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Old 12-01-2022, 07:50 AM   #61
TishaBuv
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Default Re: Challenging Family Relationships

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Originally Posted by Open Eyes View Post
It sounds like your husbandís ego was damaged by what he experienced at his job and he was no longer the center of attention with you when you had your child.

Sometimes what you described creates a shut down that a man is not even aware of. Men can have a hard time with emotions, they hate feeling vulnerable. Most men are not nurtured where they are allowed to have emotions and be ok with feeling. Instead they tend to be encouraged to man up and ignore their feelings. This tends to make them pull away from a womanís emotional needs because it makes them uncomfortable.

One of the things that concerns me is how quickly people use the label narcissist because they want that black and white answer to why there are challenges in a relationship. There tends to be a lot of pressure on men to fill certain expectations.
He was raised by parents who showed little emotion. He made it his style to show no emotion in his job for self preservation. Although he likes humor and can lol, he doesnít show empathic emotion much.

The relationship was a power imbalance. He was the boss and I the worker. He wasnít mean and demanding about that. It was an unspoken agreement. I picked up on his unspoken wants and did it because I wanted the relationship, knew if I didnít heíd find someone else who would. But I did want it to feel real and satisfying to me, to my soul. I asked for too much. It became an obsession which turned into me having weekly meltdown episodes.
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Old 12-01-2022, 07:57 AM   #62
TishaBuv
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Default Re: Challenging Family Relationships

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Well you know in therapy they say you cannot change the other person, you can only change yourself. And in one of your recent posts, you said you engage in some kind of self-harming behavior. Maybe that is the place to start - changing that behavior. Cuz otherwise, you seem to be putting the blame / responsibility for your behavior on him. I see 1. You ask 2. He fails 3. You self-harm.

Remember the Serenity Prayer: Grant me the serenity to accept the things i cannot change, the courage to change the things i can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

Or the alternate version: Grant me the coffee to change the things i can, and the wine to accept the things i cant change.
CoDA is a 12 step program with the Serenity Prayer, just like AA. Yeah, I am an addict. I need to make amends to everyone I hurt. To all here, I am sorry for my obsessive whining about my situation that is the trigger for my misery. I am the problem and I need a 12 step program for healing.

My sister told me yesterday that our mother would complain to her about how I kept crying to our mother about my unhappiness with my husband. Sister said Mom was annoyed that I kept upsetting HER. This is how my FOO helped me get out of a bad, dangerous, harmful situation- they dissed me behind my back.
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Old 12-01-2022, 08:23 AM   #63
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Hello Tisha! I mentioned this on your other thread, but it's great to have you back!

A question I pose to you is this: Is he different in public and with his family and friends than he is with you? Does he show you one side and the public a far better & more respectful side? If he does, and if he seems to have one personality that is great and for the public, and another that is hurtful but only behind closed doors and with you, then you know for certain that you are dealing with an abuser. If he harms other people too, friends or his family members, then it's not just exclusive behavior with you and it may be more a part of his personality and like you said, a cognitive distortion of sorts. However, abusers CAN control how they behave and they save all of their abusive behaviors for their victims at home, behind closed doors. And then they turn it off like a switch when they are in public or with their friends and then they turn on the charm. You see the charming side of them come out.

And yes, I've seen Groundhog Day! Love that movie! And yes, I understand - you've been in this position many times and for a long time now - over and over again, the pattern repeats itself.

Your trigger is your body and spirit telling you that you do not like the behaviors you are experiencing. The behaviors are harmful to you, they hurt you and upset you - those feelings are 100% valid. Sometimes, it's impossible to change how we react, but we can change how we respond to our emotional reactions and to others when we are triggered. This we CAN control.

And no, you should not have to put up with such an unfulfilling relationship. There's so much happiness that you could have, that this relationship is not providing you with.

That's my two cents for right now.
Great questions!
Neither of us are different or only respectful in public, or with other people. He is extremely polite. It is this problem with intimacy that I am the one having. I am the origin of the problem because I donít feel right about it, it doesnít feel right because he acts so strange, vacant. The whole thing has been off the rails. It is a routine of a cycle of abuse, emotional abuse as sexual function.

1. Tension builds. We both know it is looming that sex will be approached. It is anxiety provoking. Anyone would be anxious in this repetitive cycle.
2. It falls flat. Either he does nothing, or I do nothing, or he does something horribly awkward and anxious or I just have an anxious outburst.
3. I get dysregulated upset. Crying, disappointed, angry, wanting to end dysfunctional relationship
4. I sometimes self medicate. In the past this was worse, to the point of dangerous. He contributed to it, still does, but I wonít let it get worse. He was pushing it to be worse, more unhealthy for me. It is me who stopped myself from SH, kept it non addictive, non lethal.
5. Then, in the past, this hasnít happened for a long time now, he suddenly was passionate with no anxiety, no issues. But typically, it is me who just goes and initiates sex. Itís fine. We both feel good.
6. I am optimistic our problem will improve moving forward. Maybe heís learned, as he said he did. But back to step 1 we go.

Meanwhile, life outside of this behind closed doors abuse is seemingly normal.

Over our years together, he also didnít have my back to defend me the few times that ever happened to me. He betrayed me in that way one time where he chose someone over me who was extremely hurtful to me. He also was financially abusive at one point for several years. It wasnít that he wasnít letting me spend any money or anything like that. It was him passive aggressively asserting control by withholding it in a big way, not cool at all to me, which I protested constantly. To which he said he would stop, but then just didnít, stonewalled. He did this while we were ďtrying to fixĒ our intimacy issue. These were very sore issues for me of some things that he did that were rotten to me. But that was it over our 30 year marriage. For the most part he is a nice person, who does nothing outright harmful, hateful. Except the man watched me cry hysterically and rant in anger at him and just kept doing it to me and watching me meltdown!
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Old 12-01-2022, 08:38 AM   #64
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Oh, and he tortured me with holidays by never understanding what to do or just doing something for me. This was also a chronic misunderstanding that was off the tracks. But, he has gotten better this year. All I had asked was the most simple expectation from him, but he habitually disappointed. Then he would go far out of his way to do something special, like a really nice, unique gift this one year or two. So, this was a source of struggle with us, too. It wasnít me being a demanding person impossible to please. It was him just not simply doing the expected actions, the typical, nice, normally done actions.

And this struggle, holidays, also caused me the crying meltdowns.
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Old 12-01-2022, 01:49 PM   #65
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Originally Posted by TishaBuv View Post
He was raised by parents who showed little emotion. He made it his style to show no emotion in his job for self preservation. Although he likes humor and can lol, he doesnít show empathic emotion much.

The relationship was a power imbalance. He was the boss and I the worker. He wasnít mean and demanding about that. It was an unspoken agreement. I picked up on his unspoken wants and did it because I wanted the relationship, knew if I didnít heíd find someone else who would. But I did want it to feel real and satisfying to me, to my soul. I asked for too much. It became an obsession which turned into me having weekly meltdown episodes.
This is his upbringing and why he struggles to understand your emotional needs. Itís not a narcissistic intentional but more in lack of understanding that can at times lead to him withdrawing. Yet mostly due to a personal discomfort then of malice. How old is he?
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Old Yesterday, 06:18 AM   #66
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Default Re: Challenging Family Relationships

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Great questions!
Neither of us are different or only respectful in public, or with other people. He is extremely polite. It is this problem with intimacy that I am the one having. I am the origin of the problem because I donít feel right about it, it doesnít feel right because he acts so strange, vacant. The whole thing has been off the rails. It is a routine of a cycle of abuse, emotional abuse as sexual function.

1. Tension builds. We both know it is looming that sex will be approached. It is anxiety provoking. Anyone would be anxious in this repetitive cycle.
2. It falls flat. Either he does nothing, or I do nothing, or he does something horribly awkward and anxious or I just have an anxious outburst.
3. I get dysregulated upset. Crying, disappointed, angry, wanting to end dysfunctional relationship
4. I sometimes self medicate. In the past this was worse, to the point of dangerous. He contributed to it, still does, but I wonít let it get worse. He was pushing it to be worse, more unhealthy for me. It is me who stopped myself from SH, kept it non addictive, non lethal.
5. Then, in the past, this hasnít happened for a long time now, he suddenly was passionate with no anxiety, no issues. But typically, it is me who just goes and initiates sex. Itís fine. We both feel good.
6. I am optimistic our problem will improve moving forward. Maybe heís learned, as he said he did. But back to step 1 we go.

Meanwhile, life outside of this behind closed doors abuse is seemingly normal.

Over our years together, he also didnít have my back to defend me the few times that ever happened to me. He betrayed me in that way one time where he chose someone over me who was extremely hurtful to me. He also was financially abusive at one point for several years. It wasnít that he wasnít letting me spend any money or anything like that. It was him passive aggressively asserting control by withholding it in a big way, not cool at all to me, which I protested constantly. To which he said he would stop, but then just didnít, stonewalled. He did this while we were ďtrying to fixĒ our intimacy issue. These were very sore issues for me of some things that he did that were rotten to me. But that was it over our 30 year marriage. For the most part he is a nice person, who does nothing outright harmful, hateful. Except the man watched me cry hysterically and rant in anger at him and just kept doing it to me and watching me meltdown!
Thanks for more of the specifics, TIsha.

Unfortunately, I don't see the issues changing or improving.

You have been trying to make this better for years now, and the cycle hasn't improved. You've tried therapy, and that hasn't changed anything So, what's next?

Do you still love him? And what do you love about him? What does he do that works well for you? Do the negatives outweigh the positives, or do the positives outweigh the negatives? You don't have to answer, I am just asking you these questions to help you think about it.

Many of the things you describe are bothersome and to me are unacceptable. I especially don't like that he didn't have your back, that he has encouraged you to self harm, that he continues on with his antics while you're having a meltdown, that he abused you financially, all of his gaslighting, and that he won't lift a finger to make romantic efforts when you ask him to.

I can only imagine how you must feel having dealt with all of this.
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