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#35959 - 01/20/03 12:06 PM Why can't I tell her what I need without pissing her off???
Just Call me J Offline

Registered: 07/14/01
Posts: 204
Loc: Inland Empire, California
OK, if you're in a sensitive spot, you sure as hell don't want to be here.


Why is it when I have a legitimate need for privacy, or quiet, I am unable to let her know this beforehand? Why do I wait until I am embroiled, and then come across as snippy and petty when she interrupts?


And this shit always fucking happens after we have a GOOD talk, so now I will doubt all the good that has already occurred making me more insecure than I was before we had our talk.

FUCK!!!!!!!! I can't slam my fingers down on this keyboard hard enough to make it worthwhile. And on top of that, it's her keyboard. Her computer. And what was she talking about before I pissed and moaned like a child? Getting my own computer fixed. She was being helpful.

And what was I working on writing??? A piece on how much I trust her, and feel that I wouldn't have come as far as I have, without her.

Real considerate, aren't I?

We want to have kids together. We're currently engaged. And it's little episodes like this, that have me wondering how badly I'm going to fuck this up. I've got that nagging little voice that won't SHUT THE FUCK UP!!!!!! "Screwed it up again, huh? You shouldn't be surprised. What did you THINK would happen?! Bonehead. Smooth... reeeeaaaaallll smoooooooth!"

The earlier talk was about coping. How our kids will learn to cope by watching us. How if I'm getting flustered and overwhelmed and dramatic, how will a child learn to act in that upbringing? And since I've been feeling really vulnerable lately, I'm not feeling much like a "survivor"; I'm in that fucking "victim" mode, and that's not healthy. I worked for 5 1/2 years with SED kids, and modeled and taught all kinds of healthy behaviors. What makes it so easy to show it to them, but so hard to make it work in my own damn life???

I feel like I can't handle all the shit that's going on right now: no job, money running out, SA crap, hard to wake up in the morning, pissing off my love with stupid behavior. And yet, on another level, I know that I can. But I tend to go for the cop-out: "because of my abuse, my coping is screwed up". My fiancee doesn't want me to go for the cop-out; she wants me to become the best person I can be. I want that too, but my confidence fades in and out.

I need to go talk to her about what I just wrote. This was a good venting platform. I hope I haven't stalled too long on my apology.


We're in this together. - Nine Inch Nails

#35960 - 01/20/03 03:14 PM Re: Why can't I tell her what I need without pissing her off???
RJD Offline

Registered: 02/18/01
Posts: 326
Loc: jefferson City, Mo,usa
The experience you are describing sounds very familiar to what my wife and I have done for years. I don't really know if it fits for you, I suspect you may already be aware of it, but here goes.

My wife and I have had a tendency to drift apart. It certainly was not a conscious or deliberate thing, it would just happen. We would be busy with our daily lives and it would get to feeling like we were roommates barely involved in one another's lives. We both did pretty good as parents. I was feeling angry at her lack of availability, at the same time I was glad to have the space. If I complained , she saw it as being too demanding on her, so I was passive and angry. If I said nothing, eventually she would be the one who would complain of the lacking relationship and would suggest we get away for a weekend-NEXT MONTH.

We would then look forward to our time together, and that was to suffice. Forget about the next four weeks, we were going to live for that weekend of intimacy at some magical time in the future.

The weekend would finally be upon us, the kids were dropped off at her mother's, I had packed a romantic picnic for our hotel room and we were looking forward to "our time together." Of course with all this anxious preparation time I as a survivor wouldn't have any performance anxieties(yeah,right), but we managed anyway. I really like being with her, and she likes being with me.

Then the weekend comes to an end. Without failure, for years,every time we did a weekend like this we ended in a big fight, as we packed to leave and drove home, where we were barely talking. This Ice Age from the fight would continue for six months. We were cordial but distant. We were not conscious of the pattern so we were always trapped by it. We were both desperate to get to a safe distance from one another, so we picked a fight so we would be justified in our need for distance.

My wife and I both have painful difficulties surrounding intimacy, but for different reasons. One of my perps was my suffocating mother, so I have a tendency to fearfully back away from moments when my wife is feeling needy because I feel like I'm going to suffocate. Her father was a distant man and an alcholic. She would then of course be a person who needs closeness, but is unfamiliar with it and so feels anxious when involved with any kind of intimacy.

So here we are,we do this life dance where when I reach out for her, she runs like hell away from me. When she reaches out for me with her needs I run like hell from her. We both love each other, but it has been hell in so many ways for both ou us. These were the things we were taught as children. This is the excess baggage we both carried into our relationship. Sometimes we just have to be patient with one another, and accept that we are both doing the best we can. The other part of the struggle is to not take on the others crap as our own. If I'm too toxic to be around, her struggle is to not own my crap, and feel it is about her. The reverse is true too. When she is in her crazies, I have to struggle to not own any of it. Either scenario is do-able. The real problem is when we are both in our crazies at the same time. Those moments are what friends are for.

#35961 - 01/20/03 03:17 PM Re: Why can't I tell her what I need without pissing her off???
zadok1 Offline

Registered: 11/05/02
Posts: 188
Loc: Ohio
boy, do i feel what you are saying. i think of myself as a coward at times. i went home all intent to confront my wife about my abuse, and what it is doing to me, friday. it seems like every time i am ready to talk about it something happens to shut me down. she noticed that my wedding band was missing, and i had to admit that i had lost it. instantly, there was tension and no chance i was going to talk about the abuse on top of it.

last night, i blew up at my son. he just has to push everything, and is one of those kids that gets off on arguing. i asked him twice to leave the babies mobile alone, because he keeps knocking it down, and he just had to touch it one last time in total defiance. i could just punch him square in the face when he does that shit. instead, my father came out of me. i went off on a long rant.

i cant help but wonder how much better i would handle such things if i wasnt so closed off. i keep everything in, trying to deal with it, and then in a tense moment it just boils over. i feel that 'why do i keep doing this?' thing.

it is hard to be happy when you cant be proud of the person in the mirror. i understand. at least you guys are hammering this out now. i married first, had a baby, and am only beginning to deal with it. the future is very scary sometimes, because i know what a mess i am. i worry how we will come out in the end.

The world is a dangerous place, not because of those that are evil, but because of those who do nothing about them- Albert Einstein

#35962 - 01/20/03 04:45 PM Re: Why can't I tell her what I need without pissing her off???
al Offline

Registered: 01/08/03
Posts: 143
Loc: canada
Jeff your not a coward, not at all. You are a survivor, in every definition of the word. But like someone once told me, acceptance is so very important, we are terrified that the result will be anything but in our favor.

When I was 17 I found out that my father was actually my stepfather. When I found my real father I decided to tell him everything up I was raised, that I was abused, that I had a son, that I was gay, even that I had lived and worked in the street for a while. What did I expect? I expected him to go running out of the restaurant screaming like the hounds of hell were on his tail. I expected him to treat me how I felt, used, used up, useless and unworthy of any kind of love or respect.

Why is it that you want/need to tell her? Maybe if you can answer this question, it might help?

Those who dance appear insane to those who cannot hear the music. Mark Kleiman

Kites rise highest against the wind, not with it. Winston Churchill

#35963 - 01/20/03 05:26 PM Re: Why can't I tell her what I need without pissing her off???
zadok1 Offline

Registered: 11/05/02
Posts: 188
Loc: Ohio
i need to tell her because she asks, and because she sees i am hurting and doesnt know why. she knows i was sexually complusive, and that my father abused me, but she knows nothing about the molestation. she cant help and understand why i am struggling if i dont talk. i need to tell her for my own peace, because i am tired of carrying this around by myself. i need to tell her so i can justify spending our meager rescorces on therapy, with her consent and understanding. there are so many reasons i need for her to know, and i dont really even know what i am afraid of.

Debbie is a good woman, a Christian woman that doesnt ask much of me. she has always supported me, even after i had a cyber affair on her. why can't i tell her? it seems so silly that i can't spit out that i was molested, and am struggling with it. i guess, i just dont know the why's.

The world is a dangerous place, not because of those that are evil, but because of those who do nothing about them- Albert Einstein

#35964 - 01/20/03 07:02 PM Re: Why can't I tell her what I need without pissing her off???
Cement Offline

Registered: 06/05/02
Posts: 740
Loc: Southern California
I am so accustomed to not getting what I need, that I don't know how to ask, I am afraid after I ask, I anticipate that I won't get it, then I get frustrated that I 'never get what I want.'

I am trying to break that cycle.

And let the darkness fear our light.

#35965 - 01/20/03 09:09 PM Re: Why can't I tell her what I need without pissing her off???
Wuamei Offline

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 2700
Loc: The left turn I should have ta...
I empathize with what you guys are sharing from your experience, as I still go thru these kinds of exchanges with my wife after 23 years. Tho she now knows about all the SA trauma events I suffered, I still have trouble opening up about how it's affecting me from day to day.

"Disclosure and Confrontation" by Ken Singer, which is in the articles section on the MS homepage, might be of help.

As is venting & discussing it on this forum.


"I can't stand pain. It hurts me."
--Daffy Duck

#35966 - 01/21/03 12:21 AM Re: Why can't I tell her what I need without pissing her off???
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
how I live what you write in your post.......oh man!

I hate what it does to us, even after all the work I've done, and my wife knowing everything and supporting me totally I still can't get my head around asking for what I want sometimes.
I apologise for everthing imaginable, if we get in each others way in the kitchen i burst into a litany of "sorry - sorry" instead of just jokingly saying "shift your arse girl !"
It pisses both of us off big time, but I just can't get past it.
I guess this might be the anger and frustration that Jeremy feels as well.
I certainly felt so inferior that I believed I could do nothing right, I am better- a lot better, but it's a hard thing to shift.

Zadok, I hope you find your inner strength to tell your wife, it'll make so much difference I'm sure.
If she knows some stuff already then more shouldn't be so much of a shock, although I obviously don't know your wife or you.
But my experience of telling my wife slowly and in installments was that once she had made the initial decision to stick by me and support me then she did just that.

But I have to say that each new thing I told her was as hard as the last one, but nothing like the very first disclosure.

I had got to the stage where life was so bad I didn't think it could get any worse. And I made a judgement - or I took the chance - that disclosing might just make it better.
And I was right, and with hindsight I believe I knew that I was right.
All I lacked was some faith in myself, where I found the bit I used I dont know ?


Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

#35967 - 01/21/03 06:29 PM Re: Why can't I tell her what I need without pissing her off???
Don-NY Offline

Registered: 08/06/02
Posts: 546
Loc: Long Island, NY
It's true for me that sometimes I over reacted.

Only my needs were important. I didn't care what it would cost anyone else, didn't care if what I was asking was impossible, inconvenient, painful, or incomprehensible.

I was due, and I would damn well get what I needed and wanted or I was gone.

Now I have a better understanding of what I need and want, and also of what I MUST do, even if I don't like it or want to. Also, of what I cannot or will not do.

I have sat and talked with various people, family, friends and employers, and made some things clear. I have given reasons and explanations, sometimes the whole truth, whatever was necessary to make my position clear.

Sometimes I must remind people of what I will, won't, can, or can't do, especially if it is different from how I used to do things.

If I'm honest and considerate, a compromise is always reached.

If you understand everything, some things are just as they are. If you understand nothing, things are still just as they are.

#35968 - 01/21/03 08:20 PM Re: Why can't I tell her what I need without pissing her off???
Mark S Offline

Registered: 08/25/02
Posts: 130
Loc: England
Dave and Cement

Yep. It never fails to amaze me how alike we all are. It doesn't seem to matter that unlike most people here my abuse occurred when I was 17 then again at 19, my feelings, attitudes to life are so similiar to everyone else's.

I'm sooo crap at asking for what I need and it doesn't matter whether it was with my ex girlfriend, my family or just the man in the street. I feel everyone else deserves to get their problems sorted before me. I suppose most of you know I'm disabled too. I suffer a great deal from pain. I used to wait till I was frog-marched to the doctors to get help with pain relief. I would never ask my physio if I could be seen more often.

Things are getting better, much better but I have to keep reminding myself I am important, I desreve my needs to be met as much as the next person. it's a struggle but one I'm determind to win.

Mark \:D


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