Communication

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Registered: 09-12-2008
Communication
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Sun, 08-02-2009 - 9:11pm

It's dawned on me that my spouse is just not that good of a communicator. When I found out about the affair, right out of the cheater's playbook, she blamed me for her actions. I was becoming distant, I wasn't doing my end, I wasn't listening, I was too critical, and so forth. She was the victim and was only trying to make herself feel better.

After I lost the weight, couldn't sleep for months, couldn't stop crying, and put forth a serious effort to work on my own behavior. The blaming began to go away. One of the ways I talked to her was to turn the discussion back on her. "Thomas, you would do X." so I would respond, "How is that different from you doing X or Y?"

Or I tried to do what I would hope she would do for me. She would complain about one of my behaviors and I would own that behavior and express that I'm working on that behavior, and then honestly try and work on that behavior.

At this point, I think that my spouse is behaving honorably but we still have disagreements and hurt feelings. Now she turns any discussions back on me now. Which seems fair on the surface. But she never owns her behavior in the discussions. She turns the questions around back on me to avoid discussing her issues. Nor is it used in problem solving but in problem avoiding. In a way, I feel that we are back to square one. She's found a new way to avoid dealing with me.

Last week I sent an email to about 30 friends and listed five music videos of songs that I really liked that I thought were fairly obscure. My spouse found one or two of them herself and we discovered the others together. In the list of 30 friends was a newspaper reporter that my spouse thinks has a thing for me. I've tried to keep my spouse informed anytime that reporter writes me or requests to talk to me. I'm trying to do my best to be transparent. That reporter wrote back and I forwarded that email to my spouse. W got really upset that I shared those songs with other people and included the reporter. Ugh! She's right, it was a huge misstep on my part. I told her so and apologized. W turned it around and said that she told me a story about a nurse flirting with her at work and I got upset and called it flirting. Of course when I said that she was right that I made a misstep, she didn't admit that she had made one, despite the fact that she admitted to it being flirtatious an not professional.

I'm really struggling with the issue that I'm trying really hard to own my stuff and unless I call her on something, she seems oblivious, and when I do call her on it, she won't own it or I'm just throwing things in her face.

I finally said to her that my goal in all this is to have her love me, to admire me, to have marital feelings toward me. To be partners again. But I'm struggling to find my way there. The affair brought me to the realization that we had major problems in our marriage and I had problems in my behavior. But the affair is still an obstacle for me understanding where she's coming from if she will not talk to me and when I do talk to her, I'm throwing stuff in her face or she refuses to talk.

I know her meds are part of the problem and we can't seem to get her and the doctors lined up. She avoids talking to the shrink about our real problems, I'm about to have two weeks of trade shows, my busiest time of the year. And I don't want to table any of this.

She's at work and the only times we get to talk are late at night when we are both bushed or early in the morning when she's at her worst.

Woof!

On the lighter side. She was really mean to me the day I forwarded her the email. It really hurt my feelings. She ended it with, "and your going to wake me up at 5:00 and want to talk to me too." That was really hurtful as I wake up at 5:00 most mornings hurting and obsessing about the men.

At 5:00 I woke up and asked why she was being so mean. The discussion spiraled downward like It would. I finally said I was sorry about something, she said I was fishing for an apology. She was right, I said "yes, I am." "What" she asked. I thought about it and said, "flirting at work." She took a moment and said that she was genuinely upset about what she did. That she understood that it hurt my feelings at a time when I'm very insecure. We had a very good discussion about modest clothing. She asked about her hot pants that she used to have and why can't she just have some shorts to wear doing yard work. I asked her to throw out her really skimpy clothing after D Day and she unsolicited, sent some clothing to her sister. I told her I was really freaked out then, I'm not really comfortable now but not as wigged out about it. I told her in 8 months, I'll probably want her to start wearing those really great outfits again. It's a time issue and a boundaries issue.

This week is my one year for D Day. I'm avoiding calendars. I don't want to relive any of it. I was able to get past the year mark for their last contact. I want to get past this and never think of those dates again. At one year, I'm so shocked at how much work we still have to do and how much of my behavior I still want to work on. That's why it takes two years, it takes so long to just wrap our minds around our failures to communicate and to grasp what exactly it is that we want out of our relationships. And to decide if we can ever get there with this partner.

Thomas

5 kids ages 15-9, D Day: August 5, 2008

Status: Figuring it out. Together.




Edited 8/2/2009 9:16 pm ET by pater_familia

Thomas

We have five kids. Our D-Day was in August, 2008.

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Registered: 06-03-2008
Mon, 08-03-2009 - 11:02am

What I hear Pater is you doing the majority of the work and her passively watching.




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Registered: 09-12-2008
Mon, 08-03-2009 - 12:02pm

Aprilmagic

Yeah, I know what it is like to just get wound up about some of this stuff. It's like our stories all have similar threads, textbook reactions, but everyone needs individual solutions. I look at ThinkingMan and think to myself, I know what I would do there. But the fact is that my spouse has NC for a year now. I've dealt with all the men now personally, I've made them deal with their wives or me directly and account for what they did. I'm lucky to feel that all of the men are on reasonably good paths and I don't have to feel guilty that I'm sitting on my hands while they are out hurting other families.

My spouse has reasonably owned up to her mistakes. I just feel dead-in-the-water at the moment. I think the meds did good things, do good things, but one of the side affects in no libido, and sleeping all the time. It's like we switched roles in a way. She complained that the reason she was tempted to have an affair is because I was a no show husband. Well, she's now being a no show wife.

So what now, am I suppose to have an affair now so that she can understand my hurt?

Woof!

Thomas

5 kids ages 15-9, D Day: August 5, 2008

Status: Figuring it out. Together.

Thomas

We have five kids. Our D-Day was in August, 2008.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-23-2009
Mon, 08-03-2009 - 12:13pm

It's like our stories all have similar threads, textbook reactions, but everyone needs individual solutions.


I so agree


I just feel dead-in-the-water at the moment


me too .. but that doesn't mean that I am ready to give up or that this as you said above has a 'textbook' answer.

Avatar for pater_familia
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Registered: 09-12-2008
Mon, 08-03-2009 - 12:23pm

If I had any brains I would just let things ride for a while. One of my spouses current comments is that every time she sees me she has a feeling of dread. I'm the reminder of her bad behavior, I am an embodiment of hurt and trouble.

I suppose what I need to do is find a way so that when she sees me, she sees fun, strength, security.

Right?

And that takes not wanting to discuss the problems for a while. Letting things ride or let things go. Once again. It's on me.

Thomas

5 kids ages 15-9, D Day: August 5, 2008

Status: Figuring it out. Together.

Thomas

We have five kids. Our D-Day was in August, 2008.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-23-2009
Mon, 08-03-2009 - 12:29pm

I think that's what causes me to lose it sometimes ... the feeling that it's all on me.


Sigh.


and yeah, you're right ... there are times it's better to let things ride for a while for the long term picture.

Avatar for pater_familia
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Registered: 09-12-2008
Mon, 08-03-2009 - 12:34pm

"Do you want to be RIGHT or do you want to be HAPPY?

Ouch! That one hit home. I kept telling my spouse some months after D Day that ...

"I don't want to be right, I just want you."

Thanks, I needed a dose of that!

Thomas

5 kids ages 15-9, D Day: August 5, 2008

Status: Figuring it out. Together.

Thomas

We have five kids. Our D-Day was in August, 2008.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-09-2008
Mon, 08-03-2009 - 3:52pm

Thomas, do you see improvement at all?

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Registered: 09-12-2008
Mon, 08-03-2009 - 4:53pm

JD

Yeah. Ugh!

I'm just trying to brainstorm my way through this. I keep saying in my brain, "if I can figure this out she will be happy, she will fall in love with me again because she will see me as this hero and she will pull herself out of this funk and were going to really pull together. It's not like I've seen nothing from this woman, she's covered some big bases. No contact, she recognizes that she can't go back to those men. That new men will end her marriage. I don't think she's looking outside the marriage. I just don't know if she's looking inside the marriage.

Last week when she was talking divorce she said she would never get married again. What could that possibly mean?

I just think it's the meds.

Thomas

5 kids ages 16-10, D Day: August, 2008

What's I'm doing to rebuild: Therapy, Books, Exercise, Forgiveness.

Thomas

We have five kids. Our D-Day was in August, 2008.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-09-2008
Mon, 08-03-2009 - 5:50pm

I absolutely, 100% understand why you're putting yourself through so much, I just hope you're seeing effort on her side, too (and you say you are seeing effort, so that's good).


And I'm sorry - I didn't know she was talking divorce.

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Registered: 09-12-2008
Mon, 08-03-2009 - 6:02pm

OMG!!!

" It was like he was looking at me and seeing someone else. "

That's like so right on!

She kept saying, "we didn't have that kind of marriage."

???

Ummm, yes we did!!!! We made promises to each other! I would like to think that whatever my faults were, that if I had known there were other men making advances toward her, I would have woke up just as early and completely. I don't feel like I was ever given a chance in all of that. Ever.

Thomas

5 kids ages 16-10, D Day: August, 2008

What's I'm doing to rebuild: Therapy, Books, Exercise, Forgiveness.

Thomas

We have five kids. Our D-Day was in August, 2008.

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