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Re: Am I still a doormat? [Re: holdingontoit] #445155
08/11/20 09:54 PM
08/11/20 09:54 PM
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Originally Posted by holdingontoit
Originally Posted by Fergie
Originally Posted by holdingontoit
But yes, I am content that this is the most stable long term solution.

But it is not stable.


I disagree. I basically gave up on having a fulfilling sex life with Mrs. Hold when we stopped doing MC in 2005. 15 years later I am still here. I have a much lower libido today than I did 15 years ago. My wife's cancer caused her to be more appreciative of my faithfulness. I am much less likely to leave over our dead bedroom today than I was 15 years ago. So time has made our relationship more stable.


These things are why I made the comments I made.


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] #445156
08/12/20 02:24 PM
08/12/20 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by holdingontoit
I disagree. I basically gave up on having a fulfilling sex life with Mrs. Hold when we stopped doing MC in 2005. 15 years later I am still here. I have a much lower libido today than I did 15 years ago. My wife's cancer caused her to be more appreciative of my faithfulness. I am much less likely to leave over our dead bedroom today than I was 15 years ago. So time has made our relationship more stable.

If by stable you mean stay in the situation, yes of course, you are correct.

But I believe your wife is 100% about her being in control. Control over you. She uses sex to control you. You telling her she doesn't have that over you anymore is why she is threatening divorce and suicide. It's unstable (albeit temporary) for your wife while she adjusts to the permanent downgrade of her control. She will calm down when she sees you aren't leaving, although she might be permanently unhappy that she lost her carrot/stick. But you are right, it will be the "new" stable.

Re: Am I still a doormat? [Re: Fergie] #445157
08/13/20 03:25 AM
08/13/20 03:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Fergie
She will calm down when she sees you aren't leaving, although she might be permanently unhappy that she lost her carrot/stick. But you are right, it will be the "new" stable.


The situation has unfolded exactly as you describe. She has calmed down, is unhappy she no longer has that tool to control me, but otherwise has adjusted to the new stable. You understand our dynamic very well.


Solutions? There are none. There are decisions.
Re: Am I still a doormat? [Re: holdingontoit] #445158
08/14/20 02:43 PM
08/14/20 02:43 PM
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I've had a theory for a while now about betrayed husbands and the ones who stay after infidelity (not that infidelity is in your case). The answer is I think they take on less of a role of spouse, but more as their wife's caretaker/caregiver.

Your wife clearly has anxiety, fear of abandonment, and need for control. She has had actual medical health issues, which I'm sure made things worse. To calm her you've given up sex and leaving the marriage.

I'm just wondering. What joy do you get out of being married to this woman?

Re: Am I still a doormat? [Re: holdingontoit] #445160
08/17/20 09:27 PM
08/17/20 09:27 PM
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Hold,

It has been awhile since I have read here. (Your thread or MA, really, but I did read from the beginning on the year...)


You are moving forward. That is the important part.

Cancer destroyed many parts of Flamingo's sexuality. We found a way past that, including the trauma of my affair.

It is no longer about the sex for you, It is survival.

She would be on the curb if it was anything else.

SFB


Finding an ethical way to deal with pain, fear, disappointment etc..is part of the experience of becoming a stronger person...one who is driven by compassion instead of compulsion...ie I have a legitimate reason to be stressed out right now...however, my response to it will determine how others percieve me, and myself. (quoting Star*Fish)
Re: Am I still a doormat? [Re: holdingontoit] #445164
08/26/20 02:54 AM
08/26/20 02:54 AM
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Had a wonderful vacation with the kids. Cabin in the mountains. Hiked. Grilled. Sat around fire and roasted marshmallows. Get back to me in 2 weeks and we will know if we were idiots for doing it.

Last day Mrs. Hold got angry with all 3 of us for allowing her to cancel an event she had planned. We looked at her in disbelief. "You told us you wanted to cancel." Apparently she "read the room" and realized we were not thrilled to do it so she martyred herself and cancelled. And then spent the whole day (and the flight home, and the following day) crying and pouting about how we ruined her trip. Thank goodness she woke up today feeling better and thanked me for a wonderful trip. That way I could tell the truth when DS called to check in how she was doing, and whether she had gotten over it. He was relieved to hear she had. And he was not very sympathetic to her. He was angry that she blamed him when he had nothing to do with her cancelling. I was happy to see that he views the world somewhat objectively. Don't want him following in my codependent footsteps.


Solutions? There are none. There are decisions.
Re: Am I still a doormat? [Re: holdingontoit] #445165
08/26/20 09:01 PM
08/26/20 09:01 PM
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Most sons realize they have a mother who is emotionally stunted when she acts exactly like the girls their own age. It disgusts them to see a middle aged woman emotionally stuck at a high school level. My step-nephews figured it out about my brother's wife and good for them.

Re: Am I still a doormat? [Re: holdingontoit] #445166
08/27/20 01:25 AM
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Your son was alert and wise to what really happened. Good for him!

Re: Am I still a doormat? [Re: holdingontoit] #445173
08/31/20 01:05 AM
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Last night Mrs. Hold took an exceptionally long bath. DD23 called during the bath, and after I spoke to her for a while, I went down the hall to hand the phone to Mrs. Hold. She refused to take the call, which is very unusual. I made excuses to DD23 and asked Mrs Hold what was the matter. Mrs. Hold started crying and said she did not see what the point was of continuing to live, and that she had called the suicide hotline while in the bathtub. I thanked her for calling them, and suggested that if she felt so despondent, then she needs professional help. She resisted and we talked for hours. She continued to say that none of us love her or treat her with suitable respect for all that she has suffered during her life and all that she does for us. I told her I wasn't going to argue with her, and that if she felt that way then she needs professional help. I cannot be her husband and her therapist. We went to sleep with nothing settled.

This morning we went for a walk, and as we got to the end of our street and turned back from the main road, she said "I thought about jumping in front of one of the cars on the main road". I told her this is unacceptable, and that if she truly feels suicidal then we need to have her committed for her own safety. She said she had no real intention of killing herself. I repeated that she seems very depressed and needs to see a professional. I said that I understand she is under significant stress. DD23 has lost 80 pounds and is out sowing her oats in the dating market, which means less nights home along to sit on the phone with Mom. Mrs Hold's employer is reducing the head count in the field where Mrs Hold works. She is down from working at 13 sessions on 5 days to 2 sessions on 2 days. With a corresponding reduction in pay. I said the combination of quarantine, job reduction and less time with DD23 is alot of life change to handle all at once, and she really should find someone to help her with the transitions. After much talking she agreed to seek help. I did yard work much of the day. At dinner, she said she had looked up the therapists available under our insurance, but she hadn't made up her mind which one to contact. I told her to do so quickly, as she can always switch later if she doesn't like the first one she tries.

At dinner tonight I reminded her how blessed and privileged we are. That she could choose to view this time as an amazing opportunity to explore some new area of interest with no financial responsibility. And that talking to a professional might help her adjust her perspective. She admitted we are very blessed. But I know as well as anyone that some of us don't appreciate the many blessings we have. We shall see how this progresses.


Solutions? There are none. There are decisions.
Re: Am I still a doormat? [Re: holdingontoit] #445174
08/31/20 02:42 AM
08/31/20 02:42 AM
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Hold, that is serious stuff, and I think you handled it splendidly. Sounds like you were calm, and concerned, and firm in advising her to pursue professional help. I do hope she will follow through. She does have a lot of changes hitting her all at once, and after months of this awful pandemic still, I think everyone is stressed out begin with.

I hope those of us here who are into prayer will keep you both in ours. I certainly will.

Re: Am I still a doormat? [Re: holdingontoit] #445175
08/31/20 11:58 AM
08/31/20 11:58 AM
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Wow, Hold. I am sorry. I do feel sorry for her. But I feel bad for you too.

Re: Am I still a doormat? [Re: holdingontoit] #445184
09/02/20 06:34 PM
09/02/20 06:34 PM
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Originally Posted by holdingontoit
I told her I wasn't going to argue with her, and that if she felt that way then she needs professional help. I cannot be her husband and her therapist.
Best response you could have said to her. You are getting it.

But if my own previous experience shares any similarity to yours, she will back out of going to therapy. I hope it works better for you. Any ideas of what you will do if she ultimately refuses to go?

Re: Am I still a doormat? [Re: holdingontoit] #445185
09/02/20 09:53 PM
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You handled thst issue masterfully. She needs help as soon as possible. (And good for DD23!)

Re: Am I still a doormat? [Re: holdingontoit] #445190
09/07/20 02:53 AM
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Today she again said that she wanted to kill herself. I again told her to seek professional help. She said that she has been Googling how to kill yourself, and it isn't easy. I said "good, glad to hear it isn't". But I know that planning is a bad sign. I said that if she keeps talking this way, I will have to tell her mother and our kids. She said "OK" or "go ahead" or something like that. That was the most frightening thing to hear. If she doesn't care that her Mom or the kids know, she is very far gone.

I texted my friend the psychiatrist. He said my choices were to convince her to go to the emergency room or to call the cops. He said the cops are unlikely to anything if she says she doesn't plan to kill herself imminently. I didn't hesitate to call 911 when she cut her hand with a pair of scissors 2 weeks ago. Even though she asked me not to. But I am not sure I should call 911 when she is calm and lucid, even if what she is saying is quite dark and frightening.

I am going to talk further with my buddy the psychiatrist in the morning. Will keep you posted.


Solutions? There are none. There are decisions.
Re: Am I still a doormat? [Re: holdingontoit] #445191
09/07/20 02:08 PM
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Can you ask her to agree to a voluntary hold for an assessment? That should give you 72 hours and a full testing assessment. Obviously, it's better without the voluntary hold, but she needs help.

Is there a highly-recommended psychologist who can perform urgent (and complete) testing like this tomorrow or Wednesday?

Re: Am I still a doormat? [Re: holdingontoit] #445193
09/08/20 02:55 PM
09/08/20 02:55 PM
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Your psychiatrist friend is right. There isn't much you can do to force her to seek mental health help.

Believe me, I've been there. And although there were more than a few days when I wondered if today was the day I'd come home to a dead wife, it's 27 years later (27 wonderful, peaceful divorced years) and she is still above ground and kicking. She never killed herself and it is doubtful your wife will either.

Yet you still have to treat this seriously, when she isn't serious about getting better.

Re: Am I still a doormat? [Re: holdingontoit] #445194
09/08/20 08:01 PM
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I think she feels lonely because she has fewer shifts at work as a result of the pandemic. And she feels guilty that she wasn't such a great wife to me. With the result that I am not leaping to fill her free time. Nevermind that I still have a full-time job to hold down (thankfully). Hard for her that I am here at home all day but not available to her.


Solutions? There are none. There are decisions.
Re: Am I still a doormat? [Re: holdingontoit] #445195
09/09/20 03:38 PM
09/09/20 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by holdingontoit
And she feels guilty that she wasn't such a great wife to me.
That is wishful thinking on your part. Your wife has a Cluster B personality disorder. Back in May she was basically saying that for 28 years she has been settling for you.

It makes me angry that there are so many women like your wife out there. They give themselves permission to not get their shinola together. But on the other hand, if the men out there would stop having relationships with them, the numbers of disordered women would naturally go down. It's our fault for putting up with it. Young and dumb and horny drives many guys to do stupid things.

Re: Am I still a doormat? [Re: holdingontoit] #445257
11/19/20 07:16 PM
11/19/20 07:16 PM
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Originally Posted by holdingontoit


Originally Posted by LivingWell
Is it important to assign the “appropriate amount” of blame before or while working on one’s own side of the dynamic?


But that is the point. I have no intention of ever working on my own side of the dynamic. Nor she hers. That is why we are so perfectly matched. We would both rather stay in a less fulfilling relationship than work on ourselves, request that our spouse deal with them dysfunction, and leave if our spouse can't or won't. We both believe a more fulfilling relationship is unlikely to manifest, which makes the price of transitioning to be available for "better offers" too high to bear.



Hold, for someone who doesn’t work on his side of things, you sure make some good progress. Lol


Last edited by LivingWell; 11/19/20 07:17 PM.
Re: Am I still a doormat? [Re: LivingWell] #445265
11/21/20 06:52 PM
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Now that I’ve caught up on the rest of your thread...

Hold, your kindness and compassion continue to amaze and inspire me.

This is truly a difficult situation for you to be in! It could very well be that Mrs Hold is going to this length in order to get the attention that she used to get with much less effort. It could just as easily be that not getting attention in the same ways that she used to is so hard and painful for her that, at times, suicide seems like it might be a good idea.

Hold, you are handling your end as well as possible and better than a lot of people would.

One of the things about the situation is that it just might be a (necessary) stage of Mrs Hold reaching bottom. Bottom is different for different people but one thing that seems to be consistent is that some kinds of help can actually “help” someone avoid bottom... therefore, help them avoid getting help that could bring true relief, recovery and healing.

So, how do you know when to avoid interfering with their process of hitting bottom and when to intervene so that the person lives to fight another day? There is no cookie cutter answer and is a guessing game based on many variables. So, my best suggestion to you is to determine what you would be able to live with in the event that there is error in judgment at some point. That can help you make decisions when you’re not sure what your gut is saying.

In any case, kindness and compassion can be part of any decision that you must make. Even when the decision brings about big reactions. You’re well equipped for that.

You’re strong, Hold, but be sure to replenish your mental and emotional resources on an ongoing basis because this sort of thing can be very draining. You would be taking good care of Mrs Hold by taking good care of yourself. Remember that things like fresh air and good hydration can go a long way when you’re too tired and drained to do much else in the way of self care.

Take care and be well.

Re: Am I still a doormat? [Re: holdingontoit] #445275
11/26/20 12:38 AM
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Wise words, LW. And Hold, you've got this. Keep on moving forward with the improvements. Happy Turkey Day tomorrow.

Re: Am I still a doormat? [Re: holdingontoit] #445306
12/12/20 12:26 AM
12/12/20 12:26 AM
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Hold - I just got caught up - I'm hoping things have turned a corner in your wife's mental health situation.


Consider that we don't have to live with the consequences of our advice in your life. Act according to what you can live with!
Re: Am I still a doormat? [Re: holdingontoit] #445334
01/19/21 03:21 PM
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Thanks all for the concern.

Mrs Hold seems to be in a better place. Even though the old job she liked has ended completely (they gave her zero shifts). She has found a volunteer position to provide a focus for her attention. S26 is taking the isolation of quarantine hard, so she has that to focus on. And her mother is declining, so she has that to focus on as well. So the "good" news is that she has actual bad things to worry about regarding her mother and S26, so she doesn't spend all day throwing herself a pity party for the bad things going on inside her own head (and then taking it out on me).

Wishing everyone a joyous, healthy and fulfilling New Year.


Solutions? There are none. There are decisions.
Re: Am I still a doormat? [Re: holdingontoit] #445335
01/20/21 02:16 AM
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You sound good, Hold. Solid perspective as usual. Being isolated is really hard. DS needs more social interactions that can still meet guidelines for quarantines. Social games, Zoom dinners, clubs - there has to be some groups in his area. I hope you and DD are well also.

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