Avatar
Please consider registering
guest
sp_LogInOut Log In sp_Registration Register
Register | Lost password?
Advanced Search
Forum Scope


Match



Forum Options



Minimum search word length is 3 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters
sp_TopicIcon
My therapist said
July 20, 2005
10:37 am
Avatar
glittered when he walked
New Member
Members
Forum Posts: -1
Member Since:
September 27, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

My therpaist said something to me that really clicked. He said essentially that my wife's issue is with my personality.

You see my wife has been insisting on many occasions that there is something wrong with me - that I'm not more emotive, that i'm depressed, that because my father was an alcoholic that i have issues x, y, z, etc ,. ad infinitum. If I ever disagreed, I was in 'denial' or 'being prideful' according to her

Her thoughts and feelings confuse me because others don't see me this way. witness: my therpaist said to me "I have seen you feel here, and your personality is one that approaches things usually from intellect first rather than affect, but that doesn't mean that you are unemotive. that's just your personality." But my dilemma was that i would take on my wife's insistences that there was something wrong w/ me due to an effect called labeling. My understanding of it is this, if a person is repeatedly told they behave in a certain manner, they may take on that behavior. i started to believe the label.

what dawned on me and what I used to instictively feel was "there's nothing THAT wrong w/ me, this is just who I am, this is my personality. My wife doesn't like amny aspects of my personality. I don't have all these deep seated issues that she thinks I do. In her mind, ( I think) if someone doesn't approach things from affect first, there's something wrong w/ them.

July 20, 2005
10:47 am
Avatar
2bstrong
New Member
Members
Forum Posts: -1
Member Since:
September 30, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Dear glittered...

Even though I swore I wouldn't chat on here today, I have to respond to your post.

First, I must thank you for this. I absorbed so much of what my ex told me that I was. I used to think "No one else has ever said this about me, but he is so observant, he must be right". Example: he used to tell me I needed to be more kind. So, I started believing that I was an unkind, selfish, and mean person, because that is what he saw in me. And I am ashamed to say, I believe I became that way when I was with him. Yikes! I can't even stand putting that in writing.

I always thought, I was a good person--before him. And, I know now or I am beginning to see that I am. Hmpf.

G.--I think this thread ties in to the one you posted from the other day. You made a very good point about the victim behavior. This behavior seems to be yet another face of the victim.--2b

July 20, 2005
10:59 am
Avatar
SexySadie
New Member
Members
Forum Posts: -1
Member Since:
September 27, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Sounds familiar...he keeps telling me that I am crazy...telling me I NEEDED help. Asking friends if I was being psychotic. LOL!! I'm not the one with the drinking problem...I'm the one in love with the man with the drinking problem. Psychotic? I really am not sure if losing touch with myself and listening to the BS crap of others classifies me as psychotic but let me tell you once I found out the game that was being played on me by our friend, I sure snapped into place real quick. Complete mental turnaround. Do I need help...yes I have a Therapist now, to help me move forward in MY life. He's still sitting there drinking himself now more than he ever did before. He's the one who rebounded after 2 days of being out of our house. Not me. I've been dealing with my emotions...he has been drowning in them. I'm on the road to recovery, he is not..as his father says he's in the gutter now.

July 20, 2005
11:01 am
Avatar
Notsure
New Member
Members
Forum Posts: -1
Member Since:
September 30, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Thank you for that post. When I went through tough time several years ago (including separation, death of dog (same night), loss of job, loss of house and death of mother (all in a short time frame) my therapist told me to stop reading all the self help books i was reading as they were only filling me with negative stereotyping and self loathing. He said that one could identify with almost any characteristics of something when one is low and despondent enough. I stopped reading until I got healthier and then when I felt better and more capable on dealing with issues I then worked on those things that needed to be worked on. I recognize that we all have quirks in our personalities and as long as they are not too serious or harmful (self destructive or an axe murderer?) to others then that is okay. I am okay and so are you.Regards. Notsure

July 20, 2005
11:09 am
Avatar
angel4U
New Member
Members
Forum Posts: -1
Member Since:
September 29, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Hi glittered when he walked -

I don't know your whole story, so please know that my response is being based soley on this post ...

My thoughts are that we are "all" different - with different personalities, histories, learned ways of dealing with life/situations, etc. (I also have to throw in there that men are usually thought of as more logical, while women are more emotional - not all, but it does seem to be more the norm ... and women have a tendency to complain that there emotional needs are not being met because of this). I don't think it is beneficial for your wife to be saying there is something "wrong" with you, and I am wondering if ths is not what is causing some of your confusion and what I see as a little bit of hurt/defensiveness (maybe you are feeling that you are not being accepted and also being put down? I know I would if someone said that to me.) I am surprised that your therapist has not caught onto this.

I think in every relationship we have to work through our differences and find a way to communicate what we need from someone, without putting them down just because they don't do things they way "we" think they should. And also have to sometimes accept people for who they are and that one person cannot fulfill all of our needs.

I am wondering what your thoughts are about sitting down with your wife and letting her know how you feel when she says these things? Then maybe ask her to lay out what behaviors you have that she would like to see different (might also be helpful if she also could outline the behaviors she enjoys.) Then outline which of those behaviors YOU feel you want to change (for the better of your relationship), and which ones are simply who you are and do not want to change.

Also, since you mentioned personalities, I thought it might be an added help for you to take the Myers-Briggs test. Al while back Hollie posted a great website for us to do so on a thread called:

What is your Myers-Briggs type? I am INFJ

You can find it by typing in the thread name in the box above the posts on AAC and click SEARCH. Once the thread comes up, click on View All Posts to see all of threads in the post.)

For quick reference, the URL of the test is:

http://www.humanmetrics.com/cg.....Types2.asp

And a site with the MB descriptions for each type is:

http://www.personalitypage.com.....level.html

(((hugs)))

angel4u

July 20, 2005
11:11 am
Avatar
kc30
New Member
Members
Forum Posts: -1
Member Since:
September 27, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

The best list/writing exercise I've ever done...the one that started to turn things around, was to write two versions of my "story".

The first one, I wrote the most emotionally charged, dramatic and subjective version of events that I could. I let it all out.

Then, I wrote the facts. No emotion. No drama. Just the straight, cold, undisputable facts.

It helped me to see how we let our emotions distort reality, usually to our own detriment. What an eye-opener!

I also made a list of all the awful things he had done that had hurt me deeply. If I start feeling weak or nostalgic, I revisit it. Then I keep asking myself "why would you want that in your life." And eventually, my self respect takes over from my codependant side, and I know in my heart I don't want that.

kc

July 20, 2005
11:15 am
Avatar
kc30
New Member
Members
Forum Posts: -1
Member Since:
September 27, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Crap...meant to post this on the "Do you make lists" thread!!! Sorry about that...the baby is stealing all of my brainwaves šŸ™‚

lots of love
kc

July 20, 2005
11:20 am
Avatar
angel4U
New Member
Members
Forum Posts: -1
Member Since:
September 29, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

One added note that was triggered when I read the other's posts ... ... I think it's also important to really think about the accusations your wife is making and decipher which ones are real to YOU, and which ones are simply HER reality based on her own experiences, desires, etc.

I don't think trying to change to better a relationship is always a bad thing (e.g. trying to be more emotionally expressive rather than closed with your partner, spending more "special" time together, etc.), especially if it helps the relationship or you grow. But I think you have to see the desire/need for it too, or you'll fall into the "people pleasing" mode and become someone you are not.

July 20, 2005
11:22 am
Avatar
angel4U
New Member
Members
Forum Posts: -1
Member Since:
September 29, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

kc - LOL!!! Hope you & baby are doing well!!!

July 20, 2005
11:26 am
Avatar
kc30
New Member
Members
Forum Posts: -1
Member Since:
September 27, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

So now I'll post properly...:)

My husband always told me there was something wrong with the way I did things...he wasn't always that direct...but the way I did things just didn't "make sense" to him...so they had to be wrong.

After we separated for a long time, we reconciled, and he started it again. This time, we were in therapy and it was brought up there (he had criticized me for putting my housecoat OVER my wet towel...how would it ever dry?) My point was...how do you even have time to notice...let alone comment on...WHERE I put my towel!

Our therapist made no bones about it...it was controlling behaviour on his part, and it was his problem if he didn't like where I put my towel. I have the right to put my towel wherever I choose. All the criticisms and suggestions for improvement were about HIM, not me.

But for so long, I believed I was doing it "wrong". Even now...he's been out for 5 months, and I am JUST now starting to be able to relax and accept the way I do things as being fine, and appropriate...and not at all what he had painted. I'm not disorganized...I'm not messy...I'm not flaky...I actually have my shit together! I just didn't know it because I spent so much time doing things his way.

I can relate to this situation very well that you speak of.

kc

July 20, 2005
11:28 am
Avatar
angel4U
New Member
Members
Forum Posts: -1
Member Since:
September 29, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Oh boy, I can;t get off this one ... I guess it's something that I have been working on ...

RE: "Then maybe ask her to lay out what behaviors you have that she would like to see different (might also be helpful if she also could outline the behaviors she enjoys.)"

When she does this, ask her to use "I" statements ... e.g. When you do (or don't do) this, "I" feel (neglected, hurt, unloved, disconnected, connected, happy, loved, etc.) ...

This puts the accountability of her reaction/feelings onto her, not you, and takes away the judgement of you. It may also help you understand & be more compassionate towards her feelings than a simple "something is wrong with you", don't ya think? It also may help you learn more about "eachother" ... and could be a great growth process =)

angel4u

July 20, 2005
11:36 am
Avatar
SexySadie
New Member
Members
Forum Posts: -1
Member Since:
September 27, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I just took the test and I am an ENFJ...and wow am I ever to the tee!!! Going to go and read more up on it!! I just got my confirmation that I am enabler!!

July 20, 2005
1:18 pm
Avatar
glittered when he walked
New Member
Members
Forum Posts: -1
Member Since:
September 27, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I took the test and it says I am an ESTJ, but as I read the descriptions I am some of that, bit some of it I am not. I knew that I could have a problem w/ the test's assesment because on far too many questions i was uncertain as to which answer was more appropriate.

July 20, 2005
1:20 pm
Avatar
kathygy
New Member
Members
Forum Posts: -1
Member Since:
September 30, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I think it can be a real problem when two people have very different ways of looking at things. I had this problem with my exhusband. He was too analytical for me. Thus he didn't understand my emotional processes. The ironic part of it is that he fell in-love with me because I expressed my emotional side so well which he couldn't do. I have often heard that the thing that initially attract a person to somone is the very thing that becomes a huge problem later on. I needed my husband to express his emotions. The only emotion he could express was how much he loved me. That was not enough for me and I left the marriage.

I think it is counter productive for your wife to put you down and judge you for being more analytical. However, she sounds like she does have a need for you to express more of your emotions and understand hers. It seems to me that you need to make a major effort to better understand her needs if you want to save your marriage and she needs to stop labelling you.

love,
kathy

July 20, 2005
2:08 pm
Avatar
glittered when he walked
New Member
Members
Forum Posts: -1
Member Since:
September 27, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I do understand her needs. I think she expects me to be like her. that isn't going to happen any sooner than she's going to become like me.

I'm bothered by your idea that i have to make "a major effort" at better understanding her needs, but all she has to do is stop labeling me. what about my needs? I need to know that she can feel loved and secure without requiring contant reaffirmations.

Mightn't she also have to examine her own "needs" and determine which indeed are needs versus desires? Must I be forced into some high maintenance relationship simply because she's unwillingly to consider that perhaps she is indeed at times too needy, that's she's far too insecure? I understand my wife's needs - i don't think she understands that her way isn't the only way.

July 20, 2005
11:36 pm
Avatar
angel4U
New Member
Members
Forum Posts: -1
Member Since:
September 29, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Hi glittered -

I am an ESTJ too, and tend to approach things from a rational/logical rather than emotional standpoint first too - and I am female!!! .. šŸ˜‰

RE: "Must I be forced into some high maintenance relationship simply because she's unwillingly to consider that perhaps she is indeed at times too needy, that's she's far too insecure? I understand my wife's needs - i don't think she understands that her way isn't the only way."

LOL! I said these same words about a couple of people in my life, but I guess it's not healthy when we throw judgement back at them. The reality is we are all just different. Some people are more needy of (or have different desires for) certain things (sometimes moreso at times than others), and have different expectations about getting our needs met from others, ourselves and realtionships. The difficult part (I think moreso in a marriage) is clearly identifying those needs together, discussing/"respecting"/accepting what someone can and can't give us, and owning up to what we need to be giving to ourselves ... and then finding ways to do so.

Your wife's expectations may be so ingrained in her (from what she learned growing up, from stereotypes, from what you previously provided to her, or simply because of her basic personality, etc.) that she may not even realize that what she is doing and how she is communicating her concerns/needs is hurtful to you & your relationship.

The fact that you are going to counseling and asking for help here tells me you are trying to understand, and I think that is wonderful! Is your wife doing the same? Based on the resentment I can see building in you, I truly think that she needs to be a part of this to help her (and you) understand eachother better and to learn how to communicate in a more healthier way.

I am picking up on a vibe 2B sent me one time and am sending "positive energy" your way, my friend!!

More hugs comin' atcha!

angel4u

July 21, 2005
12:31 am
Avatar
Cinamac
New Member
Members
Forum Posts: -1
Member Since:
September 29, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I am an ENFP- my EX an INTP...now that was interesting.

I found that ex always PROJECTED his stuff on me...the stuff he needed to work on, he told me that I need to work on it.

At first I thought, gee, I better attend to this...maybe I am these things. He is my spouse, he is supposed to point out my flaws and I am to make myself better. I have spinach in my teeth,he tells me, I pick it out. He thinks I'm arrogant, stupid, disorganised dipstick...ok...interesting, he was all caught up in being smart, Icould care less (I do have 3 degrees and he didn't have any.... a little insecure, do you think?)

He did get one thing right. He always referred to me as a victum. When I tried to express to him how I thought he should work on his own stuff, and I should work on my own self evolution and growth, and if I wanted his help I would let him know. When I went to therapy and learned about boundaries and try to establish them with him, he said I was trying to change him. We went to couples therapy and it was brought up a few times that he was abusive. I said if the abuse continued that I would leave.

He then claimed he was sick and that I should take it becasue he was sick- that I needed to learn how to forgive him. I just gave up. I realised that he blamed me for everything...I was running around and he would fly off the handle, then complain that I was not compassionate, that I had to learn how to accept him for who he was (a dope smoking rage aholic who didn't want to work and spend all my money)

Wheewww....where did that come from?
A little mini vent.

I loved his soul- but it was the constant crushing blows to who I was and the nagging of how stupid I was, how inadequate I was that I realised he was not happy with himself. I was the model wife (Dr. Laura would have even got sick how wonderful I was) trying so desparately to please him. This made him more critical. So the kids and I decided that we had to leave becasue he started getting out of hand.

Not suggesting that your wife is getting out of hand...but it is so hard hearing stuff like that. If you are happy with you...I think that is a good start...it would be for an ENFP!

July 21, 2005
10:24 am
Avatar
glittered when he walked
New Member
Members
Forum Posts: -1
Member Since:
September 27, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Update.

So i spoke w/ my wife last night and said in paraphrase: Something dawned on me that perhaps this is an issue of personality. That I need to work on communicating better and more often, but there's nothing that greatly wrong with my personality.

she grew upset at hearing this. i think what she heard was "i'm not going to work at this - I'm not going to change." she said to me "well, if that's your attitude then we may as well just get separated now." I said "look, I didn't say that I wasn't willing to work at understanding and meeting your needs better and working on my communication skills."

she replied with something along the lines of " I have no emotions, that i'm not affectionate, that i'm not connected with her, that she needs at least a daily emotional communication between us to feel connected.

Thing is..I think I can provide her w/ a daily emotional communication, i just don't think it will be enough for her. she doesn't like who I am. I'm not going to attempt a wholesale personality change. I like myself for the most part, sure I've got to correct some things, but why reinvent a pretty good wheel?

In the end, I got a "fuck you" from her. I replied that "oh that's nice, look, I'm not going to tolerate you talking to me like that" she didn't apologize so I continued that I wouldn't tolerate that kind of diresepct and if it continued this conversation was over. she replied with "Oh, get over it." I said no, I won't tolerate it and if you persist this conversation is over...still nothing from her..I told her "I'm hanging up now." and heard her hangup just before me.

isn't that nice?

I layed there at night thinking...14 years invested..3 small kids...I really don't want to walk away, but perhaps it might be best if we separate. i spent some time wrestling with the notions of staying and going...pros and cons Sad to say, no resolution was reached so..I'll stay on until marriage counselling (the default option) or until one or both of decides "ain't gonna happen, let's cut our losses."

July 21, 2005
2:42 pm
Avatar
kathygy
New Member
Members
Forum Posts: -1
Member Since:
September 30, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

glittered, I'm sorry if my feedback sounded one sided. Of course your feelings and needs are just as important as your wife's. I was just responding to your initial post because you spent a lot of time saying what your wife feels. I think too I might have short circuted you because of my own frustration in my marriage with my exhusband. The situation sounded very familiar and I didn't feel like my husband tried very hard to understand my needs. I'm sorry if I projected that on to you. I was very angry at my husband for ignoring my needs and maybe still feel some of that because I tried so hard to work on the marriage and communicate with him. It became totally frustrating.

Yes, your wife needs to work hard at trying to understand you and your needs if she wants to save the marriage.

July 21, 2005
4:37 pm
Avatar
glittered when he walked
New Member
Members
Forum Posts: -1
Member Since:
September 27, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Kathy,

You needn't apologize. I was a little angry, but the issue is mine and not yours. Therefore, i was defensive and I hope that I didn't give you any invalidations - I am sorry for that. I was annoyed because I inferred that your comments were "taking my wife's side." And you really weren't taking anyone's side as much as explaining your experiences. And sometimes, the truth hurts too. I felt put-off a little because you were right in that it's going to take a major effort from me and I have to accept that. I feel that I am getting there. I value your input.

July 21, 2005
5:04 pm
Avatar
2bstrong
New Member
Members
Forum Posts: -1
Member Since:
September 30, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Glittered--I just read your post from today. What the heck? How are you going to be able to counsel when conversations are so difficult and have no point but to frustrate and hurt you? That's just unproductive--not even that, it's counterproductive. It does more damage.

I don't know if I could stay in a situation like that, glittered. I have said many times (maybe not here) I feel like my ex just quit. He walked away from a ten-plus year relationship after only ONE discussion. ONE. One chance to share, listen to each other, get mad, cry, analyze, discuss, and review. Three days after that discussion, he just stopped returning my phone calls. We were still engaged.

You, on the other hand are putting forth a valiant effort to save your marriage, and maintain your sanity. That is what we are supposed to do, right? Till death do us part...but physical death, or emotional death?

I don't know g. Maybe some time and space away from each other? Just my one-cent worth. But you are being abused.

Hugs for you, glittered. You need 'em.

July 21, 2005
7:42 pm
Avatar
Cinamac
New Member
Members
Forum Posts: -1
Member Since:
September 29, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Even if you want to change your personality, it is really hard. That is what a friend (who is a psychiatrist) told me. I said I begged to differ. That I was codependent, had seen the light and I was going to change myself. He said that I may have learned hard lessons, but it will take years to change- even if I really wanted to.

He was right!

My Ex- almost 50 years old, had no intention of changing. He liked himself the way he was. His INTP nature- highly critical. The projection and blaming stuff- just where he was developmentally. He lived in an external world. So having someone meet his needs (as if he couldn't meet his own) was crucial. Being a nurturer (codependent) I stepped up to the plate and tried to meet those needs alright. Then come along a midlife crisis- and BAM!

What I learned is we can only meet our own needs, not someone elses. I never met mine (being in an abusive relationship, mine were always last to bbe met, if they were ever met at all). If you can't meet your own, you can only be frustrated if someone else tries to meet them for you becasue it is never good enough. You can turn yourself inside out, and it won't be fast enough.

I hoped that having a break, separating financially, taking the kids might help relieve the stress and anxiety that casued his addiction. Detaching would help me, and maybe help him come to his senses. Well he found someone else...and he chronically criticizes her, belittles her, tells her to "f" herself, calls her stupid...and they have only lived together for a couple of months. He blames his behaviour on me...if only I had loved him, not abandoned him. So she loves him more and tries her darndest to fulfill his needs. He used to blame his parents, if only they hadn't sent him away to boarding school he wouldn't have such a bad temper. Blah, blah, blah.

So I don't know if there are any similiarities. People are who they are. And it is tough to separate. It sucks. Cut your lifestyle in half financially. But there is nothing worse than being criticized to death because you have grown apart. It is such an unhealthy, toxic environment to live and raise kids.

And I am working on myself. Becoming more independent, trying to fulfill my needs. Enjoying life. But that is me. I hope you get through this ...all the best.

July 22, 2005
10:50 am
Avatar
glittered when he walked
New Member
Members
Forum Posts: -1
Member Since:
September 27, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Yes, my therapist said the same thing about changing one's personality. I won't attempt that because I like who I am for the most part.

2b,

thanks for the hugs. I've decided to try to work things out because I have to give it my best effort. If it doesn't work out then I'll accept that. Last night I opened up to my wife and told her I wanted to try, that i want to be connected to her, that i miss her. I had been struggling w/ allowing myslef to open up fully to the point that i;d be vulnerable given how deeply she has hurt me, but I have reached a point of acceptance with it. I figure if I don't try and we get separated, then I'm still going to hurt, so why not try? I can handle the hurt if it happens either way, it won't be fun but I'll do what everyone else does - I'll make the best of things and move on.

My wife told me that she had given up and I have a feeling that maybe things are damaged beyond repair, but I'm going to try and I'm not going to be afraid of getting hurt. I've been hurt and what I've found is that the will to persevere is strong.

July 24, 2005
1:57 am
Avatar
angel4U
New Member
Members
Forum Posts: -1
Member Since:
September 29, 2010
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

((((((glittered)))))

I admire your courage & strength. Just remember that it takes 2, ok?

I thought of you and your situation when I read this:

http://www.drirene.com/who_is.htm

hang in there, my friend!

angel4u

Forum Timezone: UTC -8
Most Users Ever Online: 247
Currently Online:
24
Guest(s)
Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)
Top Posters:
onedaythiswillpass: 1134
zarathustra: 562
StronginHim77: 453
free: 433
2013ways: 431
curious64: 408
Member Stats:
Guest Posters: 49
Members: 110922
Moderators: 5
Admins: 3
Forum Stats:
Groups: 8
Forums: 74
Topics: 38536
Posts: 714207
Newest Members:
Corties, patrickstayes, kevinkovalsky, izzy39, RoyFollman, kevin021
Moderators: arochaIB: 1, devadmin: 9, Tincho: 0, Donn Gruta: 0, Germain Palacios: 0
Administrators: admin: 21, ShiningLight: 572, emily430: 29

Copyright © 2019 MH Sub I, LLC. All rights reserved. Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Policy | Health Disclaimer