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You're right, 4evr. I know that's what I need to heal. I hope one day to get that. Unfortunately, it hasn't happened yet.

 

We started fighting (while on Cindy and TP's call last night) because he'd hurt and frustrated me earlier in the evening and when I tried tell him that (both at the time and later after I'd gotten on the call and he tried to snuggle with me), he started demanding an explanation, demanding to know why I would feel that way because it was stupid for me to feel that way. I refused to take the bait to let him drag me around in circles, I repeated again that he'd hurt me. So he through himself a pity party. This resulted in my kicking him out of our room. I'm hurt, I don't want to give you sympathy for making me that way! Of course, almost as soon as that happens, Cindy starts explaining the LOVER apology. He'd stormed out of the house by that point though, so he didn't get to hear it. I told him later that was the apology I wanted, that that was what they've told him to try and give me, that that was on the forum for anyone that cared to read it. He had the tools to fix this, so there was really no reason he couldn't attempt to. And I also told him not to cry about how he let me go to bed angry if he can't deliver said apology before midnight. I wasn't going to wait around with baited breath and deny myself of rest just so he can feel better in the morning. I fell asleep before midnight (oops :roll: ) So he wrote an apology.

 

It was rather long, neatly hand written. It said how he was sorry he'd hurt my heart by cheating on me and looking at pornography, how he understood how I am hurt and need time to heal. That first paragraph was as far as I got before I tore it up. The first thing to pop into my mind was your banana in the desert analogy, Loony. Does he need to apologize for causing me hurt for nine years? Yes. And one day I hope to get that apology. (After he sits down and actually thinks about the things he's done to me because it goes a lot deeper than porn and an affair.) But he needs to work on accepting my feeling in the moment first; trying to heal the pain he causes me in the present; make a solid effort to stop doing what he's always done! If he can't change his behavior, why would I want him apologizing for it? It's just going to happen again. You aren't sorry enough to make a change, so to me, you aren't really sorry. You're sorry I'm upset, and you're sorry you're in trouble, but you're not sorry for the action itself. You'll just repeat the action.

 

I sent him a text and told him he was way off the mark. He did the mature thing and accepted that. When I saw him later in the morning, he offered up a LOVER apology for his actions yesterday. The frog has been a prince since then.

 

I changed some of the boundaries though. Maybe some input?

  • You have to come home when we agree- don't agree to come home before a certain time only to come home just after. (You'll be out of the bedroom)
  • Your work laundry is your responsibility- I am not your maid and I do need a little help sometimes. (You'll be out of clothes)
  • Circular conversation is no longer going to be put up with- You are not a child and shouldn't act like one; I will not engage in this behavior anymore. (You will be out of bedroom)
  • You are not to undervalue my feelings/self-worth/opinions etc.- I am not only a human being, deserving of respect, I am you wife, deserving to be loved unconditionally. I understand this is a process, and it will take time for you to break your old habits. (For now, if you offer a true apology from your heart there won't be any consequences (other than the yelling I'll probably do) However, if you fail to apologize in a timely manner (i.e. I am not waiting days for you to decide I'm worth it) you will be out of this house.)

It's mostly the last one I'm iffy on. Is it too harsh? I just can't take anymore of the abuse. I don't want to live with it anymore. It isn't good for me, I feel like he shoves me back into a dark pit that I've been trying to climb out of. And it is not good for our kids. My daughter is old enough to know momma is mad at poor daddy again. Momma is always so mean and angry, and daddy is always sitting there helpless. The thought of having a bad relationship with that kid kills me. While she is my husband's daughter, I was alone with her for the first 2 years of her life. He was good to her when he saw her, but I've been fighting for her since I knew she was there.

 

I also left out any sex issue. I'm not sure how to deal with those. :?:

 

Any advice is greatly appreciated.  :)

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Personally, I like your boundaries! How long do you think you would wait for him to come up with a good LOVER apology before he is out of the house? It's just that I think you would need to have in mind, a specific, reasonable length of time for that.

 

Also, when you feel undervalued by your husband again, do your best not to yell, but to tell him how he hurt you and that you will be waiting for a good apology. Do your best to walk away and let your words sink in.

 

I think you're doing a good job, amak0911.

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Thanks, MJ, for the feed back. I don't set out to yell, and I don't just start yelling, I just usually end up there from the sheer frustration (I think part of it is because of the circular conversation) I am really trying to work on it though. He pushes just the right buttons to set me off, and I let him. I hope these boundaries will help me stop reacting that way.

 

I'm not sure what a reasonable time frame is. If I give him too long, he won't give it to me until he is good and ready, thus making the whole point moot (that's such an odd word; I just taught my daughter the meaning of it, so it's been in my head haha). If I don't give him long enough he won't be able to give me one. I was thinking maybe before I go to bed that night. I mean, if we start fighting early in the day, I'd think that would be plenty of time. Plus, he knows that if he waits until I'm tired and ready for bed, I'm more likely to accept his half apology and forgive him even if he didn't fully apologize. But then what do I do if we start fighting at night? Or if we start fighting in the day, take a break, and end up fighting again because he won't truly give me an apology? I know what I want, but I'm having a hard time trying to seal any loop holes.  

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I just usually end up there from the sheer frustration (I think part of it is because of the circular conversation)

 

 

This is where it's really important to walk away. He has been having circular conversations his entire life, and he is very, very good at it. The only way to win at this game is not to play.

 

But then what do I do if we start fighting at night? Or if we start fighting in the day, take a break, and end up fighting again because he won't truly give me an apology? I know what I want, but I'm having a hard time trying to seal any loop holes. 

 

 

Why don't you just give him 24 hours?

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If I give him 24 hours, he will wait 23 1/2 before he even begins to try and give me an apology. History has proven this time and time again. Maybe he can be on the couch until he does, if we fight that night, I mean?

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If I give him 24 hours, he will wait 23 1/2 before he even begins to try and give me an apology.

 

 

Why is that a problem for you?

 

At this stage of the game, guys - especially the more passive ones - need time to process. They need time to work out what they did and how it hurt you in their heads, because they really don't know. If you insist on an immediate apology, it will 1) not be very good, which will only frustrate you more, and 2) not really make the connection that needs to be made in his brain. There is a learning curve to all of this, and if he's going to be successful, you need to allow him the time to work through the issue.

 

While you're waiting for the apology, be cool but cordial. Treat him with common courtesy, but don't chase him down. Don't constantly remind him that he needs to apologize. If he has not given you a decent attempt at an apology - and remember that we are looking for effort, not perfection - then he sleeps on the couch.

 

There is absolutely no reason to be fighting over an apology. He has 24 hours. He either does it, or he doesn't. If he doesn't, he's on the couch. End of discussion. Walk away.

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The fight is never about the apology. It is something he can't seem to give me, despite knowing it is important to me. Even yesterday, he knew he had hurt me but to avoid admitting doing something wrong, he chose to apologize for something completely irrelevant to the issue at hand. Do you expect me to believe that he has no clue he was doing that? I won't. I don't sit here picturing him as this dark haired, caped bad guy in a corner, twisting his mustache and maniacally laughing while plotting ways to hurt me. I picture him and I still see the sweet guy I fell in love with. But he does know what he is doing, and if you catch him in the rare mood that he's honest and open, he will tell you that. The apology, to me, is simply the concrete proof I need to see that he is sorry. It is something for me to hold on to, to know that he gets it. It isn't the issue itself, but the reassurance that he understands the issue. (I'm saying this because I think I need to put emphasis on the fact that it is important to me, and hopefully can explain how.) The issue itself is that I'm hurt in some way. Whether because he put other things and people first, because he expects me allow myself to be treated like a toy, because he thinks I'm being stupid, whatever the reason, I shouldn't have to defend myself to him, hence the boundary.

 

The time thing... It's a problem because he waits until the last minute to do anything he's been told to. It isn't about processing (although I know he needs time to do that). It isn't about connecting the cause and effect (although I understand that it takes time for him to do that too). Ask him about the how and why he waits. I have before, many times. He has always answered simply that he doesn't like to be told what to do. It's like a game of Chicken to him, even though in the end he might be the one that had to swerve, he still managed to make the other player mad, and that was enough joy for him. He simply wants to gain back some of the control. That bothers me. Right now, his need for control is part of the problem, because I need to feel like I have some control, something completely normal in the circumstances. I have no trust left for him. In order for me to be able to give him that trust back, I need him to just do what he's supposed to. I don't expect him to ever do it perfectly, and I am perfectly fine with that.

 

I'll give him 24 hours, for now, if that's what you suggest; you I do trust.

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I waited until she broke down into tears and practically beg me for words and affection. I knew that in the end I would have to give in to her but I would hold that control until I got my sick sort of satisfaction

I remember these instances a little differently, A. Yes, I would practically beg you for words and affection, but you never gave into me. You always waited for me to give in to you. I had to tell you I was sorry for reacting poorly or for causing you to do what you did. I know I have explained this many times, with many different examples you have given me to use. For some reason,  E's pictures pop up right now for an example. You chose to self gratify to her and to wish you were with her instead of me, but you told me it was my fault. Your exact words were "I wouldn't have to look to her if you would do those things."  You then proceeded to tell me all the ways nasty ways she was better than I was. You had me so convinced this truly was my fault that by the time we went to bed (and you calmly fell asleep/pretended to) I woke you up, still sobbing, and told you I was sorry. Only then did you tell me it was OK, that you would stop doing it, that you didn't want to hurt me again. Only then would you embrace me. You never said you were sorry after any of these incidents. 

The apology is my life preserver because it makes me feel that you are sorry for doing something you chose to do. It makes me feel valued and listened to. It gives me hope that you won't hurt me again. I need it because your words of "I don't want to hurt you again." and "I won't hurt you anymore." are like a hologram, where an apology feels like the real thing.

 

With that said, I need you to know that I appreciate you getting on and admitting your control issue. Even that is a major step forward.

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No date night for us tonight, but we will be having it tomorrow morning, pending the outcome of whether or not our pump is going to cost us big time later today. I just wanted to give praise where it was due. (See, I'm not all negative [smilie=happy.gif]  ) 

 

The past four days have been going well. A few little things here and there, but the larger picture is still coming through. He's been careful to listen, slow to speak. We have read the bible a couple times together. Yesterday he went all day without self gratification (and the night was solid proof of that  ;-) ). He even got on and held himself accountable for things he has done/is doing. Over all, it has been good.

 

Thank you for trying, D.

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See, I'm not all negative [smilie=happy.gif]

 

 

No, you're not, and I know it's really hard sometimes when our men have put us through all the crap they have. But you are doing really well at this helpmeet thing. If D. doesn't do this, it won't be because of anything you did or didn't do. :)

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OK, so remind me again why I chose to get on this rollercoaster? Ironically, I hate actual rollercoasters, so this analogy really works for me. 

I was so looking forward to our date yesterday. It was paid for and planned for and didn't happen.

 

When we woke up (the time A says he is normally wanting sex) I thought we could have some fun. But when it turned into something that could only be on his terms again I decided I was no longer interested. I didn't want to be used. That really aggravated him and he did his best to subtly make it into my fault.

My cluster headaches are back so a little while later in the morning I got hit with one and was pretty much sick all day. Despite this, I elected to have us drop off the kids thinking we could still go out to breakfast. When I mentioned that I'd still like to go out to breakfast he said "OK we can go to ___." He had asked me about going to this place already, he asked thursday night about it, but I had said no because it makes me sick. When I told him I'd already said I didn't want to go there he said "Yeah I know. ...I forgot." So instead, he spends the entire morning with his dad (and although they were "working on the pump" it doesn't take 4 hours, and it didn't escape my notice that it didn't get fixed, either.)

On top of all that, by the time we were able to come home, I was so sick. Instead of offering to do anything, or bother asking about me, he stays well away from me. He couldn't even get the kids cleaned up and put into bed. I even asked him if he could come in a check on me every once in a while, just to see if I needed something. He didn't, and he wouldn't even help me with putting the kids down. If anyone else had been sick, he'd have looked for ways to help them. It made me feel that I just wasn't worth it (maybe if I had given in and had sex that morning...)

 

Anyway, late, late last night, he comes in and makes an attempt at an apology. (You know, the "Sorry you're mad at me.") I told him that I appreciate that he is coming to me to make amends, but that he isn't making me feel better. He's had literally all day to think on what happened. He starts grasping for straws again, trying to randomly swing that hammer in the hopes of hitting the nail on the head. I calmly told him that he had until the morning to apologize, there wasn't a huge rush, and that I would even answer any questions he had to help him get there. Finally (after some more swinging of that hammer) he screams at me to tell him what I want from him. I (again, very calmly) told him that I simply wanted to feel validated by him, to feel that my pain isn't being written off by him. He yelled again that that wasn't enough for him, demanded I tell him what to do. So I did, I said "just show me that you love me, that you're listening, that you can empathize even a little with me. You don't have to say the perfect thing, you just have to try." I want what anyone wants. He's told me for so long that my feelings don't matter, I need them to matter to him. He wanted a script to repeat back, and I wasn't doing that. These were his actions that got him there and it would have to be his actions to get him out. I begged him to let me turn off the light and go back to sleep and he left the room. He came to bed around 2.

This morning, he finally really apologized. He told me that he understood that I was angry and hurt and that I had every right to be. He had messed up and then made things even worse by not only ignoring me as much as possible even though I obviously needed him, but also by refusing to give me what I needed until he was staring at the end of his deadline. 

 

So, now we are headed back up the rollercoaster. I just hope it doesn't drop for a while. So, it was more like 25 hours. Does he still sleep somewhere else even though he finally did what he was supposed to? Also, did I handle the situation correctly?

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The other helpers will correct me if I'm wrong, but I think you handled it quite well. Especially considering how sick you were. (I suffer from migraine, so I totally empathize with the utter ruin that a "sick headache" can make of your day. Not to mention the after-effects when the headache is gone but you're still under it's influence.)

 

Do NOT let yourself "just give in" when he acts selfishly. You are God's daughter, and no man has the right to treat you poorly. Stick to your guns, tell him what's required, but don't spoon-feed him. When he digs himself a hole, he needs to be the one to figure out how to get out of it. Not you. And YOU get to determine whether his hole-filling has been adequate to release him from the consequences of having to sleep elsewhere. Personally, when a guy THIS selfish and lost makes ANY progress, I tend to be very lenient—I believe in the power of positive reinforcement. When a guy sees that his actions result in less hardship for him and restoration of fellowship with you, it's a pretty powerful motivator.

 

Hang on for the ride. It's bumpy, and pretty scary sometimes, but the end result IS worth it. Truly. 

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Thanks, GP. A said he has you on him now too (lol), but he also said it's a good thing because that's the kind of thing he needs.

 

I didn't make him sleep somewhere else. Sunday night he even got on the call and told them what had happened (mostly). I think Brain was pretty disappointed in him. That he held himself accountable to someone else pretty much fully redeemed him in my eyes. I just have a hard time seeing how this time is different from last time, you know? He said he's sorry, so it's OK. He said he'd change, so it's OK. It feels different this time around, but I also don't want to delude myself like I've done in the past. 

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Thanks, GP. A said he has you on him now too (lol), ... That he held himself accountable to someone else pretty much fully redeemed him in my eyes. I just have a hard time seeing how this time is different from last time, you know? ..... It feels different this time around, but I also don't want to delude myself like I've done in the past. 

Yep. He asked for me; he got me. He may be regretting that now.  [smilie=to funny.gif] 

Yes, I totally understand how it can be hard to believe that things may have finally changed. That this time may be different from the 7,694,352 times before when he was "gonna do better." Only time will tell. And you will know. When it finally changes, you will realize it. That caution you have is normal and natural. Y'know that saying "once bitten, twice shy"? Exactly. You've been chewed up one side and down the other. You're going to be pretty nervous about anything that looks like it might have teeth. It's okay. You can heal from this. It just takes time. :cool:

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Y'all are too funny. We appreciate all the help you guys do too, and prayers are always welcome.  [smilie=happy.gif]

 

Couple of minor things last night, but it was all resolved within a couple hours. (YAY!) I explained that I don't appreciate his ability to start doing things to bless me (in fact he kept asking me for something to do to help) only to turn around and only do it half way. To most people, I get to look like a very ungrateful wife if I complain (Oh, he's doing his best; you should be grateful he even wants to help you! Oh, you're just too particular!), but I just can't seem to feel that thankful for having my hopes of less work to be dashed with, in fact, more work than I would have had if I hadn't let him do it in the first place. He listened the first time, but resented it just enough to turn around and do it again. The second time he fully listened after only a minor tantrum. Which is progress for him!

 

I did my best to not yell at him. He says I still did, and I did, but still much less than what I normally do. I'm working on it (much like he is). I really don't think I need him to point out my mistakes in reply to my pointing out his. I am aware that I do it. I am also aware that I did much better than I normally do, and I am working to get even better than that. Honestly, I don't like yelling; I'm not some angry, nitpicky wife that looks to start fights.

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Thanks for the backup  :)

 

Last night I asked him twice to do something. Twice he told me not to worry because he was already planning on doing it. He gets home, I say why didn't you do it, and he says "Oh, I should have thought to do that, I'm sorry." ??? Was it your other personality that I was talking to half an hour ago? This was something seriously very minor. I mean, really it doesn't warrant my flipping out abut it; I fully acknowledge that I handled it poorly, and I'm sorry I did. I was upset about it because I can drag both of our children (one with some behavior issues) to the store today to buy food that will ultimately go bad because we are leaving tomorrow; I could do this. I won't, and he knows that. That's my choice though. This probably wouldn't have been such a big deal if he hadn't already done it twice the night before. It probably wouldn't have been such a big deal if he hadn't done it two nights before that. It gets so frustrating. I feel that he doesn't really want to do things I ask him to simply because I asked him. He says he cares, and deep down I believe he does (because I wouldn't be with him if I didn't) however, he can't seem to do, only say.

 

Another issue we are having (and another example of saying instead of doing) is his 20's. I ask him about half way through the day if he's keeping track of his self gratification and his 20's. He gives me the numbers and says, "my 20's stink. I'm at 1" (or 3 as it was for yesterday, his highest count yet). If I respond at all (and I usually don't because he knows that I want them and they are important to me) I say something like "Well, I really enjoy getting them." or "I really like when you do them." He comes home and I get a kiss. I get another kiss and a hug after his shower. Maybe another hug and kiss sometime throughout the night. I get more kisses if we have sex. That's probably a big reason that the little things bother me greatly. 

 

It also bothers me that he doesn't get on and say that he doesn't do them, but he's quick to say that he doesn't know what to do and that this is hard. It bothers me that he has a hard time answering direct questions. It bothers me that I end up saying he isn't doing them because it makes me feel like a little kid tattling. 

Edited by amak0911
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I understand that too -- feeling like you are tattling.  But you've GOT to tell him and you've GOT to tell us, or SOMEbody!  (You may feel free to use the forums for a release valve.)  ;)  SOMEbody needs to get to him!  He is behaving like a little kid, sneakily getting out of doing "chores".  That's one the problems, he thinks you are in Mother mode when you ask him to do ANYTHING. 

 

He needs to see all this from a totally different perspective.  An intensive would help a whole lot.  Do you think you will get to one soon?  

 

So...  what would be a really good consequence for him for the next time he proves that he considers you unimportant and therefore finds it unnecessary to go to all the trouble of fulfilling your request -- I mean -- the next time he "forgets"? 

 

Go to his room without any supper?  They used to do that in the old days, I heard.  I lived in the old days but my parents chose other kinds of "consequences."

 

Your husband is going to need consequences.  What about insisting that he get on a call and report on himself?  Then you will fill in any blanks.  Just an idea.

 

You'll get there!  You both will, I know it, as long as you keep forging ahead!  God, I ask that You give these two strength and perseverance and some good victories along the way until they get to the big victory -- OHM.  Thank You.  In Jesus' Name!

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You know, MJ, I'm not sure what to do when he does that. Like I said, I feel bad complaining in the first place because he was "attempting" to bless me, and I have heard so many times that I should be grateful for just that little bit that I am still fighting that feeling that I'm in the wrong. I could send him away without supper... he can't cook and we never have money for him to go buy something. Taking food away was never a punishment for us growing up though either, so I have a hard time seeing myself doing that. I'll have to think on it.

 

We both want to do an intensive. We actually don't live more than two hours from where it's held, but it will have to be after the first of the year when we get our tax return again.

 

Last night was pretty good. He got a total of 7 compliments in. Only a couple kisses and one hug I think, but that was more so because I was so hot and sweaty (our AC decided it wasn't going to work for a bit and then we had a lot of running around to do). My only complaint is that around 10 we got into bed (I turned down the offer to watch a movie because I was too sleepy) but I asked him to sit up with me and just kind of gently rub my back. I missed his touch and I was finally cooled and calmed down enough to want it. So he does for a little bit, but after a few minutes he was asleep.  :sad: I understand being tired so I can't hold it against him, but I won't pretend that it didn't hurt some. He'd sit on the couch in the dark and watch a movie, but can't sit up in bed with the lights on and hold me? He did rub my back before that,which was very nice as it's been super knotted and tense lately, but that wasn't really a comforting, connecting kind of touch.

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