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Re: Am I still a doormat? [Re: holdingontoit] #444970
05/13/20 02:43 PM
05/13/20 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by holdingontoit
You are quite correct that our relationship is based entirely on power and control. Neither of us knows how to share well. So we don't.

And all her "You don't care about me" is just that, control. It's just her way of saying "Do what I want. I don't care about what you want".

Marriage is similar to two oxen yolked to the same plow. You are supposed to have some common goal you both work towards. It seems the only goal you share is an agreement about your children (actually only sometimes you guys agree). The rest of the time she feels the goal of both of you should be a complete commitment to her.

I'm glad you are standing up for yourself. But that also means you're pulling in different directions. What's the point?

Doesn't that get tedious and soul crushing?

Re: Am I still a doormat? [Re: holdingontoit] #444971
05/13/20 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by holdingontoit
Part of her misses the old me who cowered in fear of her and always did her bidding. Part of her is disgusted with the old me, and thankful that I have outgrown that behavior. That is OK, I know it is no picnic to be married to me, either.

I think this the core truth to your relationship. Your wife (like a lot of people) doesn't love you, she loves your utility and control over that. Unfortunately, that's not sexy and I think you are right, she was disgusted by you. The only part I think you are wrong about is that I don't think she has some new found respect for you. I don't think women come back once they reach a place where they are disgusted with their men. Now she is just fighting to regain control and protect her resources.

Re: Am I still a doormat? [Re: Fergie] #444972
05/13/20 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Fergie
The only part I think you are wrong about is that I don't think she has some new found respect for you. I don't think women come back once they reach a place where they are disgusted with their men.

This was not the case for me or for a number of women that I have known. But the newfound respect came from the effort and 180° change from behavior that was the source of the disrespect (on both sides).

In fact, I would say that the level of respect in those cases surpassed previous levels of respect.

However, reverting to and embracing old behavior brought about levels of disgust that I’ve not known many women to get past. Myself included.

So, a big part of me understands why Hold remains in a holding pattern and does his part to get back to status quo when Mrs H doesn’t do it first. There would be much more at stake otherwise.

Hold, none of the work you’ve done and are doing is for naught no matter what you decide to do with your relationship with Mrs H. The work has effects in other areas of life, too.

Last edited by LivingWell; 05/13/20 04:02 PM. Reason: fixed quote
Re: Am I still a doormat? [Re: Fergie] #444973
05/13/20 04:29 PM
05/13/20 04:29 PM
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holdingontoit Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Fergie
[quote=holdingontoit]Doesn't that get tedious and soul crushing?


Long past that. Soul has long since been crushed. Makes it much easier to endure this. When you aren't trying to accomplish anything in life except to survive, nothing much matters either way. She can't affect my mood, because there is nothing I am trying to obtain (from her, from myself, from life) that her bad mood affects.

It is a much bigger loss to her than to me. She doesn't like that I am grey rock as it relates to her sending me to the doghouse. She wants to see a reaction in me, to reassure her that I care and that she remains in control. It makes her anxious when I do not react.

We streamed the movie Unorthodox recently. It made a big impression on me. There is a scene where a married couple has sex. He thinks it is great. She is clearly in pain and is only consenting because of external pressure. Thoroughly painful and unenjoyable experience for her. Very hard for me to watch that. I feel so ashamed. I put her through that dozens of times over a period of many years. Very hard to forgive myself. I told her so later that night. She visibly stiffened and said "I do not want to talk about it". Later she said "thanks for apologizing." I am SO glad we stopped having sex when she got cancer. And so glad I turned down most of her attempts to restart after she recovered.

We are never going to learn to work well together. Because neither of us is willing to open up and be vulnerable to the other person. At least not at the level that would be needed for us to work through our shame and resentment and pain. Neither of us is willing to let go completely and stop keeping score.

Yes, for a reasonably healthy person it would be soul crushing to stay here. To me it is just me being me. I am not this way because of how she treats me. This is who I am. Who I was before I met her. Being with her hasn't helped or motivated me to become something else. And I have given up on trying to find motivation to change.


Solutions? There are none. There are decisions.
Re: Am I still a doormat? [Re: holdingontoit] #444974
05/13/20 08:58 PM
05/13/20 08:58 PM
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I've told my husband several times that sex is emotionally painful for me. The only part of it that he remembers is the part when I said 'the only way I can continue to participate is if we limit it to once a week.' He very carefully remembers that part so he still gets it. But is apparently dumbfounded as to my having any problems with him and our marriage. People find a way, hold. Just like you do, your wife did to find a way to keep whatever it was she wanted in the marriage.

Re: Am I still a doormat? [Re: holdingontoit] #444975
05/13/20 09:22 PM
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Well, the good news is that we are all mortal and this will all be over soon.

Re: Am I still a doormat? [Re: Fergie] #444976
05/14/20 03:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Fergie
Well, the good news is that we are all mortal and this will all be over soon.

Hopefully not VERY soon. Lol

Re: Am I still a doormat? [Re: holdingontoit] #444977
05/14/20 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by holdingontoit
I feel so ashamed. I put her through that dozens of times over a period of many years. Very hard to forgive myself.

Mrs H also put you through it.


Quote
I told her so later that night. She visibly stiffened and said "I do not want to talk about it".

It appears to me that Mrs H is pretty clear and even aggressive when she blames you for something. Consider that this more passive reaction could be due to having similar feelings as you regarding regret and it being hard to forgive herself.


Quote
Later she said "thanks for apologizing."

I’ll bet that you took that as her acknowledging that it was all your fault. It could very well be that she was acknowledging and thanking you for something(s) entirely different. Things that she cannot put words to herself.


Quote
Neither of us is willing to let go completely and stop keeping score.

I have learned that keeping score harms me in ways that can be hard to connect to the scorekeeping. It also has effects on those around me (if they stay around). It’s why I put in whatever effort is necessary for however long is necessary to take the lessons forward with me while leaving the details of how I learned those things behind. It’s part of my version of forgiveness.


Quote
It is a much bigger loss to her than to me.

I would agree with this at this time. However, that might not always be the case. What will you do then?

Re: Am I still a doormat? [Re: catperson] #444978
05/14/20 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by catperson
... when I said 'the only way I can continue to participate...

... He very carefully remembers...

Could this work for other things that are so burdensome to you that it hinders you from being able to enjoy other things in your life?

For example, the only way that I can continue to share a room with you is if I also have one that is just mine. (I’m thinking of the Grandkid Space that you want in your home.)






Quote
But is apparently dumbfounded as to my having any problems...

He may never get that but it might not be as painful to live with if you were getting some of the things that are most important to you.

Re: Am I still a doormat? [Re: LivingWell] #444979
05/14/20 11:10 PM
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Originally Posted by LivingWell
I would agree with this at this time. However, that might not always be the case. What will you do then?


I've been thinking this same thing.

Re: Am I still a doormat? [Re: holdingontoit] #444980
05/15/20 03:57 PM
05/15/20 03:57 PM
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holdingontoit Offline OP
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If she wants to leave, she can leave. Will be difficult financially but I am not going to hold her back.

I hope she doesn't, but it is her life.

My best guess is she won't, but maybe that is wishful thinking.


Solutions? There are none. There are decisions.
Re: Am I still a doormat? [Re: holdingontoit] #444981
05/17/20 12:50 AM
05/17/20 12:50 AM
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Originally Posted by holdingontoit
If she wants to leave, she can leave. Will be difficult financially but I am not going to hold her back.

I hope she doesn't, but it is her life.

My best guess is she won't, but maybe that is wishful thinking.


What do you see as missing here?


Orchid
Re: Am I still a doormat? [Re: Orchid2] #444982
05/18/20 02:17 PM
05/18/20 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Orchid2
What do you see as missing here?


For me, nothing is missing because I expect very little from the relationship.

For her, I believe what is missing is me being infatuated with / devoted to her. She thinks I treat her well, but that I would treat anyone well who occupied the role of "Hold's wife". She isn't sure that I treat her especially well because I appreciate her special qualities. And she is quite correct.

I have made it pretty clear that infatuation / devotion are not in the cards. Getting there would require me to enmesh with her far more than I am willing to do. I do not trust her with my heart, so there are parts of it I withhold. And I do not believe there is anything she can do to change that.

She has to decide if she can live with me holding back parts of myself forever. So far, it seems she can and she wants to. Either of those could change at any time. I recognize the risk I am taking by walling myself off from her. I consider that a smaller and less dire risk than re-opening my heart to her. I believe I can tolerate losing her. I cannot tolerate losing myself.


Solutions? There are none. There are decisions.
Re: Am I still a doormat? [Re: holdingontoit] #444983
05/19/20 07:14 AM
05/19/20 07:14 AM
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Originally Posted by holdingontoit
...... I believe I can tolerate losing her. I cannot tolerate losing myself.


We can never tolerate losing ourselves. To do so would put us and possibly others in danger.

The sad thing I find is that you don't appear to have a backup for yourself. I can understand that and how it puts stress on us who are in that situation.

To lose someone who is supposed to be cherished member of our family or to be abused by such a person is difficult to deal with on a daily basis. I lived with the pins of needles of WSt and his family for so many years. Then to at the same time deal with what my father and sister inflicted on myself and my family was a triple whammy that put me in a self-preservation position causing me to be to be cautious regarding any relationship in my current life. I can be helpful and friendly but to take any R deeper is very difficult for me. In part, because there is no back up for me.

I feel you are headed in that same direction. It would be good if you had a backup person and plan. Like a relative, good friend, IC/MC, etc. Glad you are posting here. As a collective group familiar with what you are dealing with, we can help support us through these trials.

I know the board has helped me over the years.

Take care,
Orchid


Orchid
Re: Am I still a doormat? [Re: Orchid2] #444986
05/20/20 02:48 PM
05/20/20 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Orchid2
The sad thing I find is that you don't appear to have a backup for yourself.


Took me a while to figure out what this meant. I do have a backup person. We go to happy hour occasionally. I do not believe that having a backup person more deeply involved in my life would be safe. For me, the backup person has to be someone who never interacts with Mrs. Hold.

Quote
It would be good if you had a backup person and plan. Like a relative, good friend, IC/MC, etc. Glad you are posting here. As a collective group familiar with what you are dealing with, we can help support us through these trials.


Isn't it obvious that the people here are my support system? And have been since I found you guys at "the other place" in 2002.


Solutions? There are none. There are decisions.
Re: Am I still a doormat? [Re: holdingontoit] #444987
05/20/20 06:52 PM
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Hi Hold,

I apologize, you do have a backup person and MA. smile

How is your backup person helping you during this time?

What is your back up plan? This type of plan should include support for you from others and things without having to even ask.


Orchid
Re: Am I still a doormat? [Re: holdingontoit] #444989
05/20/20 11:56 PM
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Always “there” for you, Hold. Just reach out if I can help in any way. Your support has meant so much to me over the years since befor I even came here, when I knew you on another forum.

I got, bud.


When we open to this moment and don't judge it or try to change it, even when we're suffering and wish it were otherwise, we tap into the spaciousness of mind that allows us to move forward skillfully, with discernment and joy. -- Sharon Salzberg
Re: Am I still a doormat? [Re: holdingontoit] #444990
05/21/20 02:36 AM
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Hugs, Hold. You are MY support too. I think we all wish we could do more because your heart hurts so much (metaphorically speaking) and we don't like you experiencing pain or unkindness.

Eat up the time you have with DS and DD and her puppy and boyfriend. Leave the house to get tools/new lawnmower blade/coffee/whatever when Mrs. Hold loses her temper. Take this one day at a time.

Re: Am I still a doormat? [Re: holdingontoit] #444991
05/22/20 04:05 AM
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Thanks all. Most days it is fine. Every once in a while she goes off the deep end and tries to send me to the doghouse. Then she gets super pissed off that I am not reacting to her anger. Then she gives me the silent treatment. Eventually she starts talking to me again. Now that I am not so enmeshed with her emotionally, I can simply stand back and watch the show as she cycles through the same set of predictable behaviors.

My typical internal reaction to her when she gets angry is to think "you are adorable when you get angry". I never say it because I know she would go through the roof. I don't feel sad or hurt when she complains that I treat her poorly. Or angry. I find it amusing. I am tempted to ask "how old are you again?" Which would also drive her crazy.


Solutions? There are none. There are decisions.
Re: Am I still a doormat? [Re: holdingontoit] #444992
05/22/20 05:38 AM
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Hold,

You know the sad thing is that we can't fix it all for them. You have improved in that you can remove yourself from her spin. It is still hard because at some point, she is in your family home and that means you have to step back into her environment. That is easy to do by any means. Most don't understand how difficult it really is.

You know even after over 3 years of being separated, WSt still uses those silly excuses when he doesn't get his way. It now is viewed as a tantrum. I keep a box of adult pampers just in case he has one of those episodes when he comes over (which is very rare).

He has made some improvements, like learning the purpose of working with his dentist instead of trying to be one of those patients who tell their dentist what to do. Hm......I gave him those reminders years ago but he had to learn the importance of dental hygiene the hard way. I overheard him telling our son about his dentist experience. In that case, my son already knows the importance of good dental hygiene and has good teeth. Also son is not afraid of going to the dentist as needed. So that lesson was shared but the application and importance was a few years behind. Slow learning life's lessons seems to be his way. Stepping away and be able to view these incidents without getting emotionally involved is now less stressful.

So glad you can step out of the spin.

Take care,
Orchid


Orchid
Re: Am I still a doormat? [Re: holdingontoit] #444994
05/26/20 03:00 PM
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Last night Mrs H got upset during dinner. She was angry that she cooked a steak and we only ate half of it. After dinner she left the room in a huff and went to bed. At 7:00 pm. I stayed in the living room with DD, since we are coming to the end of her stay and any time together is a gift.

This morning, to my surprise, Mrs H apologized for her behavior last night. Which was very welcome.

I hope everyone had a peaceful Memorial Day.


Solutions? There are none. There are decisions.
Re: Am I still a doormat? [Re: holdingontoit] #444995
05/26/20 09:56 PM
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A surprise apology is quite good and rather unexpected. Leftover steak makes for good fajitas too.

Enjoy every minute with your sweet DD. Are you thinking about getting a dog when her puppy goes back with her?

Re: Am I still a doormat? [Re: holdingontoit] #444996
05/26/20 11:22 PM
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Your wife really needs therapy. She’d be much happier. And your life would probably improve too.

Just sayin.


When we open to this moment and don't judge it or try to change it, even when we're suffering and wish it were otherwise, we tap into the spaciousness of mind that allows us to move forward skillfully, with discernment and joy. -- Sharon Salzberg
Re: Am I still a doormat? [Re: holdingontoit] #444997
05/27/20 06:12 PM
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Uses for left over steak:

1. Chop up the steakAdd homemade or a can of Chili. Put it on rice.
2. Steak and eggs for breakfast
3. Add to a salad.
4. Tacos, fajitas, quesadillas, etc.
5. Have it again and change the veggies.
6. Add to spaghetti
7. Chop suey, stir fry, fried rice
8. .....and so much more.

I'd be glad to have left over steak......you can always send them over here....... grin


Orchid
Re: Am I still a doormat? [Re: holdingontoit] #444998
05/28/20 02:52 PM
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We should get a dog. We won't. I am too dedicated to the proposition that there should be as little joy in my life as possible. razz

Last edited by holdingontoit; 05/28/20 02:52 PM.

Solutions? There are none. There are decisions.
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