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Newly married, nearing divorce, think Im codependant ... help, advice, please!
July 27, 2005
2:17 pm
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nysflyboy
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Hi all. Ive lurked and read a lot of back threads after happening upon this site. I identify so readily with so much of what many on here say. I have always known that I have "something" wrong with me. I always let people walk on me, cross my "boundries" (like I have any) and resent them when they do - yet never tell them about it. For some reason I seem to ALWAYS seek these people out, or they find me somehow.

Well, to make it brief.. I got married 9 months ago after dating for about 2 years. She has 3 kids from a prior marriage. I tried, REAL hard, during the dating phase to keep my boundries, and keep things at a distance. It worked to an extent. However, when the pressure started to come on regarding marriange, I caved. I wasnt ready, yet I went ahead. Then moving in - which I had resisted because we "werent married". Now I realize that I feel Ive made a huge error - and we are in a big new house we can barely afford together.

Life is one big disagreement. Shes a perfectionist - in the clinical sense. EVERYTHING must be perfect. She relishes in pointing out faults in other peoples work, particularly if its something she's assigned. I take the brunt of this, and just resent her more and more every day. She plays passive-agressive, the 'martyr', and the boss. A good example, she might say "YOU clear the table tongith since I ALWAYS do" (which is not true). So I do it, and then she'll complain how I did a crappy job and go re-clean everythign. Id like to point out that in no way would I have done a crappy job. Many examples of this, and for wahtever reason I JUST TAKE IT. Sometimes I'll lash out - one night I used a post-it note while writing donw a phone number. I didnt slide the pad back to its spot (it was about 3" off) and she came in and said "I GUESS NOW I HAVE TO PICK UP AFTER EVERYONE". I was clueless and said "huh?" and she explained how Id not put the pad back in its spot. I said "you are kidding right?" and she got real mad, no she wasnt kidding. I said "OK, thats crazy" and for me, this was standing up for myself. That and not speaking to her for the rest of the night.

Anywya, this sort of thing has slowly destroyed any feelings I have, and Im thinking of leaving. I feel so bad about myself when she 'makes me feel this way' and I do nothing about it, yet then I will go and DO WHAT SHE WANTED ME TO DO even tho I might not want to. For example, get up and go fix the pad, even after calling her crazy.

I feel totally helpless, and Ive thought about leaving a lot - but I really cant. I feel so bad telling her how she makes me feel. I fell so bad for the kids - the youngest REALLY thinks of me as dad. But this life is sheer chaos, no one respects anyone (kids or her). I feel henpecked, and like I internalize everything. I feel broken, and this is NOT the first failed relationship Ive had where I felt like this. More like #3 or 4 (first marriage tho, that makes it much worse).

Any help? Im so confused I dont even know where to start. I just want to go home tonight and leave, but I cant face her or the kids if I do... But I need space and time to think, and I CANT do it around them...

-helpless...

July 27, 2005
2:50 pm
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kathygy
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First of all make your feelings the priority, not your wife's or her childrens' but you. Your relationship is not working. Your wife is controlling and abusive and you don't stand up to her. Getting silient doesn't solve anything. Have you considered marriage counseling? If you don't work on this you will just repeat it again with the next person. If your wife won't go to therapy then you go to work on you. You need to learn how to take care of yourself in a relationship and not give your power away. Your wife knows she can get away with being abusive to you because you take it. You don't have to.

love,
kathy

July 27, 2005
3:11 pm
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Just Lost
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you are living what my soon to be ex wife lived with me. I didn't know she was feeling about me like you feel about your wife. By the time it came to light, she had made the decision to leave and counseling had no effect. So, I would recommend that you consider counseling if you have any interest in working it out. Otherwise, you can do like my wife did and leave. but how about doing it the right way and mentioning how you feel to your spouse. My wife said nothing. She just cried and drank away her sorrows for months before walking out the door.

July 27, 2005
3:15 pm
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CAMER
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I am glad you are standing up for yourself, and i do hope all works out well for your marriage, do you still want to be married to her and/or go to counseling if that will help?? there is alot here to deal with, and you can get the help needed...the thing is we cannot change others, only ourselves, so maybe marriage counseling would be good, not sure if SHE would be willing to do this though. Keep posting.

July 27, 2005
7:10 pm
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spagetti
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i think the best way is to let your wife know one way or the other how your feeling because if its not already too late it will be very soon i too have had problems within my marriage for years and said nothing now its come to light it is very hard he has moved out but things i feel will get better .

if you cant tell her to her face then write it down ALL of it tell her you feel "henpecked" and that you dont want things to carry on this way as you are unhappy ,of corse she may go on the defensive and be a little cross but if she really thinks any thing of you then she will take it all on and try to make a change , a change for the better .

do think about telling her before you make a definate decision it will be hard but you cant be walked all over for ever you have the right to be happy and not to be treated like one of the kids . if you find your inner strength to do this it will empower you. you can do it!be strong , be clear and be sure.

July 29, 2005
8:29 am
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nysflyboy
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Thank you all for the advice. As a fortunate coincidence, my grandparents who are now getting very old are visiting my parents, about an hours drive away. I took the opportunity to go by myself to visit all day yesterday, and had a lot of good discussions with them and my parents about this situation. The prevailing thoughts were that its probably doomed.... Between her issues (which I feel run far deeper than the symptoms) and my being the "opposite pole of the magnet" and unable to DEAL with it.

It was very refreshing to be away, and talk to people about this. I really have NO friends anymore, and do nothing other than house/family stuff and mostly with her family since mine is an hour away. Therefore its been hard to get another perspective. They all agreed that I need to talk it out with her, but that in their opinion its probably doomed to fail, we are fundimentally different, and due to MY repressing my feelings, I simply IGNORED all these signs before the marriage. Or told myself I could make it better somehow.

But now Im back at the same impasse... Ive already told her that "I dont feel the same way" about her. I didnt however go into the laundry list of reasons - mostly that she simply treats no one with any respect. SHes not brought it up since, and shes grown very distant now as well. So now we are both totally distant, its like living with a roommate - one I dont particularly even get along with. No affection, heck, hardly even any talk. All business. Im sure she wouldnt be suprised by me bringing "us" up, but what do I even say???

At this point, with things the way they are, I really dont even WANT to continue this relationship. But - heres always my problem, I DONT WANT TO HURT ANYONE. Not her, not the kids, no one. Well, except me. Thats ok. See, theres my thinking. But I realize that I AM hurting her, just by not being truthful... God, I hate myself. I want to go jump off a cliff (hardly even a metaphor these days).

I just dont know what to do, cause If I start the converstaion, its going to go like this: me: 'dear, we need to talk about our relationship' her: 'What, this JOKE of a relationship?' Me: 'Well, Im not happy, and Im thinking of leaving' Her:'YOU are thinking of leaving? YOu are COLD to me, treat me with no affection, how are YOU unhappy?' and then Ill cave in one way or another. Oh, yes, you are right. Its me (well, it HAS been ME for a little while, I have NO affection for her cause she battered my feeling to they are GONE, but I will take the WHOLE blame likely).

How do other codependant types deal with this? How do I approach THAT conversaation without falling in a trap??? HELP me please...

Thanks...

July 29, 2005
10:23 am
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CAMER
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wow, this is a tough one....you can have the above conversation with her, and she may call you cold, and unaffectionate, but there are reasons as to "why" you are that way. You are now realizing that things are not the same, and she is not the person you thought she was, or maybe hoped she would change.

I too, would worry about my bf, and his kids and everyone else, well what about me???

I think there will come a time and a point where you will say "enough is enough" and not put up with it anymore.

I'd still have that talk with her, and instead of "blaming" the other person (including her blaming you) why not get real and honest with yourself and with her...its so much
better to end things if needed, or work on things, but you both need to work on it to make it.

Communication is key, be honest, be upfront, don't let her over talk you, or tell you what you should feel, just be honest, and then no one will get hurt.

I wish you luck & keep me posted.

((camer))

July 29, 2005
10:26 am
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shyshy
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I always find it easier to communicate feelings on paper. You won't leave anything out and you won't get any interruptions.

She may come back at you and lash out but you can always say you need some time to register everything she said and will get back to her when you can think clearly.

Then take some time to think about what she is accusing you of and figure out if the accusations are reasonable or bogus and then come back with a response.

July 29, 2005
11:31 am
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Anonymous
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nysflyboy,

I know EXACTLY where you are emotionally! I am so sorry that you are going through such a difficult time. It's tough when you don't know what to do. It's obvious you put everyone else's feelings above your own. I'm glad you were able to discuss all of this with your family yesterday. I would think since they know you and the situation, that they would have a pretty good take on things. They probably offered you some good advice.

But when it's all said and done, YOU will have to make the decision about YOUR life. It sounds to me that way things are right now are no good for anybody, including her children. Don't be afraid to talk to her, but make sure you have your ducks in a row BEFORE that conversation begins, so that you don't allow her to "divert" the discussion into a blaming contest. The fact is that it is what it is, and pointing fingers isn't going to get anybody what they want. I'm sure there is blame on both sides, but the two of you must decide if this relationship can be salvaged. Ignoring each other isn't solving anything. Only causing deep seated resentment that is bound to "blow up" sooner or later.

I like shy's idea of writing things down. It helps to have time to think about what you want to say, and re-read what was written in case it doesn't convey the right message.

I wish you luck as you decide what you need to do. This is a great place to vent and bounce your feelings off of other people who understand your dilema. Above all else, take care of YOU! Then, as the fog begins to clear, you will KNOW what you need to do and do it!

July 29, 2005
2:02 pm
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kathygy
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Give priority to the wounded child within you that is suffering greatly. Don't worry about hurting your wife. She has a major contribution to your reasons for wanting to leave. You are only responsible for your part in the relationship not hers. The children will be fine. You can have heart to heart talk with them about your leaving. Its high time for you to stand up for yourself. Its your complete right and you owe it to yourself to stop hurting and suffering. I think it is a good idea to write down everything you want to say. You could write your wife a letter and give it to her that way she has less of a chance to pull you back in. Tell her exactly how you feel without blaming her. I would say something like 'I feel that I am not treated with respect and this is causing me to loose my feelings for you. I am tired of expecting to be perfect according to your rules. I will not stay in this marriage unless things change' and so on, whatever is true for you. Get it all out. Tell her how you want to be treated if you choose to stay in the marriage. Be very specific. Your feelings are very important and valid. Don't let her manipulate you into taking on the whole blame. Remember you are only one person and a marriage includes two people. Hold her responsible for her part in you wanting to leave. If you feel that the marriage is worth saving given change then ask her to go to counseling. Its very important that you stand up to her and don't back down. You can do it. She will respect you for it even if she gets angry at first.

love,
kathy

July 29, 2005
2:49 pm
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nysflyboy
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Thank you all so much for your kind words, advice and comments. I had written a huge reply, with lots of great thought in it, but I included a link to another post... and lost the whole thing .

I was refering to the post titled "Nature vs. Nurture ..." that is still towards the top of the main board list. The poster and particularly the second post by hiemee really rang a tone with me. Yes, it has little to do with my current situation right now, but thinking about WHY IM HERE it really rang some bells.

I wish I could get help - but Ive tried counseling before and really it was no more helpful than reading a book or message board. What is with the codependance thing? HOW does one STOP this from happening? Hell, Im always SO far into something by the time I realize "Im selling myself out" a little at a time, its a HUGE deal to get out - and generally destroys the relationship. (Or its already destroyed in my mind, as now).

Thats kinda how I felt resonance with hiemee's post in that thread. Its as if theres a pattern, and through the years Ive developed a way of "Hiding" my core feelings, even sometimes from MYSELF! I open up a little, and give a little, and usually get a lot in return from 'these women' I am always with. Then something happens, and they realize they can walk on me, and I just take it. At first I continue to pour on the affection, trying to turn it around. Then I accept the situation, and ignore it (my feelings) and remain status quo. But eventually, resentment starts to build, and slowly I start closing the door. Building the wall.

[Interesting side note, I remember the first time I saw "the wall" by pink floyd, and BOY did that resonate. Im 37 by the way, wife is 31]

Once I start, really theres no stopping. But rather than fixing it, or talking about it I seem to have entered this place where I WANT TO LET IT GET WORSE so she will LEAVE ME I think. How messed up is that? Then atleast I dont have to hurt anyone, just I get hurt and that I can handle.

Now is that codependance or what?

Another thing Ive noticed, shes very unpredictable. For example, right now the past few days have been 'good' in that she hasnt been too overy cynical, mean, demanding or condescending. Perhaps its just luck, or just a good day. Hard to tell. But I noticed (and ignored) long ago before we were married that about one week every 6 or so weeks shed have a few really good "lovey dovey" days. Followed by a few "normal" (meaning pretty much distant) days, and then a couple weeks of "Im having a bad day" or "Im STRESSED". Throw in a few "brutally" bad bitch at everyone days and thats life. But its not a pattern per se, you never know for sure what you are gonna get. Its like living with the classic alcoholic (shes not). I think her "perfection addiction" is almost like that tho - and driven by the same kind of low self image.

She says her father NEVER said he loved her. She said he was IMPOSSIBLE to please, and she has always felt she has to win his affection- -and never can. He favors her sister totally, she can do no wrong, while my wife is always wrong or a screw up. This was all told to me loooong ago, before we even were serious dating. In our interactions, I can see that shes not lying - although her dad has mellowed (meds) he still has some of these traits. Also he was horribly abused as a child, along with his siblings who have told me some stories.

Why do I tell all this? I dunno, just to add some depth to the story I guess. Net result is I feel completely depressed. Feel like I CONSTANTLY have to walk on eggshells (or broken glass) in my own house. Hell, I dont even feel like its my house at ALL. Everything has to go through her - shes a control freak, and a perfectionist. I come from a family that was REAL layed back, fun, and totally a "lets go have fun as a family rather than worrying if the laundry is done" type of place. My wife's whole life/self esteem/whatever hinges on everythign being perfect - house, life, job, and it never is so shes ALWAYS 'stressed' and taking it out on everyone.

I just really want to run away. I do. I wish Id never gotten married - hell I wish Id left after one of the many big stupid blowouts shed had with me before we got married. (Example, not that anyone is still reading! Once beore we were married, shed gone to the store and to get her nails done. While she was gone I rallied the kids to 'clean the house'. It was a friday and generally she spends ALL day sat cleaning. So, we did. I vaccumed, the kids did their rooms, dusted, dishes, changed sheets, etc. We were almost done, and she wasnt back, and I noticed the bathroom. Id never cleaned it for her before (but I AM a bachellor who lived on my own for 15 years so Im no dummy) so I did. Windex mirror, clean toilet spotless inside and out, mop floor, cleaned the shower with shower cleaner and a washcloth...

WHen she came home, not a WORD about how wed clened the house. No thanks. Nothing. Went into the bedroom, and noticed the wash rag in the dirty clothes. Went absolutely ballistic that Id used a wash cloth to clean the shower. She uses only particular ones (she does not believe in sponges) and I used one that was inappropriate. I mean she went NUTS, yelling, slamming doors, shooed me out and RE CLEANED everything.

Thats not even close to the only example, but its a good one. Am I nuts for thinkign life isnt like this? I pointed out to her then that "theres more than one right way to clean something". She said there is NOT, and that Id be pissed if she ever cleaned my car and did it wrong. I said "no way, if you ever cleaned my car I wouldnt care HOW you did it" (Shes never cleaned my car)

Anyhow, Im rambling. If anyone is still here... I really have to do somethign about this this weekend. What questions can I ask myself to get the answers I need? Do I stay or go? I mean, a lot depends on HOW I approach this converstaion! DO I want to stay? Try to fix it? DO I need space and to move out a while (trial sep)? Is that asking too much? Do I just wanna GO?

How do I decide. Im so bad at this, I wnat to hurt no one, except me. Thats ok...

NYS

July 31, 2005
8:33 pm
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SanJoe
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Hey NYS,

I lived your situation. I can only tell you that I am in the final parts of my divorce and your mail seems like my same complaints. Over and Over. Here is my take. FOCUS ON YOU!!!! You need to take responsibility for YOUR actions. Don't focus on hers. There is no way YOU can fix HER. YOU CAN FIX YOU! I couldn't figure out how to make it work and I left. Do it however makes you feel ok. Your feelings are more important than hers. She can obviously take care of her own.

San Joe

August 1, 2005
8:43 pm
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bonita1
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flyboy,

I have not read all of the posts here so perhaps someone has already talked to you about boundaries. If so, I apologize for being redundant. That being said, I have no good advice to give you on how to make wise decisions since I have made some very bad ones in the past. The only thing I can think of is for you to set up your boundaries of what type of behavior you will or will not accept from her. Then you must think of what consequences or steps you will take if she violates those boundaries.

Chances are she will never change and you can look forward to years of this kind of mental and emotional abuse. Her poor children will suffer from this for the rest of their lives. But, do you really want to live like that? Do you want to give any of your future children a mother like this?

Just food for thought, hon.

~~bonita

August 1, 2005
10:02 pm
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Just Lost
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based on what I learned in therapy today, I would say yo uare codependent and she is an emotional abuser....based on the power and control wheel. I was the abuser in my marriage and I see all of me in the wheel. My wife was codependent. But it sounds like you are close to the 'enlightenment' psychological phase of the battered spouse syndrome. The next stage is where you leave. If you dont want to feel any guilt over leaving, tell her now how you feel no matter what she says. If that doesnt work, I suggest joint counseling. If she doesnt come to her senses then, you have done all you can. I speak from experience of being the bad guy in the relationship.

August 2, 2005
12:48 am
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Hi NYS,

I've been reading all these posts and what I'd like to add is that really, I don't think your marriage is the main issue here. I mean, yeah, your wife sounds like a witch and she should be ashamed of herself, but I don't think "Should I leave or should I stay?" is the most important question.

Instead, why don't you try challenging the system. For instance, you say you've become very isolated. Call a friend and go out to a movie. Your wife may not like it. She may fly into a rage, but you know what? You don't have to listen to it. Say, "I'm sorry you feel that way, dear,". Then get up, go out the door, and try to enjoy your evening. It may be hard at first, but it will get easier.

In fact, you may want to make it a rule that you won't sit still for ANY of her abusive tirades. You're an adult. You don't have to. Say, "I won't allow you to speak to me like that," and then take the kids out for ice cream. Do it every time she gets nuts. Make it clear that you expect to be spoken to with respect. Every time you let her treat you badly, you're teaching her to keep it up.

The perfectionism thing is tough to deal with, but again, you don't have to let her set the standards and you don't have to listen to her explosions. Do what you think is reasonable and refuse to let her bully you into ridiculous tasks like getting up to straighten the post-it notes. Her annoyance may be uncomfortable, but you can learn to tolerate the discomfort, and she may learn to knock it off. If she gets verbally abusive about it, again, leave the room or tell her that since the two of you can't seem to discuss these issues productively, you refuse to discuss it any more except in the presence of a counselor.

Whether or not your marriage ultimately works out is not nearly as important as you taking this opportunity to learn skills that will stand you in good stead for the rest of your life. Believe me, I know, because I've been there, and if you want to be healthy and quit repeating this misery, you must learn to have and protect healthy boundaries. If you haven't already read "Boundaries" and "Changes that Heal", they're excellent, lifechanging books.

If you can learn the lessons that life is offering you now, you won't have to keep on repeating them.

Love and best wishes,
EJ

August 2, 2005
1:29 am
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lost and found
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i totally agree with ej. get the book boundaries and start reading and practicing. u are telling how she runs over u. u can't stop her from being abusive but u can stop how you respond to her. good luck
l and f

August 2, 2005
8:52 am
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shyshy
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I have to ask, how did you react when she went nuts about the way you cleaned the house that day?

Did you take it and just walk away or did you respond or react?

You should have told her exactly how you felt. How you and the kids slaved all day to clean the house to help HER and she STILL wasn't happy.

Seems like there is no pleasing this woman and honestly I think she is probably depressed or unhappy and this is the way she acts out. She will only dish out what you will tolerate. She knows she can treat you the way she does, get out some frustration and you will put up with it.

I had to question myself sometime back when I was being abused by my bf and then I would come home all upset and take it out on my kids. Why did I have no problem expressing myself with my kids but with my bf I would walk on eggshells? Because with my kids I could get away with it. With my bf it was a different story.

I don't put up with his behavior anymore. In fact I even bring it up before he dishes it out. For example, if we are arguing over the phone and he says "I'll talk to you later" I already know that means, "I'm giving you the silent treatment for a week" so now I make it a point to warn him up front that if that's what he's planning on doing that he can just never call me again!! In other words, I will not tolerate his behavior.

I tell him exactly how I feel now without any regard to how he may take it. I say what I mean and I mean what I say.

That's made a world of difference in our relationship. He knows I mean business.

Just an FYI: I am a laid back kind of person and I don't mind my house being a little messy if I have other things I have to do. Some people like your wife get all stressed out about having an imaculate house. I don't. However, when I was first separated from my husband I started to notice that I would come home and get all upset about the fact that my house was messy and for a while everything had to be imacculate. So then I questioned myself. Why?

I realized that it was because I was depressed and coming home to a nice clean house made me feel better. Also, coming home to a messy house, or one that wasn't clean to my standards made me feel like my life was out of control.

Maybe that's the case with your wife. She may be unhappy about something and having her house a certain way makes her feel like she is at least in control of something.

Anyway, focus on you because it's obvious that there is no pleasing this woman. If she argues respond to her argument but say what you mean and mean what you say. You have to almost be really selfish to get over your codependency. At least it feels that way. You may get a little selfish but I've noticed that people take me more seriously now and respect me more.

August 2, 2005
11:45 am
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nysflyboy
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Thank you all SO much for your support and comments. I have a huge set of updates...

Things finally came to a "head" two nights ago. It was the same as a month ago. She went to bed early (like as soon as the kids were in bed) telling me "Im going to bed". It was like 10:00, so I said "Ill be up in a few minutes" because I had JUST sat down from a very, very long day/evening of working on the house (replaced an entry door, fixed the garage door, and other stuff). I wanted to relax a bit. (She had been cleaning, of course - this was sunday night)

So, I came up to bed and she was already in bed 'asleep'. I was quiet, and got into bed. Then, when I was almmost asleep, I heard the sniffles begin. I didnt want to be manipulated - she'd had ALL DAY alone with me if shed wanted to say anything. So I fell back asleep. At some point during the night she left the room, and was back by morning.

In the am, after I got up and showered, she confronted me in the kitchen. "didnt you hear me crying last night?" I lied "No". She told me how she feels TOTALLY unwanted, unloved and cant take it. I told her the same things as before, that my feelings were nil, and she very emotionally but calmly cried about her life sucking and the kids lives being ruined, etc etc. I was pretty much quiet (shutdown). She told me I needed to "make a decision" and I said that I needed some space and time to think about it. She said she had to get ready, and went upstairs, when I heard the water start running, so I left.

2 minutes later she called my cell phone, and said "SO, thats your answer? You leave?" I told her I heard the shower start (And figured that was it for then), but aparently it wasnt her but our daughter. Anyway, we had a talk where I told her how close I was to leaving, and how I cant take the way she treats me, and that I wasnt sure what I would do/want at this point.

I was prepared to not come home that night. I really just wanted some time alone - really alone. She emailed me at work, "i love u". Then about an hour later emailed me that her appointment had canceled and could we possibly get together and talk, spending time together she thought we needed. Inside I wanted to RUN. But I agreed, and met her at a park. It was weird.

She asked, "so, tell me what the problmem is". And I struggled to tell her, I had to preface it all with a lot of "look, im not nitpicking or holding a grudge, but its the way you treat me and I have to use examples so you understand". And I told her several of the examples, and how they made me feel. I tried to make her understand that its NOT just abotut cleanliness, but about her anger, control, and lack of willingness to both compromise and "let it go". I illustrated with several of the examples I shared here, and others. She was mostly just silent.

THen I stopped, and said, look - this is NOT healthy, i didnt want to do this and have a blame session. If you want to go to counseling then THATS the place for this. But she insisted that I continue. So, I pointed out a few more things, control issues - having to have EVERYthing go through her for approval. I tried to explain to her how all this makes me feel NOTHING, as I repress all the anger.

Then she asked me to take her back to work, which I did. SHe didnt really say much, except that she always screws everything up.

I wanted very bad to not go home last night. I couldnt see what good would come of it - I need time and space. I had intended to ask for that (time away) during our meeting, but seeing as I made her feel so bad (at her request) I didnt feel like I could (Bad I know).

So, I went home. She acted like nothing was wrong, and was at least pleasant althoug distant. Nothing really happened all evening. At bedtime, again kids in bed by 9:30, and i had just sat down. Wanted to watch a little tv to unwind, and she sat next to me. After a few minutes she said "Im really tired, Im gonna go to bed". I said "why dont you just stay down here for a bit and watch with me" She said "No, Im tired, I wanna lie down" and went upstairs.

When I came up after 15-20 minutes, she was asleep. I got into bed, and she woke up. I reached over and gave her a kiss and said goodnight. She clung to me and asked me to lie with her. Inside I really didnt want to - I wanted to go to sleep (was very tired) and also felt very weird, like she was going to try to take that afternoons converstatoin (which was pretty much all me telling her what the problem is, with no feedback from her) and use it as an "its all better" moment. I really didnt feel any different, more relieved yes, tiny bit of hope, yes, but ready to be clung to and make love? NO.

So, I hugged her for a few minutes and gave her another kiss and said goodnight. Then rolled over. She rolled over and began touching me and attempting to make her intentions known. I just kinda lied there, and more or less did what shes done in the past when she wasnt in 'the mood'. She eventually stopped her advances, adn we settled into a hug/fall asleep position. I was still very uncomfortable, but willing to 'try' to make her feel a little better, so I began to again fall asleep in this hug/lie on my chest positino. After a while she got up, and left. Went to the kids room to sleep in their bed.

I went and found her, and asked her why? What had I done? SHe said nothing, that she just feels bad in there and awful, and wanted to be near someone who wanted and needed her.

So, we went and talked some more. She told me she cant go through this again, and she talked about suicide. I told her not to ever consider that, and she said she wished she could just put everyone in the van and start it in the garage and end it all for all of them, because the hurt would be less. This scared me, i dont know how serious she was, and she was very emotional, but it scared me nonetheless.

This is all AFTER I had agreed to go to counseling if she wanted. This is all after I did come home. After I did go to bed, and OFFER an hug and kiss. I dont know what to do now. My gut says RUN FOR THE HILLS but my brain says wait and make sure you dont destroy everyone.

We talked for a while - she says that her 'ways' have ruined everything again. I said 'then why dont you get help?' she said they dont have help for 'perfectionists'. I disagreed. She seems to think that because relationship/marriage counseling didnt help HER problem before it wouldnt now. ANd I agree - thats the kind of counseling that helps with issues, but she has DEEP seated problems as a result of her unloving father, and he from his abusive father. She KNOWS this, but shes also one who will never DO anything unless shes sure it will work out. She says she HATES HERSELF, she must have said that 10 times.

Anyway, here I am. Eventually we went to bed, and she is all clingy now. Both today and last night. Its driving me AWAY. I need SPACE not cling. In fact, I was pretty convinced that if shed give me SPACE that Id come back around - especially if she knew the issues and agreed to work on them and herself. She acts like its 'all better' now, and IM NOT, I feel the same - a TAD relieved that I got to say some of that, but also feel a tad bad that I had to. My "love" feelings are STILL not there - they are in a box/vault somewhere...

I need to ask for space/time. How do I do this? Shes super concerned about the kids - but I do NOT see this working out without me getting some time alone, and BOTH of us getting some counseling (and she needs to get some real therapy for her issues - the deep seated ones, not the cleaning 'symptoms'). Anyone been in this spot? How do I ask for the space? I have a place to go. I told her I was this -><- close to leaving before, and I dont want her to interpret it as a game over, but I NEED THIS. Oh, and she kinda told the older two kids whats up. She had to i guess, cause she was loosing it. They know anyway, she drives them insane just like me. The youungest tho, she has no idea... I dont wnat to break her heart, but I need space. I wish my wife would agree to me "going out of town" for a few weeks. That might be just enough for me to get ok again. Help me please... Sorry for the long post, but a lot has happened.

August 2, 2005
12:17 pm
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bunnygirl
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I just have to say that I can totally relate to all that you are going thru. I am also a codependent and my husband is a perfectionist. All of your posts/stories I have been thru too......and what I have come to realize, particularly now that we are going thru counseling, is that what he has done and continues to do is emotional and verbal abuse.
The real question now is what to do about it. I do think counseling with the right counselor can help tremendously, especially for each separate individual...I don't know that it can save a relationship under these circumstances...I think that depends on how much you want to save the relationship and wether each person can fix some of their issues. What do you think you really want in the end? I am struggling with this question, myself...but deep inside I know that someday, maybe soon, I will leave. Life is too short and we all deserve to be happy. Before we started counseling, I really didn't believe in the whole therapy thing, but now I know that it is going to help me be a better, stronger person who in turn will someday have better relationships and be a 'healthier' person overall.
I hope this helps a little. 🙂

August 2, 2005
1:54 pm
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EJ
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Hi NYS,

Your situation is a lot like mine. I finally asked my perfectionistic, controlling husband to move out when I discovered that he was also addicted to porn. That was just the last straw. But he came over crying the next day and asked if I'd be willing to go to counseling. I said yes reluctantly, because I'd asked him to go SO many times before and he hadn't been willing. I felt like he was probably just manipulating me, to keep me from totally ending the relationship. It's amazing how emotionally dependent these mean, control-freak types really are.

So we've been separated for 6 weeks and seen the counselor 3 times so far, and to my amazement I have to say that I'm shocked at how seriously my husband is taking it. He's reading self-help books for the first time in his life and he's starting the healthy grief process over his abusive childhood.

He'd really like to move home - he feels like he's come a long way, and of course, he has. But the thing is, at this point in his counseling, he's working on finishing up his childhood. I don't believe he's ready to really tackle the issues in our marriage yet, and I have a new boundary: Unless this relationship is good for ME - not just good for the kids, not just to make him feel better, not just better financially - but unless and until he becomes someone who is able to give me love, support, intimacy, then I'm not doing it.

Now, I'm not saying that the two of you have to separate to accomplish anything. For me, after 16 years of marriage, I really needed the space to feel what's my responsibility and what's not. For example, we were together the other day and he started his spiel about how I'm wonderful and perfect and he's lower than dirt and can't believe I'd be willing to spend any time with him. I realized that he was wanting me to say "Of course you're not dirt, blah, blah, blah . . . ". He like me to be back in charge of shoring up his self-esteem, but I refused to do it. That's between him and God and his counselor. Until he can be a whole, healthy person, with something to offer me, as opposed to someone who just needs things from me, he is NOT coming home.

Anyway, if your wife is shaken up enough to be willing to start counseling, go for it now. A big crisis in the relationship creates a window of opportunity, where they're ready to address issues, but then they close back up. So tell her that your criteria for continuing the relationship are
A) Counseling, both individual and
couples';
B) An immediate end to the verbal abuse. If she can't stop, you'll have to move out during counseling for your own mental health.

Then, make the appointment immediately, before things cool down. I really feel like our counseling is helping us, although I expect the process to take 6 months to a year. And you and your wife are in a better position to work things out because, with only 9 months of marriage, you haven't had time to build up the mountains of anger that my husband and I are eventually going to have to work through. I think there's real hope for each of you as individuals and for the relationship.

Best of luck,
Love EJ

August 4, 2005
12:04 am
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stardust
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September 1, 2006
3:15 pm
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paradox
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Yeah I read your posts and I have to say your wording was much like my own voice in my head...espeically the part about not wanting to hurt anyone. If I got hurt that was ok.

My situation is I also have 3 little ones after 6yrs of being married. Our first we had prior to being married. I've been threatened from her throught the marriage that she wanted a divorce every time she got angry and she'd tell me that I was emotionally neglectful etc. When issues would come to head I'd allow myself to get down on her level tho it goes against my family background or my nature. It's all come to a head today with the seperation i'm not in. I won't lie and say it hasn't been easy. Nor will I say that I could have maybe done things better to work on things during the marriage but I did the best I could at that time. What I'm capable of today has nothign to do with then.

The biggest thing i've realized is that my own happiness is important and for me not others or a marriage etc. If i'm happy then i'll only allow myself to share my happiness and build more positive relationships with others in kind. Perhaps taking inventory of your own happiness and if it's even possible in your relationship/state of life will give you more calm. Right now my life is a mess but i'm happy to be learning and doing better at things I once hadn't done so well before, such as saying "it's ok if i'm not happy" cuz honestly that's not ok. It's not ok because I'd tell you it's not ok if anyone isn't happy and it most definatly isn't ok if I don't consider myself someone. Tis just an acknowledgement issue more so than tappn a I deserve tamborine around. Sometimes the semenatics of boundaries, childhood grieving, etc etc can be constricting or limited in their means to illuminate the path to self growth. Bottom line, you have options. Don't panic, and start with yourself on smiling on the inside. I know that sounds corny but focus on the meaning and not the words. If you can do that married, not married, going thru seperation, sick etc...then you'll be ahead of the game.

All the best to you from someone that can empathize with both your frustration and the pain of walking on egg shells.

September 1, 2006
3:20 pm
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chloeysmomma
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this is exactly how i feel about my own marriage always walking on egg shells still trying to find my own happiness outside my marriage so i know how u feel

September 1, 2006
4:49 pm
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doubleloss
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nsyboy,
marriage is NOT easy, everyone has to work hard at it. It is not fair to always blame the woman -she's bosy, demanding, crazy - . It's not fair for us to blame the men -he's inssensitve, doesn't help around, i feel alone, etc, etc, etc.

9 months is not even giving it a chance. you mentioned you've had other failed relationships and feel broken inside.

of course, i don't know your wife, for all i know she might just be the ugly person you are painting her to be, but, i have been in the other side of the fence. i "have" been the bitchy wife - OK i wasn't like that- but nevertheless my future to be xhb felt like that sometimes. Only, we failed to tell me, he failed to communicate and to take action and repsonsibility for himself. [our final breakup was not because of that] thought the root issue is the same. HE refused to look at himself and to take responsibility for what he his contribution. It is very easy to blame others without looking at ourselves.

Every situation is different, every person is different and only you know exactly what's been going on. I hope, for your sake, your wife's and the kids, that you are able to take a good, honest look at yourself, and see how it is that you might be able to work things out. Does that mean going to therapy, Coda groups, assertiveness workshops, getting a better job, being a better husband? DO IT, not only for her but for your own peace of mind, so IF you still decide to leave, you'll do it with a clear conscience, without guilt and without cruelty to them.

We cannot change our partners, we can only change ourselves, and must times, changing ourselves is an EPIC thing to do, it has to come from within. I wish you love and strength and peace. take care

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