A Husband's story (formerly "the husband's story")

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the husband
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Re: A Husband's story (formerly "the husband's story")

Post by the husband » Sun Mar 24, 2019 3:55 pm

Thank you coconuts and Fleur

My wife is in therapy, so she may end up processing there. I appreciate the thinking about tantrums and embarrassment.

I chose to wait this out a little on the chance that this was some sort of tantrum and she was embarrassed - plus I've been pretty busy so choosing the best time to talk was going to be difficult.

Yesterday she got up before me to do an errand and returned with breakfast. This never happens. Today at breakfast (I usually make weekend breakfasts) she asked me for help, stating that she felt she has been drinking too much. She went on to say that she felt that her drinking was a contributing factor in our argument of the other night. She said she wanted to apologize again. I gently pointed out she had not previously apologized at all, and that I was relieved that she was doing so now, because it had been a difficult and confusing evening. She said she was ashamed and shocked by her behavior, and looking back it made no sense. We made a plan to curtail our drinking and replace with exercise (and water).

Success! Thank you for your support, both of you. Knowing that you were listening and validating helped me keep it together long enough for the smoke to clear.

coconuts
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Re: A Husband's story (formerly "the husband's story")

Post by coconuts » Sun Mar 24, 2019 6:31 pm

So glad you guys were able to have a conversation and make some plans. When I get that way I feel like I cant understand why I'm acting that way. In my head I'm telling myself that I'm acting childish or overacting. I'm telling myself to stop but it just keeps going.
Good plan to use exercise as a way to feel better. Especially if she is trying to process in therapy.

Fleur
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Re: A Husband's story (formerly "the husband's story")

Post by Fleur » Fri Mar 29, 2019 3:14 pm

Hello the husband


Can be really tricky for me to apologise - I can think I've done so, therefore become puzzled when people arc up or I might forget I've said my piece and start afresh which tends to upset others

Great to know that you and your wife are making joint decisions, plans

Very happy to know therapist is assisting

May you and family enjoy last weekend of March


Much caring
Onward to a safe community for all people in which to thrive ~ gentle hugs [if okay] ~ Fleur

the husband
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Re: A Husband's story (formerly "the husband's story")

Post by the husband » Sat May 04, 2019 7:20 am

We nearly fought last night, but my wife wisely veered off and went to bed instead.

We were chatting about her new job and I made the same old joke about how I am older (3 years) and how she will keep me in the comfort to which I have been accustomed to in my retirement. This is vaguely amusing because I full time and then work on household projects on the weekend - basically the idea that I would relax in retirement is laughable. This time she retorted that she paid all the bills last year and had handled a myriad of other household things. She saw I looked puzzled and said this was not the time for an argument - so she went to bed.

Today I asked her if she had perceived that I was criticising her for not working more (she has been off for long periods due to injury, additional education, depression, job changes, child-rearing of course, stress, etc.). She said that she had misheard me and began going down that road, but then realized she was overtired and walked away. On her way to bed she realized that I would never say what she thought I had said, and in fact had expressed the opposite many times.

Progress!

Fleur
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Re: A Husband's story (formerly "the husband's story")

Post by Fleur » Fri May 17, 2019 3:15 pm

Celebrating with you the husband ... may there be myriad other progress moments
Onward to a safe community for all people in which to thrive ~ gentle hugs [if okay] ~ Fleur

the husband
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Re: A Husband's story (formerly "the husband's story")

Post by the husband » Fri Oct 04, 2019 7:27 pm

Somewhere in this thread I described a terrible vacation experience with my wife, if which she became fixated on "having a having a good time on vacation" if it killed us (which it might have had we been allowed to rent kayaks in a lightning storm). It was pretty clear she was running away from her thoughts and feelings and couldn't sit still. We had promised the kids we would stay in, do a little homework, and watch movies while the storm ran its course. Emotionally she was all over the place, and it was hard for me to manage her and our young kids thousands of miles from home. She denied any issue. I was pretty mad.

It has been some years hence, but I have been resistant to traveling long distance with her. She'll suggest a grand vacation, and I will suggest something closer to home. Usually we don't go at all.

Last night we were talking about the part of the family that we were visiting back then, and she told me how upsetting it was for her on that trip that so many of them said that they knew her stepfather/abuser was a bad person and that her mother was mentally ill. She hadn't told me that. Had I known, I could have understood and supported her at the time. She was surprised that I didn't know, but realized I had not been present and she could not recall telling me. She confided that, even though the kids wanted to go back, she was feeling pretty anxious about it. Most reading this will know, but for the sake of those who don't: The fact that all of those family members KNEW that she was practically alone with a really bad person at such a young age - and did nothing, made her feel completely unloved. She should have been protected by her family, but they simply tutted about it to each other and let it happen.

The reason I bring this up is to tell you what a relief it was, after all these years, to finally understand what was happening in my life. It was also a relief to know she is feeling apprehensive about going back there. Now that I know that there was a clear cause for all that, I feel safer about going on a long trip.

the husband
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Re: A Husband's story (formerly "the husband's story")

Post by the husband » Mon Oct 21, 2019 8:58 pm

We had a rough weekend - my wife and I just seemed out of sync and I was starting to get irritated with her lack of focus and awareness of what was happening around us. I would open a cabinet to put something heavy away, and then turn around with the item only to have her standing right behind me, same with the fridge. Stopping in doorways as we both exit, etc.. She said she would be navigator to a place we were driving to, but then either completely forgot when to tell me to turn, or told me just as we were about to pass the turn. Nothing major, but eventually it starts to dawn on me that she's preoccupied. She keeps asking if I'm mad at her, I tell her we seem to be out of sync, and then she tells me I'm being hard on her.

The next day she begins with referring to our daughter as a "brat" (not in her presence, thank goodness) and goes down an old familiar road of stating that she is the hard parent and I am the nice parent. She has told the kids that they don't get much parenting when she works all weekend. Nobody else agrees with this. Everyone else agrees that I don't yell because I don't have to - my expectations are clear and I am consistent in making sure that they are met. I'd finally had enough and told her I didn't know what was going on with her, but to leave me out of it if she was going to be abusive. Then she gets to the real issue: she isn't feeling good about herself, not competent at her job (untrue), and so on. We were "okay" but distant after that. I think she knows she lashed out, but chooses to try and make nice rather than just apologizing. This gets back to my hesitancy about going away on vacation with her: what if she's like this on vacation? We can't afford to get away often and I'd much rather be miserable for free at home. She likes the idea of an escape, but changing physical location isn't always enough.

If this continues today I may need to ask her to get back to more frequent treatment.

Fleur
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Re: A Husband's story (formerly "the husband's story")

Post by Fleur » Wed Oct 23, 2019 11:05 am

Oh, my ...


You've pretty much nailed my behaviour with my spouse when we were together. Only from his perspective, it was all my fault

Being miserable at home for free - oh dear - I'm so sorry this is your experience

I'm glad your wife is seeking treatment. I just wonder how effective those appointments are? My early ones were mainly me lashing out. Various Ts have their range of expertise, different modalities in which they prefer to assist clients. It has recently been much more productive since I have properly taken stock, accepted adult responsibilities. Like your wife, I'm likely to disparage myself, my efforts, especially when I'm in a dismal frame of mind. Comprehending how efficiently my brain altered due to developmental trauma has been huge for me - extraordinarily difficult to accept

Only this week, I've finally acknowledged fully that I can hold opposite views simultaneously. Sometimes more than two perspectives, as those parts of self that haven't progressed beyond the time when major trauma happened naturally hold childish ideas - a little person of 3 is different from someone who is 8, 11 or 14, for example. This was a sticking point with my marriage as I'd really have to consider exactly "which" view I wished to express. If I was tired or just pre-occupied, I'd say words that were true in that moment - often not my adult thoughts

Sharing in case something might help. As you are aware, we each are unique, so your wife could be experiencing her earlier trauma very differently

Being "out of sync" is an excellent phrase - probably happens in most partnerships at least occasionally. Happier wedded folk than me report laughing about such misunderstanding, or joke about two people with one intention when they attempt going through a doorway together. I recall my parents in a playful moment, giggling as they got stuck and Dad lifted up Mother , who had put on curves after children, almost dropping her then they reminiscenced about when he was overweight and she extremely slender. Hopefully, one day you and your wife can make happy, positive memories

May you have mini vacations where you can appreciate and experience positive life situations as a family. Could the love languages inventory as devised by Gary Chapman be useful insight?


Much caring
Onward to a safe community for all people in which to thrive ~ gentle hugs [if okay] ~ Fleur

the husband
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Posts: 491
Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2011 6:11 am

Re: A Husband's story (formerly "the husband's story")

Post by the husband » Fri Nov 08, 2019 5:15 am

Thank you, Fleur

My therapist moved away awhile back and, while I have pretty much internalized her and know what she would say in any given situation, I do miss the validation and reality check from time-to-time.

My wife did apologize for a later issue, which was pleasant. She commented that we are probably our of sync because we've had no intimacy in several weeks due to her schedule. I said then we should make some time, and she got defensive and pointed out she's been busy weekend mornings. I said I was merely pointing out that there are other opportunities besides weekend mornings that we could explore. She seemed to mull that over, but has not put anything into action. Tonight was one such opportunity: our daughter was not due back until 7:30 pm and my wife asked me to pick up nice take-out (normally we cook) and hurry home. I half expected some romance, but I know better than to get my hopes up. It was a pleasant yet chaste evening.

We do have a vacation planned and I have made my concerns pretty clear. Her response seems reasonable.

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