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Thoughts On A Sm Marriage: Has He Been Using Me?

So, as my marriage is unraveling, and lawyers are getting involved, mediators being interviewed and scheduled, etc. I had a thought the other day that was so sick, I hate to even think about it, but it's entirely possible.

I typed this text to my mom the other day:

Omg. I have a thought. Did STBX stay with me because I supported him financially and made him buy a house and have kids?

Then, as soon as I left work and stayed home I was no longer of value to him?
 

Because by then, I had encouraged him to step up and stand up for what he was worth financially?


So, I talked to her about it tonight.  See, when we got married, I thought he totally had his **** together, where as I felt completely decimated.  I had just returned from NYC to live at home with my mom, to recover and return back to NYC in a few months.  Then, I met STBX 2 weeks later, and well, history.

What I learned after we had been married for less than a few months was that he in fact did NOT have his **** together, and in fact knew exactly 0% about anything.  This includes (men, be prepared to cringe) not knowing anything about and/or using regular tools, power tools, simple home repairs, money, finances, etc.  I quickly realized that he had not only no knowledge of any of these things, but also no interest (including no apparent interest in showing me affection or having sex).  I offered to take over the finances, paying bills, savings, etc. and I have for the last 9+ years, day in and out.  My STBX has had ZERO involvement in building wealth, saving, etc.  Not that that is what it is all about, but stability to me is pretty damn important.  

Well, what I'm now wondering is this:

Has he been using me this whole time because I was doing EVERYTHING for him?  And when I mean everything, I mean it.  Chores, cooking, shopping, arranging trips, arranging dates, having kids, raising kids, being the primary breadwinner for years, supporting him so he could work part-time and also tour with his band.  Yeah, **** like that.  And then, when I quit my VERY SUCCESSFUL job 2 years ago to stay home with my boys, it suddenly became his expectation that "my job" was to take care of the kids and the house 100%, and his job was to bring home the bacon.  And he has criticized me for not doing "my job" well, even though I have.  

Also, I find it interesting that he would be seriously considering divorce for the last year (since beginning of 2012) coinciding with when my contract position I had for the year 2011 was up, as well as when I was at my deepest low of depression, and was trying to get my meds right.  Almost like he decided to hit me when I was down, out of disgust.

So.  Am I being paranoid?  Am I thinking about this too much?  Does ANY of this even sound remotely possible?  


An Aside:
Also, please keep in mind that my physical, emotional and sexual intimacy with my STBX ended basically as soon as we got married.  Yup, that's 9+ years folks.  And for the last year, absolutely NO SEX.  He was only recently diagnosed with Low Testosterone, after years of giving me excuse after excuse of why he "couldn't perform" or was "too nervous" or some other lameass excuse.  Also, he's extremely emotionally detached and Passive/Aggressive.  Fun, fun.

txmusicgal txmusicgal 36-40, F 18 Responses Jan 3, 2013

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sadly...yes..your assessment is 100% correct..but more importantly, the real question is .. why were you so blind to that for so long? Why were you so unwilling to deal with tha?t..
I agree that part of that answer is because you were so involved doing everything else....You were doing your part plus his, and so had little time to dwell on what was happening...that is how easily we get trapped in these situations. Add a couple kids to that problem, financial responsibilities, and before long we are stuck in thick gooey sludge, and aren't getting out of that mess easily.

That you are able to start to sort this out and get your life back...is a huge credit to you and what your about...Your a very capable and intelligent person, and you will sort this out..Your already on your way to that goal. So I give you a lot of credit, for facing this and dealing with it..bravo for you...

hi neu.

yeah, i've realized that i was correct in my assumption of being used. it's not like i was blind to it, i always felt used, overworked, over responsible. i always challenged my stbx on why he wasn't doing his half of the share. it's not that i was blind to it, i guess i kept expecting and hoping for a change and for him to step up and take responsibility. I also wasn't unwilling to deal with it at all. I always pushed him to be more engaged, more available, more involved, etc. However, I always felt like his mother, reminding him to do his chores. No one wants to be a nag, and no one likes to be nagged. And, in order to avoid conflict, I ended up taking it all on, bc I knew he wouldn't budge. But, what happened is that it built up major resentment and anger.

What I did not make the connection on is the BEING USED part. To put it in those terms was just a recent realization. I just felt like I was on auto pilot, running everything on a daily basis, multi tasking like a mofo. So, yes I echo what you said is part of my answer, I was doing two adult roles at once, working, raising kids, taking care of the house, money, etc.

thank you though for the compliment. realizing this now will allow me to never make the same mistake again. it's been a very long, painful and arduous life lesson. :)

Sounds like a complete waster. But you got me really worried as I am pretty useless with power tools, well the DIY ones anyway lol. Im sure you will be so much better without him. The good news is you have done something about your situation. A lot of people just carry on being miserable and wont do anything about it. Good luck!

haha, don't feel bad about the power tools! i apparently had a very handy father that taught me a lot as a child, and i never felt uncomfortable around tools, building things, etc. i was even the shop master in college in theatre! meaning: i was in charge of making sure all the tools were put up where they belonged, clean, etc.

thank you for the good wishes.

Haha. I was only saying that try try and cheer you up! Doesnt bother me at all. I always find that the best way to be happy is to accept you for you. That includes admitting I am crap at DIY. Only downside is I am a total scrooge with money and I end up spending it on odd jobs I should be able to do myself lol. Good to see you are angry. It is first step to a better life for you :-)

lol, that's funny! :) anger can be a catalyst for good or for evil. i'm choosing good. :)

Good is the only way to go :-) If people choose to be bad they will have to live with themselves. I prefer to avoid the word evil as I like to see good in everyone but I can see why you would want to use the 'e' word lol. Keep positive and choose good every time :-)

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Most likely though it may not have been conscious.

My ex used me for security.

No sex for five out of ten years, and he wasn't financially independent. I think he did love me in his way, but it was not a romantic love. Maybe he didn't love me at all.

In the end, it doesn't matter. The only thing that matters is that you get out. Heeal yourself so that when you form your next relationship, you will be able to hold firm boundaries and seek out reciprocal love.

Good luck.

thanks rosedl.

sounds like what i'm in too, i just didn't realize it till now. oh well. and you are right, in the end it doesn't matter. i will take these lessons i've learned and not repeat them in the future, in any kind of relationship.

my Dad was an alcoholic. He used my mom the same way....

janie, sorry your mom had to go through that. :(

You are as mad as Hell and you are not going to take it any more!! This is very understandable but please PLEASE be aware that anger can be a double edged sword. On the one hand it is a great motivator for you to change things - and that is GOOD.

But OTOH it can also act against your best interests. You say:
"and that's exactly what we are going to go to war over. finances, house and kids. and guess who is more entitled to all of them? me. the doer. the involved and engaged one. the one who lives in the present and likes to be around people, not be a hermit."

I can truly understand this feeling, but it is vital (IMO) To recognise that this separation and ultimate divorce is not about you "winning". You may be (probably ARE!) the one who should win! You may feel he has no right to any of the accumulated assets of your marriage because he has not contributed. All of this is fair and reasonable in terms of FEELINGS . . .

But if you translate those feelings into actions, you may be setting yourself and your children up for a very bitter and extended battle with your STBX. I urge you to recognise that the law has very little to do with the fairness of individual situations - and the law will grant him 50% (approx) of your assets. There is very little you can do about that.

Ensure your lawyer is well versed in all aspects of your situation and then trust him / her to pursue those that are in your best interests, especially when it comes to legal entitlements.

Also, for your children's sake, act cooperatively about things such as access, etc. This does NOT mean surrendering custody - which personally I believe he is just using as a threat to hold over you. Nor does it mean "giving in" on the many aspects of co-parenting. But it DOES mean not playing "*** for tat" and trying to score over your husband - because that would just be at your kids' expense.

I know you feel he is marshalling all his forces against you and that you need to do the same for your own protection. And I encourage you to do so! But do please realise that an embittered and protracted legal battle over small factors ("who gets to keep the antique dresser?" type decisions) is NOT worth it in the long run.

thank you enna. xo.

"You are as mad as Hell and you are not going to take it any more!!"

hehehe. you're right. but, i am over the shock from this morning, for real. i just couldn't believe that my gut instinct was right, and that it only hit me the other day that this could be an honest possibility, that of him having used me all these years. it's enough to have been rejected emotionally, physically, etc. for an entire marriage, only to realize at the end that you've been nothing but a pawn for an uninspired spouse's personal gains. THAT'S why i'm mad. (wax on, wax off...)

i am not taking this anger directly to him AT ALL. not at all what i'm doing. i'm using this board as a place to vent and let go. and my anger and shock has worn off from this AM. it is what it is, and i can't change it. however, it does not sit well with me that he is trying to make me look bad when the reality is all i've done in our marriage is make him look GOOD. it's really twisted. and you know what? he will NEVER see it that way. ever. and i give up. i let go. i choose to better myself and let go of a parasite that took away my heart and soul years ago.

i understand that it is a 50/50 split on property, our state is a 100% community property state. however, in my situation, it is a bit more unique. typically it is the man who is the breadwinner, the main provider, the one who runs the finances and takes care of the family in such a way as looking towards the future for stability and future plans. but, my H was none of these, so I picked up the slack, and became all of these. hence, the "man" of the house. so, i feel more entitled to financial stuff than i feel he is, but we will see. i don't want to get into *** for tat, but I also want to get the best settlement for me and my boys. that's my end goal.

Because we've been married for so long (not 10 years, but close enough) and because I've not worked the past 2 years, and have been the primary caretaker of the kids, I am (possibly) entitled to a contractual spousal maintenance agreement with H. That will be addressed during mediation, and we'll see how it turns out.

We want 50/50 custody with the kids, we both want that. We want to be as accessible as possible for the kids and want to do it as amicably for their sake as possible. We (in my mind at least) plan on splitting all costs, i.e. daycare, extra-curricular stuff, clothes, food, etc. Or, whatever is recommended. i will not surrender custody. i'm a good mom and my boys need me, just like i need them.

i know i can do this, i don't want things to get nasty, but i do want the facts out there so everything's on the table, so we can both get a fair settlement that's in our and the boys' best interests.

High five!! Good on you! That sounds like very level headed, clear thinking to me! {{{hugs}}}

thanks enna. after the shock and anger wore off, it just fueled the fire for more research and documentation. i researched my H's music publishing profile and sent her all information that i am aware of about his royalty attainment both in the past and for the future. that is something that i want to hold his fee to the fire for too, because for our entire marriage i sacrificed all of my vacation so he could tour with his stupid band. not to sound like the victim, but he put his music WAY before he ever put me. and i supported his music endeavors enthusiastically! i wanted him to succeed! and now that he's making some money from it, well, i feel entitled to that too. i hate to do *** for tat, and i wouldn't care about any of this unless i had a full time permanent salaried position, but i don't, and haven't for 2 years. also, i wouldn't care about any of this if we didn't have kids. but, i feel that bc of those 2 things, it makes the circumstances much, much different than typical divorces between couples. i do want out ASAP, but i want what's fair for me and the boys. ultimately.

Sister, if you are in a "no fault" jurisdiction, who is right / wrong, who is bad guy / good guy, who was the saint / *****, does not matter. It will make no material difference to the financial and custodial result.

we are in a no fault state and county as well as a 100% community property state so we have to split all things 50/50. i understand that the reasons don't matter. divorce is well on its way already.

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wow what a tool, and a loser,
i just want to meet one nice lady to charm and take care of her every need, then guys like this have it all and dont want any of it?
yeh i dont know how u was there 9 years

nope, not my H. but, you know what? he's extremely dysfunctional and is pretty incapable of being in a relationship. i say "good luck" to whatever woman is willing to take him on in the future. they will have a lot of years of pain ahead of them, and i wouldn't wish that on anyone.

yeh but as the saying goes
"stupid is as stupid does"
some guys just have luck with ladys
me i have none

well, i found out lat last year (2012) that he had only had ONE serious girlfriend before we got married. So, apparently he NEVER had luck with the ladies, including me. and now i know why.

Use this clarity to get out and get what you need, but don't beat yourself up about it... you are so close to gone, go go go!!!

"Been there, done that" club member...

no beating myself up, just was a bit numb today. both from the anesthesia from the dentist and from this AM's realization, lol. :)

Yes, he used you---but as so many have pointed out, he would have used anyone who fell in his path. My question is, why did you stay married to him when he was clearly an incompetent, useless succubus? When you get to the analysis part of things---and I agree now is NOT the time, focus on getting out first and protecting your kids---it's something to consider. It really helped me to make the shift from "Why did he act like that?" to "Why did I put up with it?" It helped me understand I settled for less than I need, and that's MY responsibility. I didn't have to be married to an emotionally paralyzed passive aggressive. And you didn't have to be married to this guy. We chose it! We stayed! It drove us nuts!

Step #1 is getting the hell out. Step #2 is figuring out how not to make the same mistakes again.

i don't know why i stayed. i wanted out very early on when i knew our marriage was a sham. that i was expected to be more of his mother, caretaker and roommate than his wife that he had intimacy with. but, bc i came from a divorced family, i had decided that when i get married, that that would be it. no divorce. i don't know why i didn't just give myself permission to leave. trust me, i wish i'd done it years ago.

i am trying to get the hell out and now i know not to make those mistakes again. sucks to be me. gawd.

At some point you will stop seeing yourself as a victim of your H or your situation, and start seeing yourself as a person with 100% agency in your life who CHOSE this person, chose to stay, and now is choosing to end the marriage. And when you leave, you will no doubt CHOOSE to be happy by choosing someone who is a better partner and fulfills your needs. But until that happens, you are going to stay really angry at him, at yourself, at his family, etc. It's so painful to realize we are responsible for the outcome of our choices---some people, like my STBX, can never do it.

Your H didn't do anything to you that you didn't let him do. Isn't that liberating?? It means you actually can make better choices and have more control over your destiny! And all you have to do is make better choices! You are clearly such a smart and competent person---that should be no problem for you now that you've started.

You made certain choices, an they didn't work for you. That doesn't make you a bad or stupid person---you tried it, and you learned it's not for you. Now you are using that knowledge to make different choices. That means you are a person who can actually learn from her experience! Awesome! Exciting! And definitely something to be PROUD of!

too bad I can't "like" your reply NYAG

Agree with Zsu! GREAT comment NYAG!!!

Brilliant!

"You made certain choices, an they didn't work for you. That doesn't make you a bad or stupid person---you tried it, and you learned it's not for you. Now you are using that knowledge to make different choices. That means you are a person who can actually learn from her experience! Awesome! Exciting! And definitely something to be PROUD of!"

This is the best. Thank you for this. :) i needed the positive spin, and it was very well written, of course. ;)

i do take full responsibility for what i've done/not done, allowed/not allowed in my marriage. the past is the past, what's done is done, and can't be undone. but what can happen is positive change for the future, standing my ground in an assertive and not aggressive way, and demanding better for myself in all future situations. i also demand to get out of the marriage with the best financial and secure plan for me and my kids for both the short term and long term.

It's just so interesting to me how much pressure there is to renounce your marriage once it's over, as if because it doesn't work for you now, you never should have done it in the first place. With marriage, anything less than forever is considered failure. But no one expects you to keep the same job forever, or the same friends or house or clothes or hobbies. Just because you got a new job doesn't mean you NEVER should have had the previous one!

We grow, we change, we learn. It's frustrating as hell. Sometimes we spend too long in situations that don't fit right. But that's part of EVERY part of life. Getting older is supposed to make you wiser. That's what's happening to you! I say be proud of it, embrace it, savor all you've learned over these years. Then let go of the bad feelings and use what you know to make better choices in the future.

amen. :)

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<p>There is much parasitic behavior detailed in many of the stories on this board.</P><br />
<p>The structure of marrriage can be a sword that cuts both ways. It can be of great comfort for those who are healthy and giving - provided BOTH are healthy and giving, or it can be used as a legal haven for users and losers.</P><br />
<p>You get to determine into which category your soon to be spouse resides.

user and loser. :)

i am a giving person, i like to make people and myself happy. but i don't expect to be taken advantage of. and now that i'm seeing this in this new light for the first time, damn if it doesn't make me madder than hell.

i gave and gave and gave. hell, i gave him 2 beautiful children. made with my own body. what has he EVER given me back? NOTHING. seriously, he's never given me anything. he's rejected me, shunned me, looked down on me when I was struggling with depression, and kicked me when I was down and talking about divorce at the most inopportune time.

was i just a rentable womb and bank account to him? i'm so mad and hurt i could scream right now...

he got lucky with her, I dont say that is a loser it is winning. For marriage is another word for HAHA i got you now to some people. He gave her kids.

he didn't even want kids. or a dog. or a house. i did.

sue him for using you

honestly, that is what i'm wondering if i can use to my advantage in our divorce proceedings. i think it's certainly shaping up to look that way.

Yes, he's been using you, as Elkclan said below. It's probably not even be conscious. He just expects to be taken care of ... and you were nice enough to do so. Now that you know, you can end that.

Quoting VB: "Here's how they pick you: You're nice, they're a little diffident or ridiculing, and then you're nicer. And then, once they see you're a soft touch, they just go berserk and play out their nutty drama."

My ex's response right after I told him I wanted to separate: "This will be very difficult for me ... [ long pause ] ... financially."

That VB quote is pure gold. And you ex's quote made me laugh out loud! Sorry to inconvenience you!! Omg.

who's VB? that's a good quote.

but the thing is, i'm SO not a soft touch. i'm a slave master. i'm a driver. i'm a director. i like to MAKE Things happen, not WAIT for them to happen. he has NO drive, sexual or otherwise. and what my psychiatrist confirmed was that my PA H used me to get what he wanted out of life bc he saw I was driven so therefore he didn't have to be. also just like he angers me to get a need met in him bc he can't and won't feel any emotions. i've asked him for years to get off his *** and be productive, to contribute, etc. i've also told him for years that "I'M NOT YOUR MOTHER. YOU ARE NOT A CHILD. GROW THE **** UP."

so have i been his enabler all this time? a complicit but unhappy and miserable enabler who sees through his BS?

and that's exactly what we are going to go to war over. finances, house and kids. and guess who is more entitled to all of them? me. the doer. the involved and engaged one. the one who lives in the present and likes to be around people, not be a hermit.

me in a nutshell...

yeah he's been using you. But I doubt it was intentional. He's a taker and a user. He'll take what you give but doesn't give back and doesn't see why he should. He probably does keep score to see who "wins"...

yeah, i don't know if he knew it was intentional out of meanness, but because he's never had to do anything in his life on his own really, bc his family has babied him, enabled him, and made him feel completely dependent on them and everyone else, it just came naturally. i mean who wouldn't want everything done for them when you just have to do the bare minimum?? that would be sweet!!

he totally keeps score of who wins. it's always been a damn competition with him on EVERYTHING. like he's frozen in childhood thinking that you are to compete with your wife. it's so ****** up it's beyond belief really. and no, he won't give back bc he feels entitled to everything. why would he give back? that would put him out of his comfort zone and make him have to be a real person with real feelings? yah, that's not gonna happen.

you've definitely hit on the anger stage of the grieving process. put it in the back of your mind to be dealt with later. you have more than enough to manage right now. most importantly do NOT engage in post mortems or any other emotional discussions with STBX. keep your eyes on the prize: divorce finalized.

all else is as Lao says rear view mirror musings. share them with us -- we get it -- but be careful who else you discuss with.

xo

i am not even engaging with him PERIOD except to tell him this this morning, when i "mysteriously" was locked out of one of my email accounts (which syncs with calendar, mail, etc.):

"you have been instructed not to touch any of my digital or personal information. and if you do again, i will report it to my attorney."

i will share these things with my attorney. she asked me to create a timeline of who worked where when, est. of how much was made, when i got pregnant, when babies were delivered, how long i was out of work, etc. i think she gets that he's a total deadbeat and has been from day one.

yay. fighting fire with fire. (talking heads)

Yes, he probably did use you. I did this too. I know how tough this is, I remember feeling like I'd been hit by a baseball bat when I realized. But you need to feel angry enough to get yourself the hell out - no second chances or whatever - just don't let him do it any more. xx

i do feel like i've been hit by a baseball today. i just typed that story up last night, after discussing it with my mother to put my sleuthing and hunches down in writing. and you all confirmed what i felt in my gut. i do want to get the hell out.

my attorney called yesterday to schedule a mediation session for next week, and his attorney said "i don't think he can get all that paperwork ready by then". to which i said "THAT IS TOTAL BULLSHIT. I PULLED ALL THE INFO IN A MATTER OF A COUPLE DAYS." Then, she held his feet to the fire and demanded that all docs I don't have access to be delivered by this Friday. HAHAHAHA. YES.

and no, he won't be able to do it anymore. i won't allow him to make me feel stupid, unworthy, lazy, unstable, insufficient, etc. anymore. all of those feelings and more are what has driven me down so far in my depression.

Yay!! Cheering you on from England!! Stay strong, we're all here for you xx

thank you!! i really appreciate your support! :)

Your marriage is going guts up as we speak.

The logistics of this situation and the management of the process need to be the subject of your laser like focus.

Whether he used you or not matters not a flying **** at this time. You can ruminate over that once you are out and the dust has settled.

Tread your own path.

baz, the marriage has been bad for years. this is not news. what is revelating for me is to see others confirm that i WAS being used for all these years. And that I didn't leave. I wasn't completely submissive, I had to give him chore lists, demand that he do this and that, etc. so that he would get off his ***. what it does show me is that i have a VERY strong case in my favor that shows that I was the PRIMARY EVERYTHING. kids, finances, house, extra-curricular, doctors, etc. he was just along for the ride. what a moocher and a complete douchebag.

"Not that that is what it is all about, but stability to me is pretty damn important" I appreciate your honesty in saying this. Yes, expecting that your husband contribute to the economic stability of the family is perfectly reasonable! You stayed because you wanted to believe--most of us do. You are angry, I've been angry for 8 years--cut yourself some slack; you are going to alternate between anger and sadness for a long time. Begin to try to lower your expectations of him, because no matter what any court says or the children(s) best interest, he is likely to be a dead beat. Do your best to keep your focus and prevent your anger from affecting your judgment. Not and easy task, I know

AITCO - you hit it on the head there. i did stay because i wanted to believe! that's exactly what i did. not that it was the right thing to do, but that's what happened, and i can't take back what's already been done.

and i do lower my expectations for him. i have to because if i have any expectations at all, he makes sure that he never meets them. and the deadbest thing, that is my fear about him. that he will promise to pay for something, and then make excuses for it. i'm hoping that won't turn out to be true, but you never know.

Some people have a breathtaking capacity for self-advancement and self-preservation. They do it as unconsciously as breathing. I would not chalk it up to Machiavellian planning. Your STBX is probably not that smart. Why would he not want to hide his true deficits? I would. His thoughts about divorce probably coincided with when you wised up to his true nature and how he has been sucking the life from your soul.

When I met my H, he was better to me than anyone ever in my life. However, everyone--and I do mean everyone--in our professional program gave him a cold shoulder. They couldn't all be wrong, but I had a choice to make. Do I trust the group think of people who are highly trustworthy (I had no intuition) or do I go with how he made me feel? I went with my gut. It was an important growth step, and I cannot possibly regret it based on how I was. I have grown immensely; now I see what everyone else saw back then and why their faces fell when they learned we were engaged.

You have grown, too. Based on this post, I would say that your psychic issues are situational. You have proven successful in each of your endeavors, been asked to give them up for ephemera, received no support in return, and then told to accept that you are crap. That would make anyone (please pardon the next direct comment) bat-**** crazy. I would bet good money that one year after successful resolution of this situation you will be able to taper off the meds. [going to set aside the TMG piggy bank right now. . . ]

cat; print this bit out &amp; carry it with you. she's spot on.

I'd be on meds too if I was married to him. Your life is about to get SO MUCH BETTER. Speaking from the "other side," as it were---it's indescribable how good you are going to feel when you finally kick this leech to the curb and breathe.

thanks ladies. seriously though. what makes me the sickest is that my in laws think that my STBX hung the moon and has been the sole provider for us since we got married. hell, they even congratulated him and babied him when i had endured 28 hours of labor to birth my first child, their 1st grandchild, telling H "oh, you poor thing, you must be so tired!!" like, he had birthed a baby. WTF.

I want to be off the meds, seriously. my Psych and i talked through some stuff last night. his take was that without my needs being met and constantly being rejected, it sent me deeper and deeper into depressions, while H just scoffed at my condition, offered me no help, neither did his family.

WHY DIDN'T I RUN AWAY YEARS AGO. OMFG.

I never needed this man. In fact, I've NEVER needed a man to make me feel valued and to show me I'm worthy. My success in life came completely on my own, of my own accord. It had NOTHING to do with my H.

I'M SO EFFING PISSED RIGHT NOW. CAN YOU TELL BY ALL MY CAPS??? hahaha.

These musings are best left for your 'reflections in the rearview mirror' phase. Right now you are traversing the gauntlet and the focus is on non-engagement with your stbx and there is certainly no need to go looking for potential fuel to ignite moral outrage and a desire too react in a hostile manner. Stay the course, breathe and start letting go.

Agree++++++++++

thanks lao. but, this all makes so much more sense now. and i feel that i can use it in mediation sessions to make my case that much stronger. what a load of bs. not you, just my situation.

Just my two cents - given your combative disposition, it may well come out as flying accusations. However, it is your call. Be well.

I'm only combative right now, not all the time. :(

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Yes! Co-dependant rescuers attract users and low-motivation people. Join the club. Blerch!Now you're leaving, spend time and find out what motivated you to not recognize this whilst in the marriage. It would be horrible to recreate this with your next partner......

Agree ++++++++++

oh my effing god. it's true. i cannot believe this. i suppose i am a rescuer?? how do i know if i'm a rescuer? i'm a doer. a go-getter. a plan maker. an issue solver. a fixer. does that make me a rescuer?

in my marriage, i stepped up bc SOMEBODY had to. i tried to be as passive as i could in our first few months of marriage until i realized that him trying to be the "man" was no more going to happen than me growing a horn out of my head. WTF.

Txmg, that is why you need time to reflect and review on your marriage once you are out of it. At present you cannot see the wood for the trees as they say. The great advantage of reviewing your marriage and especially the part YOU played is that it helps you to avoid repeating the same mistakes.

At present it is highly unlikely you can concentrate on the part you played - because anger at him and the need for action are completely taking up your current awareness. But once this is all over, it will be WELL worthwhile reviewing this in hindsight. You will probably find it a valuable topic to work through with your counsellor or psychiatrist too. {{{hugs}}}

see, that moment there, would have been a red flag moment. I've had many of those moments too, but instead of demanding equal partnership, zeal, motivation, I became Super (resentful) Woman! Most of my girlfriends are the same. Birds of a feather......

red - well, i demanded action, and got none, so i was like, oh well, i guess i'll do it ALL, and yes, i then became Super (resentful) Woman. lol. well said. is it just a female thing? bc we are caretakers, most of us??

enna - i know, and this is not a complete shock to me, but the actual awareness of it NOW is killing me. i knew all of these things, called him on his inaction, requested more interaction, tried to keep him engaged, but all that did was push him away into his hole. the anger will not go towards him directly, but at what i get out of my mediation session so i can get out with the best solution possible for me and my boys.

but yes, great stuff to work on with therapist. I see her again next week. can't wait to catch her up. she's going to have a hey day with this one. ;)

TMG, for me it was about proving to myself that I could, in fact, do all those things. I had never done, well, just about anything that I learned to do in the context of my marriage. It's possible some element like this was present in your situation.

What enna said.
After the dust settles, you can take time to dissect and study. Believe me, you'll see things even more clearly from a comfortable distance.
: )

i can't bring this up with him, he will never see it the way i do. he'ell see himself forever as the victim of an abusive spouse. never a spouse that was expected to pull his own weight because he's an adult.

and then i say "this too shall pass". ;)

Remember the Bible quote:
"When I was a child, I thought as a child, etc. Now I am a man, I think as a man, etc." ?? This is not now nor ever will, describe your STBX!!

hahaha. so very true enna!! :)

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