Just venting

Discussion in 'Partner Support' started by IamGold, Jan 20, 2019.

  1. IamGold

    IamGold Fapstronaut

    I'm pretty anxious and sad right now... and lost, I guess.
    Almost constantly I feel physical pain... or more like a pressure on my chest. I can't even remember the time when I didn't feel like this.
    Every morning I wake up being uncomfortable for having seen bad and weird dreams and it takes me a while, but then it always hits me like hammer how unhappy I am in my life.
    I'm not being heard in my marriage.
    My feelings or needs are never as important as whatever he has going on.
    I've been accused of every single thing that's ever been wrong in his life.
    I've been told and shown -in every possible way- that his love for me will never be greater than the love he has for his own ego and pride.

    I've exhausted myself trying to balance between being a great wife but holding my ground... giving love and affection but still demanding respect.
    For so long I have been terrified that one day I'll just be discarded like a bag of thrash.
    ...actually, I've already been discarded... I just realized...

    I've been heartbroken for a long time already but four days ago when he told me that he doesn't love me and that our marriage is over, something else broke inside me.
    Maybe it was the hope that I've been holding on to for all this time.

    He took it back... admitted he used divorce as a weapon to win the argument... apologized...
    So I'm still here. I don't know why or what for.
    The rational part of me is telling me to run as fast as my feet can carry me but the foolish feelings I have for him are making me stay put.
    Oh fuck, I'm such a fool.
    anewhope likes this.
  2. I am SO sorry that you are going through this.

    Have you read about narcissists? My wife has brought up this term to me..quite often actually (given the few times she and I talk). I am still wrestling with the idea if I am a narcissist / a monster. I DO know I have lived a very selfish life over our 22 year marriage.

    Confronting the hard reality of how bad of a husband someone has been / how much of a failure someone has been---all the while thinking the marriage was good/decent (which might be part of the narcissist tendencies?)----that is really hard for a PA husband to look at head on and face. I hope and pray that your husband does not run away from those hard realities...and instead confronts his failures, his shortcomings.
    Nugget9 and IamGold like this.
  3. IamGold

    IamGold Fapstronaut

    Thanks, I honestly don't know if he's a narcissist... I've read about it and he seems to check many of the boxes. I'm a bit concerned about that... On the other hand, he has openly shown his vulnerability in different areas of his life and I've understood that that's something a narcissist would avoid. That is unless he's learned it as a method to control.
    Anyway, I'm not an expert and it's difficult to see things objectively when they are so close. Maybe time will tell if he's a narcissist or if it's something else.
    And I just want to say to you... Even if you are a narcissist, as long as you try to be better, you are not a monster.:)
    B3unbroken and Nugget9 like this.
  4. GhostWriter

    GhostWriter Fapstronaut

    I know I've seen you here before, and quite honestly, I don't know if you and I have ever interacted or not. Anyway, have you gone through Boundaries & Consequences?
    B3unbroken, Nugget9 and IamGold like this.
  5. IamGold

    IamGold Fapstronaut

    Well.. Yes and no.
    I have established my boundaries and the one consequence has been me distancing myself when:
    • He creates a problem for himself if I try to show my feelings and then expects me to comfort him.
    • He's wallowing in self-pity, being all meek, pathetic, spineless, and unable to pull himself together.
    • He thinks that the whole world should come to a halt because he has something bothering him.
    • He's not showing his true emotions and I can see that his hiding behind some act...being a sycophant or behaving factitiously
    • He lies or relapses
    • He sees me as someone who has unlimited energy and patience to try and sort out our problems no matter what he throws my way.
    • He says hurtful things
    • He blames me for his problems
    • He's emotionally cold
    I can understand how great the results could be in some cases. Buuutt... In our case, deliberate distance has only created more problems and conflict between us.
    He's an EXTREMELY bitter person and rarely finds anything wrong in what he does. Even though I've explained to him that consequences are not a punishment and they happen because I need them, he completely shuts down because he feels abandoned.
    Because he shuts down like that I know he only lets his anger win and it turns into a grudge that he will hold on to forever... further widening the gap between us, making it even more difficult to fix what's broken.
    He's not stopping to think what his part was because he's so consumed with the "unfairness" of the imaginary abandonment. He becomes the victim and I become the enemy so the distance I initially wanted turns into days, becoming a hurtful game he's in control of.

    I've tried to make him do house chores as consequences... I've even tried to make him reflect situations here on the forum after he breaks my boundaries to no avail. Everything I've tried only makes him collect more and more resentment towards me so I've finally given up.

    I've reached a point where I'm at my wit's end. I feel like there's nothing more I could do, so I've decided to do nothing at all.
    Thor god of thunder and Nugget9 like this.
  6. GhostWriter

    GhostWriter Fapstronaut

    I am really big on the Boundaries & Consequences, and in writing. I removes the blame, and saddles it squarely on the perpetrator's lap who violated the boundary. They own it lock, stock, and barrel. It's "You knew, it is in writing, you signed off on it, no excuses" type of deal. If I haven't shared the Boundaries & Consequences guidelines with you, and you would like them, I can post them here for you.
    A very fair consequence. Pretty lenient actually by most standards.
    Yeah, I wouldn't dignify that with a response. That is so reminiscent of a toddler having a temper tantrum.
    The self-pity, being all meek, pathetic, spineless, and unable to pull himself together, I can assure you is tied back to some earlier childhood trauma associated with it. I want to cringe when somebody says "grow a spine" because the person being shamed for being spineless likely suffered dire consequences as a child when he did show a spine. Thus, they have resigned themselves to associate having a spine with having dire consequences. This is where Bitter Root Judgments and Bitter Root Expectations come in. It's "I know what happened to me because of this, so therefore, I am not going down that path because my Bitter Root Expectation yields that I will suffer a dire consequence for it" I created a thread about it to talk about Bitter Root Judgments and Bitter Root Expectations because I was triggered by an event here to recall a time that I was severely judged as a Senior in High School for having done something I had not done. But because this one individual had determined that I had done it, he perpetuated a lie, and spread it amongst all of our peers in school. Consequently, I was ostracized and threatened and treated horribly by the other students that bought into his assertions. But this is precisely what that is for him. He has perceived that "growing a spine" equates to "punishment for daring to have one". Make sense? I genuinely hate that the thread became a problem, so when the dust settles, I will resurrect (actually create a new and different one) to convey the intended purpose of understanding the dynamics surrounding Bitter Root Judgments and Bitter Root Expectations. i don't want it to be associated in any way to anyone here. It's something I'm still having to navigate through myself, and I'm just beginning (in the past few months) to genuinely understand it. Also, I'm finding that in doing so, it starts to free me from my resentments and paves the way for forgiveness. I so have to do that.

    "...wallowing in self-pity, being all meek, pathetic, spineless, and unable to pull himself together..." is all tied to that. It's that part of the brain that determines "fight, flight, or freeze". He is "freezing", and is emotionally terrified that whatever move he makes will be the wrong one. As silly as it sounds, I can almost guarantee it.
    Well, not making excuses here. That's an addict! You mean you weren't aware that the world revolves around us and not the Sun? When the addiction subsides, the reality will reside. Yeah, I wouldn't accept this behavior either. Doing so would be enabling.
    It's very difficult for an addict to show true emotions. We learn this by repeated opportunities amongst one another. It also helps to have peers who are more advanced than you are in their recovery. Good boundary though.
    I would have made those separate, but this is good.
    That's what a "mommy" does. Also a good boundary. Don't tolerate this behavior either.
    Yep, that's Gaslighting. Good one.
    Also Gaslighting. Love that you itemized these two.
    That's good too, but probably a difficult one for him. That falls into that "spineless" category you were talking about earlier. He is fearful that whatever move he makes will be the wrong one.
    Concur. This is also indicative of one who isn't there in his recovery yet too.
    Are you kidding? You mean to tell me we aren't always right? OMG, there is a revelation for us addicts. Yeah, you're so right on point here. It's why I had to learn myself even "Do you have to be right, or do you have to be in a relationship?" For so long, no matter what, if I thought that I was right, I'd fight it to the bitter end. Bitterness is also very common amongst us. It has taken me a very long time to overcome my bitterness. It's still a problem. In fact, I want no part of a relationship with anyone right now. I don't even want the company of someone to just go to the movies with. Not interested. I still love my ex wife in spite of my feelings of betrayal and abandonment. But, I have to remind myself always, I wouldn't be sitting where I am today had it not been for my outrageous behavior. Actions => Reactions. And Actions have Consequences.
    I have a really good written piece on this, and it explains the difference that even a 3rd grader can understand. A punishment has no medicinal purpose, and is meant to inflict harm in retaliation for a behavior. A consequence is a natural phenomenon as a result of unacceptable behavior. The thing is this:

    Any time you make a decision, and that decision has the propensity to either impact or influence another person, you have a duty, responsibility, and obligation to include that person in your decision.

    No, they aren't punishments. They are self protections for your own safety, security, and emotional well being in your own environment. You're saying to him: "These things are not acceptable to me in a relationship with you." And realistically, you'd have those same boundaries with any other person in a relationship, would you not? You wouldn't tolerate it at all. You certainly wouldn't tolerate those behaviors with your own child. And let's face it, he has acted like a "man-child", hasn't he?
    I'm sure. I know he needs to learn forgiveness. I'm so in touch with that emotion. Still struggling with it. I think that what hurts me the most is that lack of closure, to be able to tell her the things that troubled me in the relationship. At this point, I'm reasonably certain she doesn't care. Yes, she played a significant role in my decisions to "act out". But I own it. It was my damned decision to do it. It was me who did these things. Not her. And you know this. It was him that did the things that he did. He owns it. You are not at all responsible for it. Whether you reacted inappropriately or not he is ultimately responsible just as much as "the devil made me do it" (I don't even know where that phrase originated. I just know I heard it all throughout my life).
    "Unfairness" is a thing. But life is unfair. I always say "If you want fair, I'll buy you a ticket, and you can go to the fair". If life were fair, people who were/are innocent wouldn't be punished for things they hadn't done. People who should have gotten the promotion would have gotten it in lieu of the boss' favorite. But I caution you on the "imaginary abandonment", because that is so very real to him. It isn't at all imaginary to him. It is his perception, and perception is how we all rationalize our behavior. This is what he believes, right, wrong, or indifferent.
    Yeah, this needs to be explicitly a Boundary violation. He's fighting back because that is what his addicted brain is telling him the proper response is. If he was in a position to have his Frontal Cortex make those decisions, they would be very much different.
    I don't know that I would agree to those being good consequences. Others may feel differently. I think a consequence must be as close to a natural consequence for the behavior as possible. House chores is something he needs to do anyhow. This is a punishment consequence in my view. You may feel differently. Let's figure out a way to make those "days of distance" into "consequential days of distance" All consequences need to be more difficult for him to bear than they are for you to endure. Never make consequences that become a pain in your ass.
    First of all, you can't make him do anything any more than he can make you. You have to encourage him. If you want me to expand on that, I will.
    Then he doesn't appear ready to embrace his recovery, and you may be in a situation where you must make more radical steps. And please don't give up just yet unless you are just done. I personally don't think you have given up, else you wouldn't post it here. If there is another stone to turn over to find a solution, then I would think you'd like to find that stone.
    I get it. And I know you're exhausted.
    Now, you're mimicking his responsiveness to you. I don't believe this for a moment. I tell men this all the time when they are trying to reconcile their relationship with their partner. They say "I've done everything I can do" to which I respond "No, you've done everything you're willing to do, so let's cut through the bullshit, and acknowledge that is the truth of the matter". Initially, it pisses them off until they've had sufficient time to realize and understand that I'm right. BTW, this wasn't something I came up with. It was something I learned from someone else who I admire and respect and has managed to salvage so many relationships, I can't count them all. And almost without exception, the disaster that the relationship has become WAS NOT THE WOMAN'S FAULT! Once they realize and understand this, the light bulb goes off. Then their partner wonders, "WTF has happened to you. You've changed." And they like it.

    No, I don't think you've done all you can do. Radical is when the realization is to the Partner "OK, now we're no longer talking a superficial separation. We're talking a real separation. You've put yourself in this position by constantly disrespecting my boundaries in the relationship. And I simply cannot/will not tolerate it in my life. That's when it gets very real. I'm working with an individual right now who is walking this path who will remain nameless.

    I hope you accept all of this as help. That's all it was intended to be. I wish you nothing but the best however you wish to proceed. You, like every betrayed partner here, are beautiful in body, mind, and spirit. Don't ever let a single human being lead you to believe any differently.[/QUOTE]
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2019
  7. IamGold

    IamGold Fapstronaut

    Thanks for your help.
    He left me today.
  8. GhostWriter

    GhostWriter Fapstronaut

    I'm so sorry.

    EDIT: I reformatted my previous post, as most of it was truncated because of a formatting error if you care to go back and read it at this point.
  9. IamGold

    IamGold Fapstronaut

    Thank you. No, I noticed the truncated part, no worries.
    this is something I have failed to understand... and now when I know I should not have been so judgemental and I should have shown him more encouragement, it might be too little too late.
    You're right. I was talking from a place of hurt and anger but there's more I could have done.
  10. Sounds like where my wife ended up.
    I had to actually be willing to do whatever it takes to try and fix it. But I had to see that things were changing for the worse and not coming back.
    First thing that happened that really showed me thstvthings weren’t the same was my wife stopped kissing me.
    She still hasn’t.
    It’s been a few years.
    She is definitely emotionally stronger than me.
    Likely you are stronger as well.
  11. IamGold

    IamGold Fapstronaut

    I think that my husband genuinely doesn't want to be with me anymore or even entertain the thought of being willing to do whatever it takes. He says he hasn't loved me for over two years and wants a divorce. I didn't see this coming, but here we are.
    He wanted me to leave our apartment for a few days, so I did. I have no idea what will happen when I return.
    I don't think there's much I could do at this point... I don't think he'll come around anymore. Maybe I should focus on a new start for myself... I don't know.
    Nugget9 and Thor god of thunder like this.
  12. Really sorry.
    I threatened to leave ( didn’t say “divorce”) my wife once in 2014.
    I was just in so much pain because of feeling stuck. I wanted her attention 24/7 because it seemed like I could only be sober when I wasn’t alone. I figured if I was going to fail anyway, I should fail alone. Also we have 2 kids that I felt were suffering because my wife was out with her friend a lot.
    (I didn’t realize her need for support)
    I couldn’t see my own part in it at the time and was just jealous.
    I felt like I was trying to hold the family together and she was letting it fall apart.

    Anyway I’m just saying this to let you know how messed up our thinking is in addiction when we won’t acknowledge our own culpability.

    Hope you can find your support and strengthen yourself because you are right that you can’t control anything he does.
  13. B3unbroken

    B3unbroken Fapstronaut

    Hi there! I’m so sry you’re feeling this way. As most SO’s I can relate. Intimacy Anorexia is something to possibly read about to see if he fits in there. Also is he doing any recovery work? Seeing a therapist to start?

    As for the boundaries/consequences part. I read a very helpful book on this called “Moving Beyond Betrayal”. So helpful in explaining how to identify you boundaries and needs. Request of him. Agreements. Broken boundaries and consequences. Consequence are actually not supposed to be punishments like house chores, etc (unless he set them for himself). Consequences are supposed to be more natural in nature and for your protection. For example: physical separation. You could ask him to sleep on the couch for a week but he has a “right” to say no. Then what do you do? Well you can choose to still protect yourself and fulfill the consequence by moving to the couch yourself to give you the space that you need to help heal, breathe, and assess the situation.

    No matter what, take care of you! Self care is so important especially when all of chaos can suck the life out of you. Therapy for yourself can be very helpful as well.

    - Xo
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2019
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  14. 0111zerozero11

    0111zerozero11 Fapstronaut

    Does your husband have trauma from childhood/adolescent age? If so, were you aware of the full extent of it?
    I knew mine was upset that his father got diagnosed with cancer while my ex was a teen, but that's literally all I knew. According to him, he had the perfect upbringing. It was hard for me to pity his behavior & be "kinder" to him because I didn't (& still don't) have a clue about any traumas he went through, if there even were any. I could only do so much with the information I had. If he wanted to tell me that no trauma happened to him, then I had no other choice but to take every attack on me & the marriage coming from a place of hatred, not trauma.

    I would beat him to the punch; I'm just saying....

    If he is a narcissist, your life is about to become a living hell. You were just discarded & everything you remember being good in your relationship, he's already forgotten about.

    When people with larger than life egos realize they can't control situations to make them appear as the victim anymore, they will drag your ass through hell & not give one crap about it. They only care about winning.

    Most importantly, start soul searching. That & learning to forgive yourself are going to be the only things that save you, even if this divorce talk is a bluff from him. Don't do the woulda, coulda, shoulda game; it gets you nowhere, trust me.

    Just some food for thought.

    I'll be thinking of you & sending what little positive energy I have to you.
    Stay strong; it's not as hard as it sounds. Allow yourself to really feel every emotion you have & embrace them.
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  15. IamGold

    IamGold Fapstronaut

    I think there are many things at play here.
    Intimacy anorexia for sure, co-dependency, his childhood traumas, and PA. I don't think that he's a narcissist.
    He's angry because he's been ignoring his own needs while carrying the weight of others (me) on his shoulders. He has lost himself during the years of our marriage and sees intimacy as the reason for his suffering.

    He seems to crave intimacy and love... but at the same time, he's burdened because he's overly attuned with my needs and ignores his own.
    I think he feels that the only way to ease his burden is to be alone because our marriage feels like a jail sentence to him right now. ...and in his mind, I'm the one who has put him through all this misfortune. I don't doubt that he genuinely feels this way. For him, it's the truth and maybe he's taken that as a sign of not being into me anymore.

    When he left me, for a couple of days I felt like I wanted to fight for him and do something to make him realize what's happening (I know, I can't make him do anything). I was desperate, frightened, and simply just refused to let this happen but today when I woke up I noticed that I felt differently; I don't think pushing him now will do any good. The pressure will only make him more anxious and he'll want even more distance from me. So I'll give him his space.
    In the end, if he wants to go I'll let him go.
  16. B3unbroken

    B3unbroken Fapstronaut

    You sound very level headed here! That’s good! For some reason when we change our perspective and “let go of trying to control” the situation or outcome, it just all works out and falls into place better. It’s just an easier said then done thing when we can CLEARLY see something they can’t...it’s definitely so frustrating. But they have to see it on their own. My husband sounds similar in many ways. He has grown a lot but still has a lot of growing to do. All you can do is work on you and your recovery and give him the space to do the same. It’ll all work out they it’s supposed too :)
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  17. GhostWriter

    GhostWriter Fapstronaut

    Or maybe he is one of those who are quick to throw in the towel because it's easier to walk away then it is to do the work. And realistically, "doing the work" is not much more than what he should have been doing all along.

    I'm so sorry you find yourself in this situation, but I am also pleased to see how strong and confident you are being. This is great news because either way, you'll be a much better women no matter the outcome. This shows great strength in you and makes my heart smile for you.

    I also want to remind you of the Prayer that is cited at every single 12-Step meeting, no matter what the addiction is. It's called the "Serenity Prayer"

    God, Grant me the Serenity
    To accept the things I cannot change
    The courage to change the things that I can
    And the Wisdom to know the difference

    And my verse for you in this prayer is the second one: "...accept the things I cannot change..." It is what it is. Honestly, in a state of addiction, I wouldn't be surprised if this wasn't a ploy, something of a manipulation on his part, "Oh, she'll beg me to come back". Yeah, DON'T!

    Also, watch this video. I think you'll appreciate it a lot:

    I hope this is helpful for you.
    IamGold likes this.

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