new T, a new life, a new love? But more importaint to me a new hope.

Heal well my brothers/friends.

Pete (Irishmoose)

_________________________
Working Boys' Home 10-14 yrs old, grades 5-8. 1949-1953
____________________________________________________________
A very humble alumni of the WOR Dahlonega, GA.
May 15-17 2009, Alta, Sep. 2009. Sequoia, 2010.
Hope Springs, 2010.


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#275462 - 02/16/09 04:11 AM Re: Need some advice regarding my marriage. [Re: petercorbett]
michael banks Offline


Registered: 06/12/08
Posts: 1755
Loc: Mojave Desert, Ca
Katie,

What is with opening your mouth before turning on your brain thing about?
I always wonder about people who don't think before they talk.
If I was not really questioning things would I be here examing myself and my life.
Some people have more than enought B/S words and answers for everybody else but themselves. Some people just like to hear themselves talk.
I guess it make them feel part of something.

Let's cut the b/s.
I am a csa Survivor that is why I am here.
How about you my wordy friend?
Do you get off on our issues?

Mike


_________________________
To own one's shadow is the highest moral act of a human.
-Robert Johnson-

"IT ought never be forgotten that the past is the parent of the future" John C. Calhoun

WOR Alumni Sequoia 2009

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#275469 - 02/16/09 07:28 AM Re: Need some advice regarding my marriage. [Re: michael banks]
sweet-n-sour Offline
Member

Registered: 10/03/06
Posts: 409
Loc: chicago
What Pete shared regarding his experiences with this made me wonder about something??? I was just thinking about patterning and how when we enter a relationship we are at one place and in being a survivor, then working towards healing...well, maybe a person blossoms to the point where they just wish to wipe the slate clean and start over.
Mike I can see by this especially if your wife is unwilling to meet you in keeping the balance in your relationship that you would desire a "clean slate" as well.
When my husband disclosed and his therapist recommended certain things to enable him the space to heal...well, if I was not willing to change with him, if I had been too fearful and pushed him to go in a direction that was not helping, I can see where he would have maybe questioned whether or not I was an asset or a liability to what he needed to do for himself.
I believe I'm seeing this from a different perspective and I thank you for that. I still maintain that sucessful relationships are all about balance. When one person gives to the point of it all becoming top heavy, well, it stands to reason that the whole thing falls over. I truly believe that both people must want the same things, share the same desire for a better life then be willing to do the work for it both individually and as a team. The objective should be for each person to want the absolute best for the other person and in that, the committment to reinvent to accomodate each step both take in a better direction for a renewed quality of life.
Thanks guys for sharing your life stories and helping me understand a bit more regarding marriage, balance and doing what is best for yourself.

S-n-S



Edited by sweet-n-sour (02/16/09 12:52 PM)
_________________________
"As long as he continues to try, I will meet him in that determination and commitment."

cm 2007

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#275482 - 02/16/09 10:08 AM Re: Need some advice regarding my marriage. [Re: sweet-n-sour]
Kathryn Offline
Guest

Registered: 02/08/07
Posts: 303
Look guys simple point:

My previous marriage was to a guy who was not sexually abused. He was, however, emotionally unavailable.

But guess who chose him? I did.

And that says something about ME.

But to be able to deal with why I - ME - chose him, it sometimes takes a period of emotional distance.

Too often this reasonable need for emotional distance translates into a period of demonization. Lots of people do this.

Hopefully we don't get stuck there.

In my previous marriage both I and my ex. got stuck there -- thus the divorce.

That's all,
Katie


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#275485 - 02/16/09 10:38 AM Re: Need some advice regarding my marriage. [Re: Kathryn]
Kathryn Offline
Guest

Registered: 02/08/07
Posts: 303
P.S.

And maybe "demonize" isn't the best word -- just that lots of folks fall into it -- say blame, say making the other the "identified patient", etc....

It takes a lot for two people to sit down -- not matter their relationship or what stripes and spots they carry -- and say "You know, I have my issues, you have yours, and when we come into contact with each other, we pass it back and forth, just the human condition and nature of relationships".

And to answer Mike's question: Do I get off on your issues?

Hmmm.... If I didn't on some level, then I wouldn't be in a relationship with Rob.

And if he didn't get off on my issues, he wouldn't be in a relationship with me.

And same with my previous marriage....

And what did I get out of being married to an emotionally distant person? Lots, but one of the things I got out of it was that it didn't require of ME to be truly emotionally intimate, though it provided an excuse to not look too closely at my own issues of emotional intimacy. We both got to stay in our own little private places. It worked, even if it wasn't what I more deeply desired.

My point about you wife not reading here is just related to this: If I had empathized more with my ex then two things would have happened: 1) The focus would have stayed on him, in both good and not so good ways, and 2) I would not have created the space I needed, at least temporarily, to look at myself at least as much as we both looked at him.

To my present relationship: Being over 40 years old, having been married already to a person with a different kind of crazy, I just figure I could trade Rob's crazy in for another kind of crazy.

But I doubt there's a way out of crazy.

We're all crazy.

Katie


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#275490 - 02/16/09 11:58 AM Re: Need some advice regarding my marriage. [Re: Kathryn]
Kathryn Offline
Guest

Registered: 02/08/07
Posts: 303
PPS,

And I'm NOT putting it on YOU, Mike.

But people have two primal responses: fight or flight.

If one person has a tendency to over-use the flight response, then contact, such as it is, demands that the other move forward in some way, and it's not always a good way.

In my previous marriage, it was mostly my ex. who overtly used flight.

But when he did move towards me, I'd use flight....

That crazy dance so common in early courtship... Becomes a way of life.

And not just for csa survivors, but for lots of people.

It seems to me -- and yes, I'm risking putting words in your mouth -- that you'd like your wife to come here as a means of saying something like: "Gee, I'm sorry for not being perfect, I'm understanding why I've had the patterns I've had, I'd like for you to have some understanding as well so that you'll see I'm both sorry and would like to make the future different".

And probably because, like any other human being, you'd just like some simple validation and recognition.

And if your wife is smart and wise and strong and has adequate self-esteem and an adequate sense of her own separateness..... etc.... then she really would benefit from reading something like this forum. And not just to understand you better, but herself as well.

But sometimes we just go through a period where the pendulum swings too far in the other direction in order to gain the smarts, the wisdom, the etc....

But if I were your wife, I'd really like a letter saying what it would mean to you for me to come here. A letter, not a talk, where all our stupid defenses are too easily triggered.

And then I'd like to be able to duke it out, because when two people are fighting at least their not both fleeing.

And a woman's only forum wouldn't have given me nearly the amount of insight both into Rob and myself that this forum has provided.

Though I have also participated in a woman's only forum.

Take care,
Katie


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#275497 - 02/16/09 12:23 PM Re: Need some advice regarding my marriage. [Re: Kathryn]
Sans Logos Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/31/03
Posts: 5791
Loc: in my own world in pittsburgh,...
hi katie!

Quote:
But people have two primal responses: fight or flight.


i just wanted to peek my nose in here and add a third to your two

freeze

i know that one all too well. was never good at fighting or flighting [wings were clipped early on....]

i suspect i'm not the only one, but the good news is, wings grow back!!!!!!

tada!!!!

ron

_________________________
  1. the past
  2. ReClaiming Now
  3. advocacy


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#275499 - 02/16/09 12:43 PM Re: Need some advice regarding my marriage. [Re: Sans Logos]
Kathryn Offline
Guest

Registered: 02/08/07
Posts: 303
Ron,

Yes, the freeze response, I know it well.

From the person's perspective that's moving towards, the freeze response can look like the flight response. Rob often looks like the deer caught in the headlights.

Can't speak for how he's actually feeling at the time, only he can.

But for myself, when I freeze I get a sense of lights exploding outward while something in me flees inward.... or something like this. But there's an explosive double movement -- fight and flight -- which amounts to freeze. For me it's filled with anxious tension.

Rob LOOKS like he just plays possum. It looks like just a drifty sort of stare. It pisses me off! I want anxious tension, existential anxiety, nail-biting angst! SOMETHING! I'm working on it smile Guess he just has his internal life and I have mine. Though... shouldn't he be more like me? I mean what's he doing just being his ol' possum self?

Katie


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#275562 - 02/16/09 09:10 PM Re: Need some advice regarding my marriage. [Re: Kathryn]
michael banks Offline


Registered: 06/12/08
Posts: 1755
Loc: Mojave Desert, Ca
Katie,

You are one peculiar woman. And it is crazy making trying to follow your reasoning and logic at times.
No wonder you enjoy Ttoons posts. You guys are two peas in a pod.

But in your post you have made some very valid points and have given me some things to think about. You must have because I had a very strong reaction to your first post this mourning. You pissed me off at first I thought you where judging me without knowing me. But to be be honest some of what you have been saying hits closer to home than I want to admit.

You have made me very aware of the anger I am feeling towards my wife right now.
Time for a time out to process that first.

Rob, has his hands full with you. No wonder he plays possum.

Thanks

Mike

_________________________
To own one's shadow is the highest moral act of a human.
-Robert Johnson-

"IT ought never be forgotten that the past is the parent of the future" John C. Calhoun

WOR Alumni Sequoia 2009

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#275609 - 02/17/09 07:35 AM Re: Need some advice regarding my marriage. [Re: michael banks]
Kathryn Offline
Guest

Registered: 02/08/07
Posts: 303
Mike,

Guess we've made up -- wew, now I can go to work in peace.

Yes, Rob has his hands full smile

Then again so do I.

Take care,
Katie


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#275679 - 02/17/09 03:55 PM Re: Need some advice regarding my marriage. [Re: Kathryn]
michael banks Offline


Registered: 06/12/08
Posts: 1755
Loc: Mojave Desert, Ca


I am not trying to run but when does it reach the point that I have all the craziness that I can handle. I have acklownledged to everyone in my life who I am, had happen and how screwed up I am. I am not denying anything about myself. Not blaming others for my actions.
But at the same time I am tired of being responsible for the happiness or more importantly the unhappiness of another. I am also tired being made out to be the bad guy when I chose to set some boundaries for myself.
Tired of always feeling like i am just not that important. That others peoples needs are more important. Constantly having to pick up the messes created by others than having no right to say anything about it.
I am tired of living with people in my life who just refuses to live in reality and deal with their own problems.
I am finished dealing with the crazies in my life.
I just can't do it anymore.
Screw the insanity of it all.

Mike



Edited by michael banks (02/17/09 03:59 PM)
_________________________
To own one's shadow is the highest moral act of a human.
-Robert Johnson-

"IT ought never be forgotten that the past is the parent of the future" John C. Calhoun

WOR Alumni Sequoia 2009

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#275703 - 02/17/09 06:55 PM Re: Need some advice regarding my marriage. [Re: michael banks]
Kathryn Offline
Guest

Registered: 02/08/07
Posts: 303
Hey Mike,

Sometimes when we grow, we grow out of our relationship.

I'll tell you a story about Rob:

He began to drink, stopped having sex with his wife, was withdrawn, etc...

His ex wife just sat there, not making any waves, not asking why he was drinking, etc...

They never fought.

Both had a need to pretend that life was perfect, and they were the perfect couple with the perfect child and the perfect career....

So... abra cadabra.... no problems.

Until the problems were so big that I doubt anything could have put the pieces together again.

The point?

You don't have to put up with too much crazy, though probably will always have to put up with some.

And you don't have to make amends for past behavior till the day you die. That whole tar and feather things went out a long time ago.

You have the right to be pissed if you're pissed. And a right to express that too.

And you have the right to some peace and contentment. We all do. And you have the right to assert this right.

I don't know your wife, only you do.

There really are mean people in the world. Or people who can no longer move back into love.

That's a decision only you can make. But you deserve to be loved.

Take care,
Katie


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#275734 - 02/17/09 11:05 PM Re: Need some advice regarding my marriage. [Re: Kathryn]
michael banks Offline


Registered: 06/12/08
Posts: 1755
Loc: Mojave Desert, Ca
Katie,

There once was a little boy who was born into a storm.
Why things where as they were he had not a clue.
He was always alone even when the family was seven .
When he cried he was still all alone.
For they were to much into their own.
For the adults in his life were just like kids.
He never knew who was there to raise who.
That there needs came first and he was to have none.
So he learned to be and not to be too.
To need but not to ask.
To speak but not to be heard.
To feel but never loved
To never be out of sight and never be seen.
To be there and invisible too.
In the end he was nothing but a ghost.

Always doomed to be the
Strange,out of place one,who asked no questions.

Mike

_________________________
To own one's shadow is the highest moral act of a human.
-Robert Johnson-

"IT ought never be forgotten that the past is the parent of the future" John C. Calhoun

WOR Alumni Sequoia 2009

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#275764 - 02/18/09 05:03 AM Re: Need some advice regarding my marriage. [Re: michael banks]
michael banks Offline


Registered: 06/12/08
Posts: 1755
Loc: Mojave Desert, Ca
Katie,

In my relationship with my wife. It was her not I that did the pursusing. The first time I met her she was an a bad emotional plce and I remember thinking to would be wise to steer clear of that crazy woman. A few months later we met again amd it was flattering to be chase by a pretty woman. We dated a few times and the sex was great. But it has been pretty much down hill from there.
My wife is also a csa survivor.Both her father and stepfather were both physically abusive to her and her siblings.
Her mother was a alcoholic who never wanted kids but a catholic so she had 5 children. Her mother died with over 25 years of dry time or you could call it soberity but I wouldn't. Totally unavailable woman emotionally. One of the most self centered people I have had the miss fortune to meet in my life time.
And a total pain in the ass when it came to inferring in our marriage. I shed no tears at her funeral.

I am not sure why I am sharing this with you. Just thought I would.
My wife is not a bad person just a loss soul. But one I am feeling increasing trap by.

Mike

ps; why did you totally edited your first post and edit some the first part of the second. You edited out the parts that pissed me off at first.

PPs; never mind I see that it was John (Walkingsouth) who did the editing and not you. I hate the fact that they have to feel need to water everything down at times. But that is another rant(post).




Edited by michael banks (02/18/09 05:31 AM)
_________________________
To own one's shadow is the highest moral act of a human.
-Robert Johnson-

"IT ought never be forgotten that the past is the parent of the future" John C. Calhoun

WOR Alumni Sequoia 2009

Top
#275794 - 02/18/09 10:00 AM Re: Need some advice regarding my marriage. [Re: michael banks]
Kathryn Offline
Guest

Registered: 02/08/07
Posts: 303
Hey,

Your story is much like Rob's with his ex. It really is. It's amazing.

With my previous marriage, when I think about it, I'm not sure from my perspective now if I feel I could have done some things to make it better. But I don't feel I ever just really liked him in a way that's conducive to marriage. Even when I consider the ways I screwed up, and I wasn't perfect, there's still that feeling that the real mistake was marrying someone I didn't just like enough.

On paper, Rob has more problems than my ex. But I also just like him more. I don't like everything about him, and really don't like some of his past behavior. But I like HIM a lot.

And I'm glad you shared. Sometimes sharing in a little more detail helps.

Despite the fact that I don't think I liked my ex enough to marry him, I still see the qualities that I did like, and still do.

I'm sure that underneath all of the other stuff, your wife likes things about you as well. You seem likeable enough smile

I don't know Mike, on one hand I don't regret getting a divorce. On the other hand, I sure wish I had been smarter about something - I would love to look across the room to my child's father and share in a look the pride, the joy, the pain, of having a child. It's a big void. Not one I dwell on, but there nonetheless.

And not, mind you, that my ex would have really provided that sort of communication. He's not really capable of it (not my interpretation, but too long of a story for now), and yet.... no one else is as capable of it as him, because my son is no one else's child.

Children are a big source of meaning.

I will tell you this, though, I wonder if Rob would have drifted so far afield if there had been a better match of a wife in his life. His ex can't be judged for the depth of Rob's actions, she only had the tip of the iceburg in her sight. But she chose not to deal with even that.

Like you, I'm sure Rob felt unseen even as he feared being seen.

I've sometimes gone too far in being furious with Rob. But at least I'm not indifferent.

It's a good thing you express your anger. Rob hates, hates, hates, admitting he's angry. He'd rather drink himself to a grave and all kinds of other crazy stuff than admit he's angry about anything.

When we watch movies, it's the movies where there's interpersonal strife that gets to him the most. Horror movies aren't so horrible. It's funny in a way.

We recently watched a movie about a couple who were growing apart and bickering and the guy handled it by escaping into his sleeping dreams and began trying to control the course of them. In order to sleep better and dream more, he put up black insulation on the windows and walls, etc.... His waking hours were just what he got through in order to go to sleep and dream.

He found this movie very disturbing. Think it hit too close to home.

Our waking life has to be adequate enough to want to stay there.

Take care,
Katie


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