Huge breakthough yesterday

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by KFld, Oct 6, 2007.

  1. KFld

    KFld New Member

    Through all this stuff with my h, I have been able to admit to really pulling away from him over the past few years, to the point that I did not feel at all intimate towards him and the thought of him touching me almost made me cringe. I have accepted this part of my responsibility in our marital problems, though it doesn't give him permission to have had an affair. My mission in counseling was to figure out why this happened.

    The big breakthrough came yesterday though when my question of why this happened was answered.

    I realized yesterday before I went to counseling, because of a few things my h said to me on the phone in the morning, that the things that really annoy me and actually have made me very angry with him over the years are the fact that he is extremeley impulsive, doesn't take responsibility for his actions and doesn't learn from his mistakes. Because of these things I have taken on the role of the mother, him the child, and like my counselor pointed out yesterday, you cannot feel intimate towards your child.

    Just to give a little background on the things he has done: When my h starts drinking he can't stop and he has come home numerous times, totally wasted, throwing up, and then gets vertigo for a few days afterwards and can't work. You would think he would have stopped this behavior as soon as he realized the vertigo was caused by drinking to much, but no, I cannot count the number of times this has happened since he realized this.

    2 years ago my h was arrested in the state of VT for drunk driving. He smashed up his truck and the state police came and he spent the night in the state prison. Called me the next day totally humiliated, embarassed, they had him on tape and he couldn't believe what he looked like, said he was never drinking again. Do you know how many times he has not only drank, but drivin totally wasted since then????

    Impulsivity and not taking responsibility: The affair, it wasn't his fault, he did it because I wasn't giving him enough attention.

    Selling the house in VT one week after I confronted him about the affair, then trying to blame it on me.

    Yesterday he called me from VT and told me he had a hangover because he drank to much the night before. He made a comment about how the counselor told him last week he needed to learn to respect himself and that he definitley didn't do that the night before by drinking that much, and of course driving himself home drunk.

    What this results in is me lecturing him about drinking to much, drinking and driving and not learning from his mistakes. He in turn says, I know, I have to stop drinking all together and then the behavior repeats itself.

    All of this clicked yesterday when I was driving to counseling. He has no respect for himself. How can I have respect for him. I have lost my respect for him.

    I called him after counseling and told him this. The counselor said it would be a good idea for me to tell him because these are the things I am working on for myself. Figuring out why our marriage got to this point and why I didn't enjoy being with him anymore. He seemed to totally understand what I was saying and agreed with everything.

    So from now on when he calls and tells me he had to much to drink, or did any of these child like behaviors that he keeps repeating, I need to tell him that I don't want to hear about it. This will cause him to have to face these choices he's made and look at himself in the mirror. The only thing I'm doing by lecturing him, is allowing him not to have to do that.

    It's almost like I've been raising another kid, with the same issues my difficult child had, and I wasn't getting through to him.

    Wait a minute!! Does that mean my h is a difficult child and I've been enabling him all these years??? I think that is exactly what it means. If that is the case, then I need to detatch just like I did my difficult child son and allow my difficult child husband to straighten out his own life.
     
  2. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    I agree with you. He needs to face his reality. He needs to respect himself. To be happy himself before he could ever be happy with you or anyone.

    If he can do this he can become a strong person, with confidence and respect. Only then can he ever be happy with someone else.

    I think that is a great breakthrough. Now you can start to detach, and begin to heal and you can become that strong happy person also.

    Glad you have a little upbeat news. You have been through so much.
     
  3. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    HUGE breakthrough!

    When you are right there in it, you can't see the forest for the trees. Stepping back, it is all crystal clear.

    It is also obvious that your son came by his addictions honestly.
     
  4. Marcie Mac

    Marcie Mac Just Plain Ole Tired

    Karen, I jokingly use to say, when someone asked me how many children I had... four. I always counted X as one of them. He was just soooo irresponsible, and I was sooo responsible.

    I never really thought about it much, while I am extremely independent, I am also extremely codependent, somehow along the way being a mom to 43 year old became part of my job, until I was in counceling, and the therapist told me I needed not to feel bad about cutting my apron strings, he would survive (or not - it was still no reflection on me) She wasn't referring to difficult child, but to my soon to be X.

    Its a really hard habit to break once you have been your partners mom instead of just a partner. I have to be constantly on my guard about "feeling bad" about something and wanting to fix it. Some things just can't be fixed.

    Marcie
     
  5. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    What a wonderful breakthrough! It shows you HOW to act in the future to be the strong and wonderful woman you are.

    Very proud of you!

    Susie
     
  6. skeeter

    skeeter New Member

    I had somewhat the same "epiphany" thanks to a dear friend and ex boss. I was complaining to him about my marriage, and he sent me the book "Co-Dependant No More". He told me he KNEW I was a strong, good person from working with me, but since he was now halfway across the company, he couldn't whap me up side the head to set me straight, so I had to read the book instead.

    He was right. I WAS enabling my ex. In my mind, I "drew" my line in the sand that if the ex crossed it, our marriage was over. One of the things my ex has a problem with is stability. He had 8 jobs in 16 years of marriage. There's always that "better" thing, that job that will treat him better, or he'll get paid more, or he won't have to travel, or he will get to travel, or they'll listen to him - whatever. Of course, changing all those jobs ALSO meant changes in insurance, no retirement, etc.
    That was my "line" - if he changed jobs yet again, I was going to divorce him.
    When he decided, WITH NO INPUT FROM ME, to change jobs yet again, to one that would pay half what he was making and with no insurance, I said no more.

    That was 9 years ago. He's changed jobs 2 more times since then, by the way. But it's no longer MY problem.


    This WILL make you a stronger, better person. You will understand yourself better. You will know what is important to you.
     
  7. ScentofCedar

    ScentofCedar New Member

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: KFld</div><div class="ubbcode-body">

    ...like my counselor pointed out yesterday, you cannot feel intimate towards your child.

    I need to detatch just like I did my difficult child son and allow my difficult child husband to straighten out his own life. </div></div>


    :bravo:

    It's hard to realize what has been happening to us for so many years, and to realize that our DHs have blamed us for things we had no responsibility for. My husband and I went through something similar. There was no affair (that I know about, anyway!). But there was scathing verbal abuse. I was young then, and innocent. I too believed the words my husband said.

    But he was very wrong to do what he did.

    When I became healthier, husband had no choice but to stop what HE was doing. I not only stopped listening to his abusive comments, I stopped listening to him altogether. It was at that point that husband changed. Not because he had suddenly seen the light, but because he literally had no choice.

    Once our eyes are open, we see so much, so clearly, that it is frightening.

    We wonder how this could have come to be.

    It happens a little at a time. Someone once likened it to putting a frog in a pot of water and bringing it slowly to a boil. The frog isn't aware that its environment is killing it until it is too weak to escape.

    Once we do escape, it is hard not to want to go back.

    It is hard for me to keep my guard up. Things slide back toward that dark place where everything bad is somehow my responsibility more often than I would like.

    It's hard to see it when you are living it.

    I am not sure whether every marriage has some of that in it or not.

    I felt so foolish when I realized what had happened to me ~what the man who supposedly loved me had done to me.

    I wanted you to know these kinds of things happen to so many of us.

    There is nothing different about you, or wrong with you ~ or with me, for that matter.

    It is very important to open our eyes.

    I'm sure it is hard to see what you are seeing, but it is very, very freeing to know the underpinnings of our relationships.

    It helps us to understand just whose baggage it is that we have been carting around for all these years.

    And once we see that, we can put that suitcase down without a second thought.

    Barbara
     
  8. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">
    So from now on when he calls and tells me he had to much to drink, or did any of these child like behaviors that he keeps repeating, I need to tell him that I don't want to hear about it. This will cause him to have to face these choices he's made and look at himself in the mirror. The only thing I'm doing by lecturing him, is allowing him not to have to do that.
    </div></div>

    Boy, oh boy do I ever know what you are talking about! How are you supposed to be intimate with someone who can't even figure out how to bring the garbage can up from the curb without being reminded even though he walks past it 6 or 8 times? With my husband, it's getting him to take on any role of homeowner/household member on his own. He even lies to me and tells me that he has done things when it is clear that he hasn't.

    The one that makes me maddest to this day is when I asked him to sweep and mop one Saturday about two or three years ago. Weekend household chores has always been an issue. After all, it's his house too, and I generally get as far as I can then load up on narcotic pain relievers which make me ill. I was busy running loads of laundry (mostly his), ironing his work clothes, cleaning bathrooms, etc. He had been pestering me all morning for s e x. (Didn't know if it would get past the censor.) I heard him with the broom, and went about my business. I walked past the computer room and he is playing World of Warcraft, so I asked him if he swept and mopped. "Yes." So, I finally give in and find a moment to take a break and be with him. We're settling in and I realize that it usually takes me about an hour and a half to sweep and mop the entire house, and he only seemed to have done it in about 20 minutes. I ask him again if he swept and mopped the whole house, because it doesn't seem like he had enough time to do it all. "Yes." Fast forward half an hour, and I am back about doing the laundry, he is playing World of Warcraft. I notice the mop is bone dry. There's dog hair in every corner of the room. "Are you sure you swept and mopped?" "Yes." "Then why is the mop dry and there's dog hair all over?" "Uh... I didn't actually mop and I didn't sweep the whole house." This was a total betrayal. I'm so hurt and embarrassed by it that I haven't even told the therapist about it. husband knows I have left it out of the story to keep him from looking like a total jerk. Of course at the time he got a big lecture from me.

    I know this is me trying to get into their heads, but maybe they wait for the lecture because they see this as their punishment or consequence for their misbehavior. Because let me tell you, this was far from the last time I asked him to sweep and mop and even specifically pointed out mounds of dog hair and dirt when he didn't do it and lied to me about it. It's not drinking, it's World of Warcraft. I would never trade one for the other, though.
     
  9. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Witz, it's a guy thing. Sex does tend to be No 1 on the agenda; once they've got what they want they SHOULD then move to next priority (in their heads). Trouble is, for some blokes, sex becomes the carrot. "OK, I'll help with the housework, so you can be done faster and then I can get what I want."

    But lying about it just to get what you want faster, and then letting your wife (who should be enjoying time to get the most out of the afterglow with you) to carry on slaving away - totally unacceptable. I'm glad you booted his rump. I think you SHOULD tell your counsellor. Especially considering your health - you should NOT be carrying heavy stuff, dragging things from around the house - what kind of man is he? And this treatment of you - what is it saying about what he thinks of you? Absolutely not acceptable. He should be waiting on you hand and foot and being eternally grateful for any little thing you DO do for him, not expecting his slave to do everything as a matter of course. A few classic Aussie epithets come to mind, but the site censor would have my hide.

    My oldest sister used to withhold sex to get what she wanted from him, in terms of help etc. He had moved them into a small house while he built them a bigger one, but when time came to consider moving in he would sell the new house and then use the money to build something else. So as their FIVE kids (two bedroom house) were getting bigger, she moved the boys into one room, the girls into the other room and the marital bed into the living room (where any kid could wander past through the night at any time).
    The next house was built fast and they moved in.

    Karen, that is a wonderful revelation for you. You've shared this with him - but whether he will learn from it, I doubt it. He's too well entrenched in the habit of messing up and going home and confessing to mummy (or hoping mummy doesn't find out). He is going to keep trying to tell you because he needs you to know how badly he is messing up - and he is messing up this badly because of YOU, YOU have thrown him out, he is nothing without YOU, he has to hear YOUR voice even if it's just telling him to grow up. That is what is in HIS mind.

    Warn Jenny. Because when you stop wanting to hear him, she is going to REALLY get dumped on. He must know at some level that she will communicate with you, if only to say something like "I think you should take him back." (I know she won't say that, but I do think it's what he's hoping will come of him confiding in her). He really is out of touch with reality, he's avoided looking at it for so long. And if SHE shuts him out, he will find someone else (undoubtedly his next girlfriend - he will find one who WILL put up with this, just so she can say, "I have a man.")

    Karen, you're doing wonderfully. But I knew you would - you're a strong woman. You've had to be, he made you this strong. And now it's all coming home to roost, for both of you. Truly, you do reap what you sow. (Sorry about the mixed metaphors).

    Marg
     
  10. wakeupcall

    wakeupcall Well-Known Member

    I've said this before and I'll say it again, I admire your strength and determination. I know how entrenched one can get into a certain life.....YOU are breaking out.
     
  11. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    What this results in is me lecturing him about drinking to much, drinking and driving and not learning from his mistakes. He in turn says, I know, I have to stop drinking all together and then the behavior repeats itself.

    ...again, I gotta ask WHY do you continue to 'mother' him?

    I am curious however about the therapist having you call him and tell him what you think, when he doesn't know what to think on his own without YOU telling him. She just told you that you can't have a romantic relationship with your child, yet sends you out to tell an already unstable person what you think of him???

    How does this help anyone? (curious)

    AND

    When you're telling him what you think, do you actually expect him at this stage of your marriage to look you in the eye and say ""Gosh Karen everything you said is :censored2:." He'd agree with your right now if you told him he was a toad. Tell him something he doesn't already know about himself from your point of view and see how he reacts to that.

    Snakes shed their skin, but always get new shiney ones.

    My .02
    (Really am proud of you)
    Hugs
    Star
     
  12. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Thanks, Marg. In my heart I know that this is something that I have to tell the therapist, because it's something I have a hard time moving on from. In his own way I know that he is now trying to do more without being asked. This incident is a real stumbling block for us. I want husband and I to be happy for the rest of our lives.

    It's hard to re-examine your relationship with your husband and your kids. The way I look at it, my relationship with my kids is supposed to move to a less intimate level where I have less invested in their decisions. I don't feel the same way about my husband. My parents had a very hands off (each other) relationship in front of us kids. I always liked that husband and I were lovey-dovey, because it seemed successful. But not if it involves lying to each other.

    Karen, I'm glad that you came to this realization about your marriage. You are in a really rough spot and I know it is hard. I hope you know that we are here with you, and appreciate your sharing this difficult time with us.
     
  13. KFld

    KFld New Member

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: The_Loan_Ranger</div><div class="ubbcode-body">What this results in is me lecturing him about drinking to much, drinking and driving and not learning from his mistakes. He in turn says, I know, I have to stop drinking all together and then the behavior repeats itself.

    ...again, I gotta ask WHY do you continue to 'mother' him?

    I am curious however about the therapist having you call him and tell him what you think, when he doesn't know what to think on his own without YOU telling him. She just told you that you can't have a romantic relationship with your child, yet sends you out to tell an already unstable person what you think of him???

    How does this help anyone? (curious)

    AND

    When you're telling him what you think, do you actually expect him at this stage of your marriage to look you in the eye and say ""Gosh Karen everything you said is :censored2:." He'd agree with your right now if you told him he was a toad. Tell him something he doesn't already know about himself from your point of view and see how he reacts to that.

    Snakes shed their skin, but always get new shiney ones.

    My .02
    (Really am proud of you)
    Hugs
    Star

    That is the point of this breakthough, that I just realized I have been mothering him and enabling this behavior, and now I have to learn how to stop. I lectured him hopefully for the last time that morning before I went to counseling and it opened my eyes to what was happening and how he was reacting to it and manipulating me into doing it and what has been making me so angry and annoyed with him for so long.

    The point of telling him what I learned in counseling is that is what I am going to counseling for. I am trying to figure out what happened to our marriage and why I have stopped wanting to be with him. I needed to let him know that he is the reason I have stopped wanting to be with him is because of his behaviors. I didn't lecture him or tell him what he needs to do about them, just pretty much that it was him, not something being wrong with me, that made me not want to be with him anymore.

    He can choose to do agree with me that what I'm feeling is valid, or not. That is his choice. He can choose to change his behaviors or not, that is his choice also. The point is that I feel better figuring out what went wrong and that it wasn't my fault and it is a huge step for me to tell him that. I'm always so good at him making me feel like I'm the one who needs to be fixed and that it's my fault he had to go out and have an affair. Well guess what... it wasn't!!!!

    Not that any part of me believed I caused him to have an affair, but he believed it and maybe he still does, but that is his choice also.


    He called about something this morning before he left VT to come back and he sounds all mad again. I didn't buy into it. I didn't ask him why he sounded so mad. I answered his question and told him to have a safe ride home. He's probably mad because he's had a lot of time up there to think this weekend, with nobody else to help him feel better about his choices.

    This really is just like much of what I went through with my difficult child and I got really good at that. I think this will be easier because I have had lots of practice the past few years :smile:








    </div></div>
     
  14. PonyGirl

    PonyGirl Warrior Parent

    Good for you, Karen! I had the conclusion about halfway thru reading your breakthru: husband is difficult child! Of course you resented that! And just like with difficult child, it's so hard to detach and not help when the :censored2: hits the fan.

    Glad you are doing well.

    I was going to reply, to your other post about coming out of long-term relationships, what was most important to me was being able to forgive myself. Once I discovered I had done that, then nothing DEX could do to blame me for his rotten behavior ever stuck.

    You are on the path to forgiveness, the most important person to forgive: Yourself.

    Bravo!

    Peace
     
  15. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I was thinking the other day about your family, Karen. It occurred to me that your husband didn't "like" difficult child and was always
    trying to get you to back off.

    Light bulb!!!!!!!!

    I bet husband resented difficult child because HE wanted to be the focus of all
    your maternal attention. DDD
     
  16. KFld

    KFld New Member

    You are probably very right DDD. He was always jealous of the attention I gave to both of the kids. The counselor picked up on that when I was talking about it a few weeks ago with her. She said from what I have told her and what she has gotten to know about him, that he was always insecure and needy, but it came out more after we had kids because he didn't get my undevided attention anymore.
     
  17. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    AHhhhh HA!

    Well then - I am <u>extra</u> proud of you. In my situation I had a difficult child husband and a sweet child who lived and breathed to be like his manipulating father - who told him to be just like him. When I sat down (like you are now) and thought about divorce for the first time it made me angry to think that somehow I failed. In reality had he done his part to uphold his vows, WE wouldn't have failed. As a human, we always want to finalize everything so that we can move on. At the time I felt blaming and pointing fingers solved nothing. However getting to the root of the problem wasn't pointing fingers it was coming to the realization that if I could have been a better wife, I would have been. And over time you get numb to their touch, their pathetic attempts to rectify the situations, their head games and the few and far inbetween times that we feel they may have tried to make a genuine attempt at getting themselves straight. I learned a hard lesson in 13 years, that pity wasn't love. And love didn't pity; it worked harder at not making the same mistakes over and over. Addiction is just a beast. Had I stayed in my own marriage Karen, I wouldn't be writing this to you and I wouldn't be talking about a 17 year old son on my other posts. We'd both be dead. My x is a walking dead person. At 52 years of age, loosing his wife, his son, his home, his possessions, his business, his mother...he still chooses to do exactly what he did that caused us to part. For 38 years he's choosen drugs and alcohol over those things most of us cherish.

    When I left him despite the torture and abuse, there was still a part of me a year later that hoped he would send a letter to an undisclosed PO box saying "I've gotten my life together for my sake and the sake of my marriage, and my son." and my son took it the hardest each time we went to the PO box, he'd cry then poop his pants. At one time he even accused me of taking his father's letters out and throwing them away so I let him open the po box for a year. Eventually he got the picture. I still hung on. And through counseling and speaking with a preacher regarding the breaking of my vows? Yeah, there is an avenue anyone contemplating divorce should go through - seriously. If you're not even a religious person but believe in the bible...a good pastor can throw passage after passage out about how a husband should treat a wife, - and trust me there's always the element of forgiveness in there, but after you hear it from the biblical point of view? You won't feel bad any more. Women are to be treated well.

    Sorry to ramble on and on. I just wish in my heart of hearts that you find and keep the strength you have. I'll always be here like an invisible sister to tell you YOU ARE WORTHY of so much more than you got. Thanks for clearing up my questions.

    Many hugs
    Have a tremendous day!
    Star
     
  18. KFld

    KFld New Member

    Thanks Star.

    It seems like everytime I see him, I see more and more reasons that I don't want to spend time with him. He came home from VT a short time ago and was in a fowl mood. He stopped to drop the dog off. I pulled up to the house to hear him and easy child daughter arguing. This is far from unusual. He hasn't seen her or talked to her in over a week, but the first thing he does is get on her about taking care of her car and having her oil changed. He doesn't say it in a caring way, or offer to check it or help her, he just starts yelling at her that she needs to get it checked and changed and stay on top of it. She told him she just had it done two weeks ago and of course to him, this is her being disrespectful and talking back to him????? I think part of his problem is he doesn't listen to what anyone is saying, but himself.

    I'm starting to think more and more that I want out of this house. It sounded like a good idea at first to stay here until I really decided what I want, and he got an apartment. Now I'm starting to hate being here. This was our home that we made together and now I'm here with all the memories and he comes and goes because of his business, and he's in an apartment starting a new life. Maybe that is what I need to do. Maybe I should buy a condo and start my new life and see where it takes me instead of waiting. I almost feel like staying in the house is making me stuck and not allowing me to really decide what I want.

    Does that make sense???
     
  19. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Please remember...take your time before making any big decisions.
    It's important. DDD
     
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