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#412212 - 10/04/12 10:59 PM Re: What was the turning point for your partner? [Re: RachelMac]
Older1 Offline

Registered: 12/20/11
Posts: 129
Dear Rachel: You have done what you could, and your current move toward seeking help for your own sake seems a good idea.

Edited by Older1 (12/20/12 03:03 PM)

#412222 - 10/05/12 03:28 AM Re: What was the turning point for your partner? [Re: RachelMac]
CdnDW Offline

Registered: 08/24/12
Posts: 105
I know it feels frightening, but I can tell you that when I really started to take control of my life, I felt so much calmer. I am glad you are starting therapy for yourself. Remember that it is there for to help you gain clarity on what the right decisions are for you... A good therapist will not tell you what you need or should do. The therapist will help you to clarify the options you have and facilitate you in determining what you really can live with or not... You will decide what you need to be happy. That is what this is all about: being happy. For me, I realized that I could not be happy in a marriage arrangement with my H while he engaged in certain acting out behaviours. It didn't change the fact that I loved him and wanted to be Living as husband and wife, but until I set this boundary, I felt trapped and anxious, frustrated and resentful. When I admitted to myself that certain behaviours were deal breakers, I could articulate this to my H and take action. I was sad, because I knew I was letting go of the outcome. Prior to setting the boundary, I was trying to control the outcome and control his behaviour. By setting the boundary I had to let go of the outcome and risk that he would or could not comply. It was freeing for me because it meant I was not blaming myself if he chose to continue to act this way. Gosh, I don't know if this is translating here or not... I think this may sound like a whole lot of rambling. Bottom line is, for me, setting boundaries was freeing, not frightening. I had less control, but felt more in control. So far, my H has decided to live within my boundary needs. I know you have mentioned codependency, but I wonder how much reading you have done on it. I had a very different idea of what it really meant until the last few months. I know realize that breaking my codependency has allowed me to stop trying to control, coerce, nag, beg and manipulate him into giving me what I need while being out of control of this myself (because if he didnt comply, my needs were denied). Now I am the only one I look to for my needs. If anyone, including my H is acting in a way that does not respect my needs, I have choices and I have boundaries and I can act on these. I feel empowered - even if I dont always like the choices, it is still so much more free feeling than feeling stuck.

Having a 3 month old is overwhelming at the best of times and I can only imagine what you are feeling now. You are likely also very emotional as your hormonal balance will still be settling since giving birth. I feel very, very lucky to live in a place where 1 year maternity is universal. Focus on you and your beautiful baby. Try to live for you and let your H go figure out his own sh*t. And if he can't or won't, then you are right, he will miss out, but YOU don't have to. He will never, ever be over this... It can get better and he can feel much better than he does today and his behaviour / choices can improve, but it will not go away and his experiences will always be impacted by it. I have had to simply accept that fact with my H. Just like I have had to accept some other not so wonderful truths of my life... But it is my life, I am alive and want to embrace all that is beautiful in my life, so I have to accept the things I can't change so I have the energy to celebrate the positives.

Be well.
I am not your rolling wheels, I am the highway
I am not your carpet ride, I am the sky
- Audioslave

#412262 - 10/05/12 02:34 PM Re: What was the turning point for your partner? [Re: RachelMac]
Robert1000 Offline

Registered: 06/27/12
Posts: 453
I hid my fears, my insecurities, the truth of my pain and shame all my life. I honestly had the plan to take my burden to the grave. I used that phrase a lot. I couldn't say the words, "I was molested" aloud. I couldn't say them in my head. I couldn't let my mind touch on those memories from my childhood. Never. I used coded words to allude to the secrets in my heart, but I couldn't even begin to make sense of them myself. That was true until I cheated on my wife. The idea that I would cheat on my wife... and on my family... and truly on myself... was almost more than I could take. I almost killed myself, and maybe I would have, but I was too afraid of my secrets. I couldn't stand the idea of my secrets coming out after I was gone. I couldn't stand the idea of my wife and my kids looking over my life and seeing this stranger instead of the man I wanted to be. And I couldn't bear the idea of leaving my wife and kids alone in this world. I love them too much.

The most psycho part of my secrets, and of my fucking idiotic affair, was that I brought someone else into my world of shame. I didn't tell the "other woman" about my abuse. God, no. But I did allow her into my secret world. Honestly, she kind of forced her way in, but I'm the one who allowed it to happen.

But the fucked up thing is that she then forced me to openly confront both the affair and my past. And actually, she was a rape victim, who I think chose to victimize people as a way to "help herself," or some fucking nonsense. Anyway, she told me a bunch of times that she was dangerous, that she was manipulative, that she was a liar. She'd brag to me about what a good liar she was. Anyway, her husband found out about the affair. I told my wife, in the most stupid and halting way, and I lied 20 times before she got the truth out of me. But anyway, I knew then that I was going to lose my family and lose the life I wanted, and that the only chance I had was to get therapy. And so I did. And thank god I did. It probably took me three or four weeks of therapy, maybe more, until I blurted out one night the fact of the abuse when I was a kid.

And since then I've struggled to stay on the road to healing. I don't mean that I struggled not to have another affair or cheat on my wife. But it's a constant struggle for me to avoid creating little shameful pockets in my life. It's a struggle for me to embrace myself, to allow myself to love myself. It's hard for me to avoid using my history of abuse to dodge accountability for the shitty things I've done. Those things are very difficult.... But I keep my eye on the my goal, which is to be the man I want to be in my life. I want to be a loving and solid father and a dependable and excellent, loving partner. Those are my goals. And I don't have room in my life for any other bullshit.

Good luck to you, by the way. It's not enough for anyone to just "admit" the fact of abuse, at least not in my experience. My goal is to express true emotion. And if you've dealt with untrue stuff as much as I have, you know the truth when you say it and when you feel it. It's possible to connect your words with yourself. And I promise that it's one of the most satisfying things there is. It's definitely worth the trouble, and it does require a lot of hard work.


#412298 - 10/06/12 02:27 AM Re: What was the turning point for your partner? [Re: RachelMac]
RachelMac Offline

Registered: 08/26/12
Posts: 58
Since I started this thread, I've tried to listen to everyone's advice that I need to take care of myself. I've made a consious effort not to stress about the stuff I can't change and I feel a little...lighter. It's hard though. I've been in a habit for such a long time to just constantly worry about him and focus on him. Here are some things I thought about and kept reminding myself:

--I have to remember that I can't snap my fingers and fix everything.
--He is the only one who can help himself.
--I can be a positive influence by setting a good example.
--I may have to put some of my needs on hold because he may need my support, but I cannot forget about my own needs.
--He is sick and I said "in sickness and health." --(I read this in a recent thread and it got me sort of choked up because I hadn't thought of this and I feel silly for not thinking of it this way.)
--Taking care of my codependency issues will help our relationship.

I also learned that writing helps. It helps me sort out my thoughts so they aren't so scrambled in my brain and overwhelming. Maybe that's why I feel better posting. smile Thanks everyone.

#412324 - 10/06/12 10:16 AM Re: What was the turning point for your partner? [Re: RachelMac]
whome Offline

Registered: 05/07/11
Posts: 1743
Loc: Johannesburg South Africa
HI Rachel

You have come a long way in a short time, and your understanding is great.
Keep going and your strength and INDEPENDENCE, will make it easier for him to face his demons.

Keep going

Heal well
Matrix Men South Africa
Survivors Supporting Each other
Matrix Men Blog

#412356 - 10/06/12 09:55 PM Re: What was the turning point for your partner? [Re: RachelMac]
Esposa Offline

Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 811
Loc: NJ
GET OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That is what worked over here, at least I think so. It worked for me though. It was in that very moment that I let go, stopped being codependent, stopped making excuses and defined what my life was going to look like....

I handed his life over to him. And took control of my own.

#413040 - 10/14/12 02:34 AM Re: What was the turning point for your partner? [Re: RachelMac]
RachelMac Offline

Registered: 08/26/12
Posts: 58
I battle every day in my head whether I should leave. What holds me back is the fact that we are new parents and I swore that I would do everything I can before I get to the point of leaving because I don't want my kids to live in a broken home. I hear so many stories of children growing up with anger about their parents splitting up. I hate the thought of going down that road. If I didn't have a baby, I think I may be living at my parents for a while. Do you have kids and if so, how did you deal with those kinds of thoughts?

#413066 - 10/14/12 12:38 PM Re: What was the turning point for your partner? [Re: RachelMac]
Blue1966 Offline

Registered: 10/08/12
Posts: 83
Loc: USA
1. Be honest with him, communicate your needs, thoughts and desires. No matter what he is dealing with, he is not a mind reader.

2. Be prepared for the worst and the best. Yes, he may choose to leave when you confront him with what you need and what isn't working but, he might not and, may get the help he needs.

3. Get help for you, no matter what he does you need a support network too.

Dealing with us (survivors) is not always easy. We have our insecurities, or moods and, our quirks, not to mention more serious issues. Still, don't treat us like we are fragile and might break - we are broken, you can't break what's already broken.

Despite what we endured, we are men and, we are not mind readers, we do want to be good for out families. We might not know how or, see what we are dong wrong, but you can tell us so we can decide how we want to handle the issues we are causing.

As for when the turning point it, when we seek help - usually about the time we hit rock bottom. That's just male behavior - we will try to go it alone as long as we can.

#413067 - 10/14/12 01:00 PM Re: What was the turning point for your partner? [Re: RachelMac]
Esposa Offline

Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 811
Loc: NJ
Hi Rachel - oh boy, I do have kids. Two. And I had that same thought in my head... they need their father and I need to fight for this family.

Before I write the next part, I will say something that I am working on in therapy. I FORGIVE MYSELF. I have compassion for myself as well as for others. Ok...

I kept them in a mess far longer than was necessary. Someone once told me that it is not the father leaving that hurts the kids as much as what is left of the mother. I was a mess. I let him hurt me and push me around. And that hurt my children. I didn't have boundaries and they watched that. It hurts to remember that time.

My son is 12. The month before I asked my husband to leave, he said two things to me - two things your baby can't say to you. 1. Why do you pay so much attention to someone who is hurting you? and 2. I like you better when Daddy is not here. The sacrificing yourself in the name of the kids thing... it doesn't work out like we plan.

Your child deserves healthy parents working to build a healthy relationship. Sometimes saying ENOUGH is what it takes for those two things to happen.

#413072 - 10/14/12 01:32 PM Re: What was the turning point for your partner? [Re: RachelMac]
RunningOnEmpty Offline

Registered: 10/08/12
Posts: 91
Loc: georgia

Edited by RunningOnEmpty (01/02/13 12:30 AM)

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