Menu

Should I leave or try more?

HomeForumsRelationshipsShould I leave or try more?

New Reply
Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 16 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #331189
    Helena
    Participant

    Dearest Tiny Buddha community,

    for a while now I have been using all your experiences to try to solve my situation but the time has come for me to post and ask for direct advice. My story is of an 18 year relationship that has had its ups and downs but ended in a marriage 11 years ago. My husband is from another (western) country and whilst we have met in Europe (which is where I am from) he has left me several times when we were dating due to his fear of me never wanting to live in his country (which I have never said and is actually not true), however at that time as we were just beginning to get to know each other I would have certainly not dropped everything to follow him when I had studies to complete and career to launch. He’s very social, talkative and interested to get to know new people. We dated for ca 2 years, then he broke up with me for no particular reason (I found out he was dating someone else very soon after, so they must have met when we were together), then he came back to me (after ca 6 months) and ca 1.5 years after that he decided to go to his home country to see what’s there for him. He didn’t break up with me then but we haven’t really established the future, so I assumed we were broken up. He however kept calling and keeping in touch the whole time and was really upset when I told him I have accepted an internship for 6 months in another country. I didn’t really understand why as this is in the same timezone I already was and he was the one who moved away. A few months later he got fired from his new job (second time this has happened since he moved back) and that is when he decided he would move back to Europe to be with me. I was a little taken aback and hurt by his coming and going but I wasn’t seeing anyone at that time and thought why not. My career took off, I got on really well with the whole team of my rotation and they oferred me a permanent position and I accepted, which means we don’t live in my country of origin nor his. We bought an apartment together, a year later he proposed and 2 years later we married. He found a good job, however as he has never learned a foreign language and didn’t even try, his company was using him for all international dealings, which meant he travelled and spent a lot of time away. I understood and was glad he had a job he enjoyed. That time my mother, who I get on with really well but saw very rarely due to living overseas lost her mother (she took care of my grandmother full time over the last 2 years) and retired from her job. This hit my Mum really hard so we invited her over from Christmas to help her recover. My husband  continued to travel and I quite enjoyed her company as we spent valuable time together planning what my Mum will do next. She decided she didn’t want to continue living in the house she took care of my grandma in and will rent a little flat in the city. I helped her to rent the house out and get the flat. My husband, who was in the UK most of the time found out from her (it wasn’t a secret obviously but I didn’t see how it concerned him in any way) and went absolutely crazy over it, saying she’s staying with us whilst renting her house out and we were hiding it from him etc. I was shocked by such accusation as I have never hid anything from him and as she was getting another place to live in, I really didn’t think anything of it. He cause a huge scene and basically threw my mother out and said he wanted to leave me as I betrayed him. I explained calmly that he’s exaggerating but she’s my mother and her mother just died and if he thinks it’s not normal for family to get involved in such hard time, particularly since she never asked anything of me/us and always has been great to me/us, he’s free to go. He calmed down and didn’t leave. Over time when he was spending majority of the week away (mainly in the UK) I suggested I find another job and we relocate there. That we did. In that time, I started doing really well work wise, got promoted several times and got a big pay rise. We don’t have common economy, just split all the bills but we put our bonuses into a join savings account. My bonuses of the last years are several times higher than his. Fast forward and his father gets very sick, so whilst his mother looks after him, my husbands wants to be there more and travels back home for several moths at the time. I can’t take time off work to join but support him in every way (I book his flights, pay for them at times, he uses our savings there…). He gets anxiety and again, I support him to take time off work and even quit if he wishes to. He wants to be around his parents at that time and I am ok with that. That same time, I find out my mother is severely depressed. She didn’t say anything after he “kicked her out” but developed a depression and as the only support she got was medical, she is hooked on antidepressants. I am alone with an overwhelming job (that I however really enjoy) and the rest in my life really was a disaster. I dealt with it the best way I could/knew at the time: discussed with my husband (who was away with his parents) and we agreed I bring my mum over to watch her to start with, he stays with his parents to get a break and deal with his health problem and be close to his mother and father. I felt very alone and just burdened with everyone else’s problems but I held it together and tried my best to be there for everyone whilst not losing my job as I feared my husband might stop working any day and we have bills/mortgages to pay. Fast forward (sorry this is so long) but my husband’s father dies, his anxiety is better and he comes back. My mother is much better and not wanting to be in our way, so wants to leave, however I suggest a gradual return to normality for her. My husband however again explodes, saying he doesn’t want her around. This time I just lose it and we have an argument. I say he agreed for me to do this over the phone when he was away and I’ve spent a lot of time and effort trying to help everyone, whilst no one was really there for me, so I am not throwing all of that away and sending her off this way again, risking she gets worse. We can have a couple of months more of her, particularly since we have several properties and she never has to be around him. He won’t have it and says he’s had enough and that she should just get a grip and know to do the right thing as because of her, he doesn’t want to spend time with me etc. Many mean horrible things, like I never came to visit him when he left to see his parents etc. In that moment, I couldn’t rake it any more and I just said that if he feels that way and helping my Mum is such a problem for him, maybe he should leave me again. He takes that and just runs with it. Starts sending agents to our house/flat etc (whilst my Mum is in there). In the end I literally beg him to stop and calm down and maybe we should get counselling. He agrees and now we have been twice but he keeps repeating how betrayed he feels by me and sees no fault or selfishness of his behaviour. The therapist stated he’s resentful, seems controlling and I seem bruised and frustrated with absolute lack of support. He takes none of this onboard and just keeps talking about my betrayal and my mother’s ridiculous behaviour. This really is the shortest way to explain, there’s many more nuances but in the nutshell this is the history. Any advice? I don’t want to throw away a relationship that long, however it just feels like I am disposable to him and he’s always been very self-centred but with age and post anxiety, it’s so much worse. Luckily my Mum is much better and she moved back home and is helping me where she can, so that’s one positive. Thank you for reading this and I appreciate any response.

    #331217
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Helena:

    Following first reading of your post, your husband seems selfish and unreasonable, throwing temper tantrums, and feeling entitled to throw them and hurt people.

    I want to re-read your post later and will be able to do so when I return to the computer in a few hours. Maybe you can answer the following so that I can understand better:

    He feels betrayed, that’s his repeat complaint. Can you define what he means by having been betrayed by you, by completing a sentence such as this, using first person: I feel betrayed because my wife did….

    anita

    #331239
    Helena
    Participant

    Hi Anita, and thank you for coming back to me. I have read so many of your posts and advice to people and and really glad you wrote back to me. My husband has always been the kind of person, where he takes any situation and sees the worst possible explanation and doesn’t really listen to anyone that tries to explain. I’ve noticed it with several other situations with other people in the past but never thought he’d do that with me. I am far from perfect as a person but one thing about me is I value stability and loyalty above all. I have never betrayed anyone in my whole life, not even people who I thought betrayed me and that is why this hurts so much more.

    I will answer your question in the precise format you ask for but first a little more detail to make sense of it (sorry). The first time he used the word betrayal is when my mother came over after my grandma died. As I mentioned he was away after she’s been with us for a few weeks and my Mum and I discussed her plans for the future. I didn’t pressure her to leave but we were preparing for her to return home and not live in her old house as she said she really doesn’t want to go back there. We knew my friend had an empty small apartment she could rent (whenever she is ready in the future), so she has agreed to rent out her house to some people she knows straight away. Then he came back whilst I was away for a business trip and he asked my mother about her future plans (i.e. when are you leaving), she told him (her English is bad so they used a lot of Google translate etc) she doesn’t know yet and she rented out her house and he exploded. First at her and then at me as soon as I came back. I tried to stop him and explain, as I don’t think she needs to discuss with him who she rents her house to but he wouldn’t listen and kept repeating that she rented out her house and moved in with us, which I thought was pathetic.

    Then she left and he calmed down but clearly this “betrayal” feeling stayed. Then, about 2 years later I find she’s doing so poorly (at that point his father is ill and my husband spends a lot of time overseas with his parents), so having learned from the previous disaster and trying to do this better, I call him, am extremely open with him about the situation, even though I don’t yet have the full extent of it and he seems understanding and supports my decision to bring her over to monitor and assess. Most likely this was just because he was spending so much time away with his parents but who knows. She really is in a bad way but I use all of my effort trying to support her to get off the pills and open up about her mental state. I communicate with him very openly about all of that on a daily basis, the struggles, the successes, the fact she’s really trying but also failing at times. I am a pretty resilient person but I cry a lot as my Mum has always been so strong and self sufficient and I’ve never expected her to be like this. Also I make sure that he knows that I don’t see this as a permanent solution as I’m really nervous about it after the previous incident. He’s supportive and the time he is back he is nice to her and tries to help her but to me not that much and he makes comments to our friends etc. about how his mother in law lives with us etc. I let those pass as I just don’t have the energy to fight back and as I said he’s nice with her. I almost wish he didn’t try to spend time with her to help as I feel like that’s feeding his resentment towards me and it’s really not helping her anyway although she believes him that he doesn’t mind her being in our house (where we don’t live). I talk to my Mum a lot about the future and how this is not sustainable even though at this point she’s very self sufficient and whilst she doesn’t feel strong enough to go home yet and start fresh, she really doesn’t spend time with us when he is back from his parents. As mentioned we have 3 properties in 2 countries and she never comes to the UK (where we live) when he’s back, she stays and looks after our house and apartment in the other country. Yet it seems to really bother him that she’s “around” but he tries to hold back. As I try to find a solution that fits everybody I talk to my Mum and she says she never wants to go back to her house but she will go back home soon. I suggest we sell the house (she has gifted the house to me in the meantime) and buy an apartment in the city. She agrees and I start looking. I have good connections in my home country and we find a new development where we can get a pick of an apartment and I get time to sort things our without being pressured to have all in order as the developer is a friend. The apartment costs more than we get for the house but my Mum has savings and I suggest I put some money in too as the apartment will be in my name and I think it’s only fair. I discuss this with my husband and ask what he thinks, he says he’s not in the position to do this (which I completely respect). I suggest he co-owns this with me but I’ll take care of the repayments as my Mum really pays for more than half of the cost. He agrees. Then it comes to going to the bank (I need to take a mortgage for some of it as I don’t want to use our savings). The bank wants both owners to sign the mortgage, my husband refuses to have debt to his name, so the only way to go around this is that he doesn’t co-own this apartment and I take mortgage alone. I explain many times that to me, this is irrelevant, this will be our apartment one day and when my mother doesn’t live there anymore (she has plans to go into retirement home after she’s not able to look after herself), we can sell and use the money for whatever we want. It’s a great investment. He’s not thrilled by it but he agrees, goes to notary with me and signs the papers. The topic comes up a lot afterwards and I see he’s not happy that I used a small portion of the savings (this is ca 50% of one of my bonuses I put into savings account). I have been completely transparent with him, he approved it at first but is not happy and calls it betrayal as well. Once again, we don’t have common economy but I have been putting all extra money I make into our joint savings and never before or after have taken anything out of it. He has in the past dipped into our savings and never even explained why. These are the 2 betrayals he mentioned at the therapist and they all became a major issue after his father died (until then I guess it’s hard to argue that I should help out my mother when he spent months and months away helping his parents). I will also say that we are far from having money issues, I work very hard and get paid very well, we have no children and I have been paying my part of the expenses relating to stuff we have together diligently. I refused to co-invest in a very expensive boat that he wanted this summer as I don’t think it’s a sensible expense provided he might not work soon but offered he uses money from the savings account to buy a boat that’s smaller than the one he wants but still pretty nice. He wanted me to co-sign a loan for an expensive one but I refused. I suggested if he wanted to do that we go to notary to allow him to take a loan on his own (like me for the apartment) but he refused and got very angry.

    So from his point I think he would say:

    I feel betrayed because my wife moved her mother in without discussing with me and rented out her house without my consent.

    I feel betrayed because my wife used some of our savings to buy an apartment that I don’t want.

    I feel betrayed my wife doesn’t want to buy a boat with me and instead buys an apartment I don’t want.

     

    Thanks again Anita for your time on this.

    #331273
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Helena:

    You are welcome. I got back home later than I thought. I will be able to read your recent post, re-read the previous, and reply to you tomorrow morning, which is about 13 hours from now.

    anita

    #331625
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Helena:

    First I will retell your story in my own words (the italicized are your exact words with adjusted pronouns), then I will give you my thoughts:

    You’ve been in a relationship with this man for 18 years, married for the last 11 years. You are from Europe, he is from a western country oversees, and the two of you met in Europe. In the early stage of dating, you had studies to complete and career to launch and the two of you were getting to know each other. Early on he broke up with you because, he said, he was afraid that you will not want to live in his home country. (But he never asked you if you will move to his country at that point, nor did he ask if you will consider moving to his country later on). While dating, he left you several times.

    The two of you dated for two years, he broke up with you and dated someone else very soon after. After six months of separation he came back to you. A year and a half afterwards, he told you that he left to his home country to see what’s there for him, but did not state that he was breaking up with you, and there was no discussion of a future with you. And so, you assumed you were broken up. 

    During his absence, he kept calling and keeping in touch the whole time. At one point you told him that you accepted a six month internship in another country. His response was getting really upset. You didn’t really understand why he was upset.

    A few months after you started your internship, he was fired from his new job and moved back to Europe to be with you. Your career in the new country took off, you were offered a permanent position and you accepted it. In this  country (not your home country, not his home country), the two of you bought an apartment together. A year later he proposed to you, and two years later, you married. His found a good job but it involved lots of traveling and therefore he spent a lot of time away.

    While he was away traveling, your mother lost her own mother, retired from her job and you invited her over for Christmas to recover. During her visit, she decided that she doesn’t want to return to the home where she took care of her own mother. And so, you and your mother decided to rent out her old home. You had a friend that was willing to rent a place for your mother in the new country when your mother was ready to do so.

    You were on a business trip while your mother was staying at your apartment and your husband returned home from his travels. In the apartment with your mother, he found out from her that the two of you rented out her house in the home country. He figured that it meant that you decided behind his back, without discussing it with him, to move your mother permanently, or without an end date, to your shared apartment, that you planned and executed a plan to move your mother to your shared apartment, purposefully hiding it from him.  He went absolutely crazy over it…. exploded. First at her and then at you as soon as you came back; caused a huge scene and basically threw your mother out of your shared apartment. He also  told you that he wanted to leave you as you betrayed him.

    You tried to explain to him that there was no such hidden plan and execution, that there was a place for your mother to live at when needed, but he wouldn’t listen not for a long time. Eventually he calmed down and didn’t leave.

    Later you suggested that you will find another job and relocate to the UK where he spent a lot of time working, and you did.  In the UK, you got promoted several times and got a big pay rise. The two of you split all the bills but put your bonuses into a joint saving account. Your bonuses of the last years are several times higher than his.

    Some time later, his father got very sick, and even though his  mother took care of his father, your husband chose to travel back to his home country for several months at the time, to take care of his father. You supported him, booking his flights, paying for them at times while he used your joint savings (where your contributions/ bonuses are several time greater than his) while he stayed with his parents. At the same time, you found out that your mother was severely depressed. This time you discussed the situation with your husband who was with his parents a the time, and the two of you agreed that you bring your mother over to stay in your home.

    Later on, his father died and he returned to your shared apartment where your mother was and still is living. Your mother, feeling better, wanted to leave your apartment so to not be in the way. You suggested that she stays longer with the two of you so that she will experience a gradual return to normality. His reaction: he again explodes, saying he doesn’t want her around. This time you just lose it and you have an argument. You told him that you will have your mother thrown out of your home again and risk her getting depressed again, that you want her staying in your shared apartment for two months longer. His response: he won’t have it and says he’s had enough and that she should just get a grip.. because of her, he doesn’t want to spend time with you etc… Many mean horrible things. You then told him that maybe he should leave you again and he takes that and just runs with it. Starts sending agents to your house/ flat etc. In the end you literally beg him to stop and calm down and suggested counseling.

    You attended two sessions with a therapist, where he keeps repeating how betrayed he feels by me and sees no fault or selfishness of his behavior.. keeps talking about your betrayal and your mother’s ridiculous behavior.

    At one point he has been treating your mother kindly in her presence and she is not aware that outside her presence he expresses dissatisfaction with her living in your shared home. But she is not always living with the two of you because you and your husband have three properties in two different countries and she stays in one or more of those properties at times.

    He feels betrayed because your mother moved to your shared apartment while he was traveling, because he didn’t really want to buy an apartment with you later (not thrilled by it but he agrees, goes to notary with you and signs the papers, but does so unhappily), and because he wanted you to co-sign a loan for an expensive boat but you refused.

    And now my thoughts at this point: in your two long and detailed posts, there has been

    1. Not a single expression of the following, past or present, on his part toward you, or on your part toward him: affection, emotional closeness, shared values, shared interests, trust, appreciation, enjoyment being in the other person’s company.

    2. Lots of financial details, as if finances is and has been what hold the two of you together, as if there is nothing else but financial details and considerations.

    3. Lots of fast buildups and explosions of aggressive anger on his part, and a slow and persistent, mostly silent buildup of passive anger on your part. He “goes absolutely crazy over” this or that, “explodes”, throws your mother out.. quite aggressive. You on the other hand were “a little taken aback and hurt by his coming and going”, an understated kind of anger, “a little”, “taken back”.

    You were angry that he broke up with you repeatedly and then decided to come back to you, that he dated another woman very soon after one of the breakups, suspecting he cheated on you with that woman (“they must have met when we were together”), angry that he got fired yet again (“he got fired from his new job,second time this has happened”), angry that he didn’t learn or cared to learn a new language and as a result traveled away for work (“as he never learned a foreign language and didn’t even try, his company was using him for all international dealings”).

    And angry that he kicked your depressed mother out and then traveled repeatedly to visit and stay with his sick father (and mother) for months at a time, that he exploded at your mother and at you for her staying in your place, while you supported his stay with his parents (“He wants to be round his parents at that time and I am ok with that”), going as far as booking his flights to his parents, paying for those at times, and while during those stays he was using your joint savings account that included your bonuses that were several times higher than his bonuses.

    Eventually you “just lost it” and had an argument with him, but ended up begging him to calm down (“In the end I literally beg him to stop and calm down”).

    In summary, the anger dynamic is: he is repeatedly aggressive and loud and you step back, give in, pacify him until the next time he explodes, then repeat. He is aggressive, you are passive, he gets his way, you give in, but your anger builds.

    4. Very poor communication between the two of you. You dated for two years and he broke up with you “for no particular reason”- he didn’t say his reason and you didn’t ask? He left the country and you assumed he broke up with you, you didn’t ask, he didn’t say. You told him about the internship, he got upset, you didn’t know why.  Poor communication ever since and all through, it seems.

    But the communication was poor not only between the two of you, but between you and.. you: you allowed him early on back to your life because “I wasn’t seeing anyone at that time and thought why not”-

    – but why yes? (Why take him back?)

    In summary: reads to me like a very poor quality relationship and marriage that results in what you described here: “I am alone with an overwhelming job (that I however really enjoy) and the rest of my life really was a disaster.. I felt very alone and just burdened with everyone else’s problems but I held it together and tried my best to be there for everyone whilst not losing my job as I feared my husband might stop working any day and we have bills. mortgages to pay… I’ve spent a lot of time and effort trying to help everyone, whilst no one was there for me“.

    Your husband was not there for you and you didn’t mention a single time that he was there for you. Reads like the marriage is of no benefit to you and never was.

    Was it? Is it?

    anita

     

     

    • This reply was modified 7 months, 1 week ago by anita.
    #331663
    Helena
    Participant

    Thanks Anita, really appreciate the time and sorry for the overwhelming detail. I want to be fair and not leave anything out.
    Your summary is accurate, the only thing that’s not is that my mother no longer is staying with me. She moved back to her rented flat and is doing well, trying to support me where she can.

    My husband is in the UK and I moved back to “our home”. So everyone is alone now. I guess I focused on the topics raised as “an issue and source of his complaints, not really what is important to me. We do have very poor communication, I find him aggressive, competitive and often not empathetic, so I go with the way of least resistance. I don’t know why I do that, I’m certainly not afraid to voice my opinion but with him I just know it’s gonna come back in some shape or form either immediately or when I least expect it.

    I don’t think money is what held us together, it’s not really important to me at all. It’s true however that he got very upset by it and I wanted to explain.

    I find it hard to be emotionally close to him. I have disclosed a few things to him in the past that were very private and he used them against me and also mentioned them to people (in front of me or not), not in a sly way but I find it just careless.
    I know that what you say is true. I feel like he has never been there for me really. I don’t think I’m angry about it but most certainly it changes my behaviour towards him and then it’s a vicious circle. I think he’s a person that takes a lot and whilst I am a giver, I don’t think it’s right to behave like that and will never accept it. But he certainly doesn’t see anything wrong with his behaviour, it all just always turns against me (I’m demanding, I criticize him etc). I also don’t know why I always question myself first even if I kinda know that whilst I’m not perfect, his attitude is wrong.

    thanks for your view Anita.

    #331673
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Helena:

    You are welcome. I understand that your mother is not living with you anymore, and good to read she is doing well.

    “I find him aggressive.. so I go with the way of least resistance. I don’t know why I do that”- to avoid friction aka conflict. You adapted to his aggression. Maybe you came into the relationship with this adaptation already in place, having adapted earlier to aggressors in your life.

    As is, reads to me that he holds you hostage to his rage and aggression.

    No wonder you “find it hard to be emotionally close to him”, closeness means being more vulnerable to get hurt and we people are not willing to risk more hurt from a person who already hurt us many times before and shows no intention to change his ways (“he certainly doesn’t see anything wrong with his behavior”).

    Since you don’t have children together, and money doesn’t hold you together with him (“I don’t think money is what held us together, it’s not really important to me at all”), why not divorce him?

    anita

     

    #333247
    Helena
    Participant

    Thank you Anita and apologies for the delay. I have been traveling all week last week and needed some time to think about this as they are all the exact questions I have been wondering how to answer for a while. You are correct, I never believed I can trust him with my emotions and that’s why I never made myself vulnerable to him like I have with friends and previous partners I have had. I am really not sure why I have not left him before and why I struggle to do so now. We have now been separated for 4 months, he still appears to believe that I am the one that hurt him and whilst he doesn’t seem to be moving forward with divorce and all that entails, he’s definitely not trying to make things better either. We had his friends over for the New Years, he didn’t tell them anything about our situation and I don’t feel it’s my place to tell his friends (I told the truth to all my friends), so it was just awkward. Why am I so reluctant to just divorce him? I can’t really say I miss him or I can’t imagine a life without his as I live that life and have done for a long time. Perhaps it’s the fact that it really is another conflict (the final conflict of separation/breakage of everything tangible and intangible we have built together), that it will show how little he cares for me and how he feels entitled to say and do what he wants without considering my feelings at all. Why can’t I be like this too or at least why can’t I just not care and get on with it looking after my own interests?

    #333257
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Helena:

    I will read and reply to your recent post in a few hours when I am back to the computer.

    anita

    #333273
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Helena:

    “I am not sure why I have not left him before and why I struggle to do so now.. Why am I so reluctant to just divorce him? … he feels entitled to say and do what he wants without considering my feelings at all. Why can’t I be like this too or at least why can’t I just not care and get on with it looking after my own interests?”

    My efforts to answer these questions: he is not afraid to to say and do what he wants without considering your feelings at all because you are not holding him hostage with anger. It is the other way around:  he has held you hostage using his anger for so long that you are afraid of him, afraid of his anger. So you are reluctant to do anything he doesn’t want you to do, anything that will incur his anger.

    You are not looking after your own interests of positive values like love, affection, trust, respect, but you are looking after your own interest of avoiding a negative value: his anger

    Does this sound right, to you?

    anita

     

    <span style=”display: inline !important; float: none; background-color: #ffffff; color: #333333; font-family: Arial,’Helvetica Neue’,Helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: 14.53px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;”> I am really not sure why I have not left him before and why I struggle to do so now. ..Why am I so reluctant to just divorce him?..he feels entitled to say and do what he wants without considering my feelings at all. Why can’t I be like this too or at least why can’t I just not care and get on with it looking after my own interests?</span>

    #333317
    Helena
    Participant

    Hi Anita, indeed it does sound right. He can be a really nice person and fun to be around, as long as things are his way. So I suppose I try to create this atmosphere because then I actually like being around him. Now however with that gone (I  mean we live separately), why don’t I just complete the separation with divorce.. I always seem to wait for him to do that. To leave me, to move away, to divorce me… I really dislike myself for doing that yet I just keep at it. I guess that too is to avoid any negative reaction I might get if I do it myself. I believe in “for better or worse” but does that mean I just have to be happy with whatever? I tried to talk to him about some of the stuff in the past but have been told “that’s just the way I am” and also then at therapist he said I was very demanding. I really don’t think I am demanding but always question myself after a statement like that whilst he never seems to reflect on himself. I wish I could be a little more like that.

    #333329
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Helena:

    It seems to me that your relationship with him from early on has been one between a submissive person (you) and a domineering person (him).

    Online definition of submissive: ready to conform to the authority or will of others, meekly obedient or passive.

    Online definition of domineering: asserting one’s will over another in an arrogant way.

    * “I tried to talk to him about some of the stuff in the past but have been told ‘that’s the way I am'”-

    – “have been told”, passive tense, this is your passivity, obedience, submissiveness.

    – “that’s the way I am” is his arrogance, his domineering behavior.

    * “I always seem to wait for him to do that. To leave me, to move away, to divorce me”- this is your submissiveness.

    Your submissive behavior and his domineering behavior is evident throughout your account of your relationship with him.

    You wrote earlier: “one thing about me is I value stability and loyalty about all. I have never betrayed anyone in my whole life, not even people who I thought betrayed  me and that is why this hurts so much”-

    – maybe you are equating loyalty with submissiveness to a domineering person, and betrayal with asserting yourself with a domineering person.

    Do you think so, and if you do, any idea as to the origin of your submissiveness to a domineering person?

    anita

    • This reply was modified 7 months ago by anita.
    #333343
    Helena
    Participant

    Well that’s the thing – when I read you, I agree – that is what I seems. However when I think of myself in any other situation (work, friendships, dealing with issues day to day…), I really am not a submissive person at all. I still like to avoid conflict but I’m certainly no walk over, quite the opposite. I work in a male dominated industry , I think I have respect of most people here and I have done well career wise. I know you often advice to look into one’s childhood and I have been thinking about that. My mother has (when I was young) been quite an authoritative person (setting boundaries, strict on achieving school results, being on time etc) but at the same time she was kind and loving and protective. So I’m not sure if that can have anything to do with it as again, none of my previous relationships have been like this at all. I have been thinking in the past also that maybe I have never come across behaviour like this and as such I just don’t know how to handle it and as I do tend to avoid conflict, I just grew into this situation over time. Or perhaps deep down I do love him and don’t want to lose him (but then I’m not really sad when he’s not around) or I just simply don’t like to fail. Those are all options I am considering but it’s tough to be objective when it’s myself I’m trying to analyse…

    #333347
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Helena:

    Notice that in my previous post to you, I qualified submissiveness with “submissiveness to a domineering person“. I noticed earlier that you didn’t indicate submissiveness in the workplace and you mentioned that your relationships with men  before your husband were different.

    Maybe you did “just grew into this situation over time”, although a more accurate verb than grew would be.. digressed or.. the opposite of growth.  It is ineresting that you wrote that maybe you love him, but my goodness, I detected no love in your accounts of him and the relationship, no affection whatsoever. No emotional need for him either.

    If you do want to go the childhood route, why not. We can try it and if there is nothing there we can let it go. You wrote that when you were young, your mother has been “quite an authoritative person (setting boundaries, strict on achieving school results, being on time etc.)”-

    – when you got a grade at school she wasn’t happy with, or when you were late for dinner or whatnot, what did she say to you, what was the expression on her face when she said what she said, did she punish you, time out, or spanked you.. ?

    anita

     

    #333565
    Helena
    Participant

    Hi Anita, and thanks. Hope all is well with you.

    When I got a bad grade at school, she wasn’t happy about it but she wanted me to focus on rectifying it rather than punishment. I however remember I really didn’t want to disappoint her but actually don’t know why as whilst she asked me to study more and get a better grade next time, she didn’t really “punish” me and she didn’t hold it against me. I think I just wanted her to be happy and she was so happy when I was performing well. If I didn’t show up on time for dinner or didn’t do what I said I would do (didn’t happen often as I was and still am to some extend a people-pleaser), she would usually tell me off, sometimes it would lead to grounding, so I couldn’t go out after school for a few days to play with my friends. Usually however this wasn’t the case and even if sometimes it happened, she would let me go out sooner in the end if she saw I was remorseful. I think as she always had a lot on her shoulders, I really just tried to not add on to her worries (job, difficult marriage, difficult son..). She was someone I could always rely on, get support from and I guess I just didn’t want to add on to her stress, so I tried to be not be a problematic child, which I think I succeeded at, even as a teenager.

    I think because both of my parents, despite their flaws, have always been so kind to me, I find it so hard that my husband would always suspect the worst reasoning in any situations etc. I know his mother is the very opposite to mine, and I never warmed up to her and he struggles with her too, so that might be the reason. My friends think he’s jealous of my relationship with my Mum and the fact that my Mum has been so nice to him and I can rely on her but I don’t know. He’d have to answer that one I suppose.

     

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 16 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic. Please log in OR register.