Giving up the reigns.

Discussion in 'Partner Support' started by Vixen, Feb 7, 2019.

  1. Vixen

    Vixen Fapstronaut

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    My husband wants to get rid of the accountability software. He says I need to let go of the reigns. Our conversation spiraled into argument fueled by suspicious passion on his part. He claims it’s not a real relationship and I have all the power. I just want to protect myself from wasting more time in a relationship where my husband isolates, expends his sexual energy in front of a screen and leaves me in the dark.

    The argument escalated into a diatribe where he villainized me for not letting him have friends. This is when he shares that women coworkers have invited him to hang out outside of work and that he’s having a going away party at work which he had decided to keep a secret from me until now. This does not inspire much confidence from me, especially in light of my concern he will hide things from me. For the record I encourage him to hang out with the guy friends he has and even try to get him to make more guy friends. Yet it’s too convenient for his proclivity towards pity parties and gaslighting that his career field is predominantly women and I am the scapegoat for him not spending time with friends outside of work.

    And then at one point when I rebelled as he was trying to bulldoze me, he physically asserted himself in a position over me. (Previously we were both laying in bed talking.) That plus calling me a c*nt and after I told him I was through talking to him he decided to bring up my mom. I have now left the room.

    So that was unacceptable and I’m wondering how far to read into the fact that his fight for independence snowballed directly into him blaming me for not getting to spend time with other women (“friends.”)

    And all this while I’m still trying to recover trust after the trauma of discovering in September that he had ongoing cyber affairs and lies during the whole duration of my marriage.

    We were doing well but I was starting to wonder if we hit a plateau. Smack. And now here’s a ravine...
     
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  2. EyesWideOpen

    EyesWideOpen Fapstronaut

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    I'm so very sorry. It sounds like he's gas lighting you to hang onto his addiction in any way he can. Personally, I'd tell him to move out. :(
     
  3. Trappist

    Trappist Fapstronaut

    Are they reins or simply
    supports and bandaids on
    the bond of marriage
    to make trust again?

    Reversing the actors,
    How would he feel,
    If you did the same?

    Would he care?

    Unless you are British,
    or something,
    the c word;
    Really?

    B. O. U. N. D. A. R. I. E. S.

    Does he even have a program
    of any sort?

    Detachment and consequences
    Does show us much.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2019
  4. GhostWriter

    GhostWriter Fapstronaut

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    Personally, I'm not, nor ever have been, a fan of accountability software for many reasons. I know that those who argue against it are generally interested in pursuing their addiction. I think it is only partially useful, and not so very effective. Nonetheless, if I were in a relationship where my Partner wanted it, knock yourself out. Put it on anything and everything you want. I don't care. I don't have anything to hide. I don't believe that's the case with him.

    This whole argument where you have all the power? What's that all about? If you had all the power, none of this would have ever been necessary in the first place? His claims are baseless.
    Well, if that's not a RED FLAG: Secrets again. Besides, he is also hanging onto this idea that the only "friends" he has are "women coworkers". He knows this to be a boundary. It's very simple actually to tell them "I'm sorry. I can't". They aren't entitled to any explanation, but if he wants to give them one "I'm having (something, anything) with my wife" and leave it at that. This line of reasoning on his part is absurd. And one other thing. Had he not betrayed you in the first place, he could be having them as friends. So let's not have a pity party about it.
    Well, again, whose fault is that? It's "You made your bed. Now lay in it". You're absolutely right about this. I'd be interested to know why he is so adamant about this knowing the triggering that it causes you. I'd give it up. It isn't worth jeopardizing our relationship. Besides, if he'd just go with it, at some point in time, although not definite, there'd come a day when you absolutely would lift this boundary. But he's jeopardizing any opportunity for that to occur.
    Oh hell no! A C*nt? If that's not a huge boundary violation, it should be.
    That could easily be construed as relapsing back into his addiction. Those I know who have genuinely recovered, they don't care about that independence anymore. At least from their Partner. Spending time with other women, any women, is so far removed from their interests because they have ZERO interest in triggering their Partner.
    He needs to take a step back and take an objective look at what's going on in the relationship between you. The fact that he is fighting you on this is genuine cause for concern.
    Fall back on your Boundaries. If they need modifying, then modify them. But by all means, enforce them. If that means "don't let the door hit you on the ass on the way out", make certain that you drop kick his ass out the front door.
     
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  5. Susannah

    Susannah Fapstronaut

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    I totally get this.
    This is so manipulative and childish at the same time. Step one: Try to make you feel bad about a boundary you have because it is preventing him from doing something he secretly wants to do.
    Step two: Then reveal the real reason he wanted to relax that boundary. I remember trying to do this to my dad when I was a kid. So discouraging.
    Of course "friendship" is a total red herring.

    Him: "I want to spend time with friends and you won't let me!"
    You: "Go for it. Spend time with friends as long as they are male. The restriction around women friends is important though, given the MASSIVE MARRIAGE-KILLING problems we've had as a result of your previous involvement with other women.
    Him: umm, I didn't think this through...sputter, sputter..."Wah! You don't let me have any friends!"
     
  6. Susannah

    Susannah Fapstronaut

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    This is exhausting and soul-killing after a while. So sorry about this. And obviously, the physical and verbally abusive stuff is absolutely unacceptable.
     
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  7. Vixen

    Vixen Fapstronaut

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    Exactly!

    Another thing I forgot to mention when distilling my frustrations last night... During the mix of him complaining about accountability software he asked me if I was having an affair "because when people get really suspicious it often means that they are having an affair." o_O Projecting projecting? Ughhh Stupid DARVO

    He adamantly said he's never cheated on me. (In real life, mind you.) I told him that doesn't mean a lot considering if he had cheated on me he would NEVER tell me. The only ways I've learned of his transgressions in the past is by detective work. He has lied to my face relentlessly in the past.

    Ugh it is disconcerting to drag up all these concerns again. I don't want to be the paranoid "controlling" wife that he's painting me as..... but on some level I know it's a manipulation. Or a delusion. Or both. He says "I don't like having to tell people at work I can't hang out because my wife doesn't like me to spend time with other women." Good to know that he's still villainizing me to other people. I'm sure he won't take initiative to tell them WHY I don't like it and what HE did to foster this environment. There's really no reason to throw me under the bus at all. Why wouldn't he just say "No thanks, I need to spend some time with my family."
     
  8. Vixen

    Vixen Fapstronaut

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    Yes! Thank you! I'm so tired of him making me the bad guy.
     
  9. Vixen

    Vixen Fapstronaut

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    I think this stems from him feeling powerless and trying to put that on me.

    Probably goes back to his narcissistic selfishness and lack of empathy to how this affects me. He has the emotional memory/humility of a goldfish it seems.

    Yes, it's terrible. Today he sent me a random link as if nothing had happened. So I respond:
    "Are you just pretending last night didn’t happen? Things are not okay. Your behavior towards me last night was unacceptable."

    He responds:"I'm allowed to have friends. I'm allowed to privacy. I'm allowed to ask for reasons and explanation for things I don't agree with. I said mean things last night and I'm sorry for that but I want to not feel like I'm not allowed to have friends. I like spending time with friends. You are allowed that. I am too."

    I have not responded to him yet. I don't really want to waste energy messaging him right now.

    Yes, that's how I imagine he should respond. Again, empathy-less selfish goldfish.

    I am concerned. Not sure if it's indicative of him up to something bad or if he's indulging in narcissistic behavior. Or both.
     
  10. Vixen

    Vixen Fapstronaut

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    You know I did present him with this hypothetical last night. He was very dismissive. Said that if I was engaged in similar online sexual behaviors throughout our marriage it would have been merely a single conversation. As if my reaction to this whole thing has been over the top. It makes me feel like he doesn't really care all that much. Detached much, indeed.

    He is adamantly against groups or things that involve "higher power". (Not something he and I share in common since I am Christian). He went to a counselor for a few weeks but I don't think that did any bit of good. (I'm suspect he villainized me to the therapist.) His general mentality has been that he simply resolves to stop behavior -- and it seems like he has for the past few months. But history does teach me that things are not always as they seem.
     
  11. GhostWriter

    GhostWriter Fapstronaut

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    There is a THIRD option, though I don't know that you would be willing to do this, and LOL, I'll be he doesn't have the guts to.

    "Sure you can go out with all of these women and have a drink or two and meet up as friends. But this is how it is going to unfold. You're going to tell them, in my presence so that there is no misunderstanding, so there is no reading between the lines, so there is no beating around the bush, direct and to the point, so that I am not made out to be the villain in all of this that I said it was OK to do so because once I told you all that I cheated on her, that I betrayed our trust in our relationship, that I have engaged in compulsively pathologically lying to her engaging in a web of lies and deceit" to cover it all up in a blanket of secrecy, that I watched pornography excessively and masturbated to it excessively, then you can go out with your friends." What? No guts? He wants to do all of this shit that is a clear trigger for you, and walks and talks as if he is clueless in his contribution and responsibility for it all.
     
  12. Vixen

    Vixen Fapstronaut

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    Ha! That would be astounding! Certainly an amusing concept!
     
  13. Trappist

    Trappist Fapstronaut

    Sometimes people use the meetings as a higher power itself and can’t bring themselves to say many or any of the prayers.

    Meetings help us to decentralize our recovery from all about ourselves.

    If nothing else suggest he could maybe help somebody else with his experience… :)
    Nothing like seeing denial in another...

    Some find the meetings of great comfort and constructive to hear others in a similar boat working to recover.
     
  14. Susannah

    Susannah Fapstronaut

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    I had to look this up. Gross. I'm so sorry.
    Right. If he doesn't like telling them that, he could try telling
    them the truth instead.
    Gaslighting + minimization for the win!
    Totally missing ALL the points.
     
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  15. Susannah

    Susannah Fapstronaut

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    Beautiful. This is similar to what I demanded when we disclosed to our female therapist. My husband had to be the one to go in and disclose that there was a good chance he would objectify her, fantasize about her, perform for her and that his therapy might be compromised by his sex addiction behaviors. Otherwise it would have been, "We can't do this because my wife is uncomfortable with it." To his credit he did it without objection, in spite of it being very uncomfortable.
     
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  16. GhostWriter

    GhostWriter Fapstronaut

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    Don't feel bad. I did too!
    BINGO!
    He is. But are we going to have "real" friends, or are we going to have "superficial" friends? It occurs to me that he wants friends he can lie to and manipulate. That's not friends, nor what they are for.
    Absolutely. But you're in a relationship. You're not entitled to secrecy. Privacy is going to take a dump. Secrecy is going to masturbate. Understand the difference Dear Hubby?
    Well of course you are. But just because you don't like the answer doesn't mean it's not the right answer. But here is the thing. You don't get a say in her boundaries. She owns those. They are not even negotiable unless she decides to make them negotiable. So this is just bullshit on his part. Everything he's said up to this point, he's got a choice in the matter. He just doesn't like the consequence. What's the phrase you tell a child "too bad, so sad"?
    A) Can't help you with that and B) What exactly are you sorry for? Acting like a total pompous narcissistic jackass or calling me a C*nt? What exactly are you sorry for?
    Yes, and because of your betrayal in our relationship, there are conditions upon which you are allowed such friends. BTW, if your child were to want to go out with friends, and you felt unsafe with your child spending time with those friends, you'd say "no". "But I'm not your child" he would say? "But your actions have been that of a man-child" is your response.
    LOL, no response is a response!
    I want to coin a new term out of this: "...selfgoldfish..." LOL
    Compile a list of those, and then the pieces of that puzzle begin to emerge into a picture. Seriously, keep a running list of things that question his recovery.
    If he's always been this way, there is little you can do. I personally think it's pretty arrogant of Man to believe we are supreme beings in the Universe. But whatever. That's on him. I think this is such a bullshit excuse, because every 12-Step Program gives you free reign to define what that Higher Power is, or none as the case may be.
    I suspet you're right.
    Yet it doesn't if/when you add up all of his word/action inconsistencies. Compile your list, and let's see where you are.
    Damn. Now you're talking my lady.

    This is a cunning, baffling, and powerful disease. I do not know of a single person who managed to "White Knuckle" it alone, and be successful with it. I think he's playing you. I think he's playing his counselor. Of course, I do not have unequivocal proof, but then I don't need to. And neither do you. All his actions are leading me to believe he's in a continued state of addiction. That's just MHO!
     
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  17. The old saying...
    “It’s not paranoid if they’re really out to get you”
    ...comes to mind.

    Until someone shows over significant time that they will be rigorously honest, I wouldn’t trust them either. Trust is EARNED.

    Takes one to know one and I’m a recovering addict.
     
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  18. gymismylife

    gymismylife Fapstronaut

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    I feel for you in all this. My bf has alot of female friends too. Many of whom he dated or had a thing for, before me. One of his female friends, who was engaged at the time, kissed him at a party right in front of me. I had to threaten to tell her fiance before he'd end the friendship. He sometimes brings it up and says that I dont let him have friend. My response is always the same. Cool and without emotion I say "you can have whatever friends you want, but I won't be with someone who is friends with people like that" then he says, "So if I'm friends with her, I can't be with you?" And I say yep. You got it.
     
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  19. Tannhauser

    Tannhauser Fapstronaut

    I have never understood PA who resent accountability software. Personally I find it liberating. Since it tracks all of my online activity I am freed from having to prove that I'm still clean. Perhaps, however, it is because I am the one who proposed using the software rather than having it forced upon me. Nevertheless I am very grateful for it, and the safeguard it provides.

    As for female friends - I would never contemplate hanging out with female friends or colleges without my wife. It just doesn't make sense. I too have worked in a female dominated field (at one conference I regularly attend I was once one of three men out of 150 attendees). When they had social events as part of the conference I always brought my wife with me, and when possible our babies too. But I'm also somewhat introverted, so maybe that's different. I hang out with coworkers all day, I don't have much desire to hang out with them after work.
     
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  20. Rambling Man

    Rambling Man Fapstronaut

    Friday night is quotation night, and tonight we're having a

    Jordan Peterson's Special

    It is far better to render Beings in your care competent than to protect them.

    — Jordan B. Peterson, 12 Rules for Life

    It is not virtuous to be victimized by a bully, even if that bully is oneself.

    — Jordan B. Peterson, 12 Rules for Life

    It is not virtuous to be victimized by a bully, even if that bully is your husband.

    — Rambling Man, Vixen Variations

    You need to consider the future and think, "What might my life look like if I were caring for myself properly? What career would challenge me and render me productive and helpful, so that I could shoulder my share of the load, and enjoy the consequences? What should I be doing, when I have some freedom, to improve my health, expand my knowledge, and strengthen my body?" You need to know where you are, so you can start to chart your course. You need to know who you are, so that you understand your armament and bolster yourself in respect to your limitations. You need to know where you are going, so that you can limit the extent of chaos in your life, restructure order, and bring the divine force of Hope to bear on the world.

    You must determine where you are going, so that you can bargain for yourself, so that you don't end up resentful, vengeful and cruel. You have to articulate your own principles, so that you can defend yourself against others' taking inappropriate advantage of you, and so that you are secure and safe while you work and play. You must discipline yourself carefully. You must keep the promises you make to yourself, and reward yourself, so that you can trust and motivate yourself. You need to determine how to act toward yourself so that you are most likely to become and to stay a good person. It would be good to make the world a better place. Heaven, after all, will not arrive of its own accord. We will have to work to bring it about, and strengthen ourselves, so that we can withstand the deadly angels and flaming sword of judgment that God used to bar its entrance.

    Don't underestimate the power of vision and direction. These are irresistible forces, able to transform what might appear to be unconquerable obstacles into traversable pathways and expanding opportunities. Strengthen the individual. Start with yourself. Take care with yourself. Define who you are. Refine your personality. Choose your destination and articulate your Being. As the great nineteenth-century German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche so brilliantly noted, "He whose life has a why can bear almost any how."

    You could help direct the world, on its careening trajectory, a bit more toward Heaven and a bit more away from Hell. Once having understood Hell, researched it, so to speak—particularly your own individual Hell—you could decide against going there or creating that. You could aim elsewhere. You could, in fact, devote your life to this. That would give you a Meaning, with a capital M. That would justify your miserable existence. That would atone for your sinful nature, and replace your shame and self-consciousness with the natural pride and forthright confidence of someone who has learned once again to walk with God in the Garden.

    You could begin by treating yourself as if you were someone you were responsible for helping.

    — Jordan B. Peterson, 12 Rules for Life
    Assume first that you are doing the easiest thing, and not the most difficult.

    — Jordan B. Peterson, 12 Rules for Life

    Before you help someone, you should find out why that person is in trouble. You shouldn't merely assume that he or she is a noble victim of unjust circumstances and exploitation. It's the most unlikely explanation, not the most probable. In my experience—clinical and otherwise—it's just never been that simple. Besides, if you buy the story that everything terrible just happened on its own, with no personal responsibility on the part of the victim, you deny that person all agency in the past (and, by implication, in the present and future, as well). In this manner, you strip him or her of all power.

    — Jordan B. Peterson, 12 Rules for Life
    Success: that's the mystery. Virtue: that's what's inexplicable. To fail, you merely have to cultivate a few bad habits. You just have to bide your time. And once someone has spent enough time cultivating bad habits and biding their time, they are much diminished. Much of what they could have been has dissipated, and much of the less that they have become is now real. Things fall apart, of their own accord, but the sins of men speed their degeneration. And then comes the flood.

    — Jordan B. Peterson, 12 Rules for Life
     

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