A Husband's story (formerly "the husband's story")

A discussion area for anyone who loves a survivor and needs some support of their own.

Moderators: Jonesy, Harbor

Post Reply
Fleur
Member
Posts: 13109
Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2011 9:23 am

Re: A Husband's story (formerly "the husband's story")

Post by Fleur » Thu Jun 29, 2017 12:31 pm

Hello the husband

Thank you for sharing such valuable insights from a loved one's perspective. Definitely nodding about having intimacy variety.

Sorry to read that your wife has not been helped by TMS this time. Really hoping with you that the older machine brings desired results.

May you, your wife and children enjoy a peaceful space and may there be more balance in your family, including reciprocity.
Onward to a safe community for all people in which to thrive ~ gentle hugs [if okay] ~ Fleur

the husband
Member
Posts: 485
Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2011 6:11 am

Re: A Husband's story (formerly "the husband's story")

Post by the husband » Thu Aug 10, 2017 7:52 am

Hi Fleur

Thanks for the kind words.

My wife is doing a bit better with the old machine. Now we're fighting with insurance, but will probably prevail as I have many times after maximum effort. Intimacy is roughly weekly, but she's clearly phoning it in sometimes and won't cop to it. When she asks what she can do, I tell her, and then she claims she's dong what I've asked. I wouldn't ask if I she was doing it. She has more energy for exercise, but still is often in bed.

the husband
Member
Posts: 485
Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2011 6:11 am

Re: A Husband's story (formerly "the husband's story")

Post by the husband » Sat Aug 18, 2018 12:52 am

Things are a bit rough of late.

My wife is attempting to make a career change within her field, but she's having trouble finding a new job to step into and she feels like she is not seen as a viable candidate. I have seen her through 3 major career changes and several smaller ones like this one. She's been very good at each career, but then she wants a big change. Now she wants to take a big travel vacation, despite the fact that we have other financial goals right now. I suggested a closer, smaller but nicer location (we live in an area that people come to from all over, so there are many options within driving distance) but she wants to get on a plane somewhere. I believe that the overarching issues is that she is depressed and trying to effect a change - but it's not the right change. She will be temporarily engrossed, but she will still be depressed when she is no longer overwhelmed by the newness of it all. The vacation is an even more temporary version. She made me miserable at the end of our last big vacation, not willing to sit down on a rainy day, trying to do things that were sensibly closed due to weather. It's like the big feeling of change didn't come, so she was trying to force it.

We had a blowout the other day about something she said to our 13 year old that I felt was poorly timed and had a much bigger impact on our child than was necessary. I said as much in private and, despite my very diplomatic way of saying it "I don't think that was the kindest time to say that to her - I think it could have waited until morning so she wouldn't be up all night worrying." it became this massive effort to avoid any sort of fault. She pulled out all sorts of irrelevant stuff, but I kept bringing back to "I'm not arguing that - I just don't think before bed was the best time." She actually ended up sleeping in another room, which is a first after 20+ years together. My "not the kindest time" was twisted into my saying she is mean, and then she began saying she was various other rude terms.

I believe that she feels so negative toward herself that any hint of negativity from me is amplified by constant negative thoughts she has about herself. While I might say "Oh, I hadn't thought of it that way. I will go apologize to our daughter." she is actively avoiding any admission of any sort of fault at all. We've had many conversations, often with the kids, about how one can apologize for their role in something without being responsible for the whole thing. We've also had many about how to apologize in a way that is heartfelt and has value to others - which she is also bad at. I work hard to avoid pushing her because she decompensates quickly and then can't remember enough later to discuss. That makes her mad because she then believes that I change events to make her look bad. We're still unresolved on this. Normally I make it okay, but that has begun to wear on me.

Fleur
Member
Posts: 13109
Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2011 9:23 am

Re: A Husband's story (formerly "the husband's story")

Post by Fleur » Sat Aug 18, 2018 11:11 am

Hello theHusband

Lovely to see your name although saddened for difficulties

As it has been a year since you posted on this thread I am wondering whether this is a particularly tough season (either just now or could this be a pattern) for you and family?

Frankly I forget if any therapists are part of life but if so they would have greater understanding and appreciation for your circumstances than me

I think your wife is blessed by being married to you

As a total outsider I get that spending big money on a vacation when there are other priorities will hurt the budget and/or savings plan. Like you I can see why your wife wishes a plane ride. Who said "wherever you go there you are" was correct. Novel situations being external don't tend to positively affect us very long

Do you think changing career positions is something similar? Seeking New ventures in order to effect nicer stuff internally? It is tiring to hold negativity inside whilst appearing ok to those around us particularly colleagues. I am always recharging solo. How much that relates to my being an introvert and what ought to be credited to issues I truly cannot say

I'm currently blessed to have found finally a T who genuinely understands . She is not only trauma trained but has studied with Jeffrey Young to be a Schema Therapy specialist. A case of wishing I had been her client a long time ago but delighted we are now starting

Recently I heard Dr Timothy Jennings a psychiatrist in USA speak about how love in action helps families. We can only change self. We can only do our best to understand others. One snippet resonates with me regarding your wife. Some adults don't like taking responsibility for themselves. In this sense they want subconsciously to have boundaries set as parents ought for their children or the visitor who is unkind (Dr Jennings uses illustration of a loved friend who steals whenever they visit "I love you but until you prove you are trustworthy I cannot invite you to my house"). He posed the question "what if your spouse needs a boundary just like your child? Expect they will kick and holler and push against the limitations set. Lovingly set and enforce boundaries. Have consequences for overstepping. As the adult and just as with a child shows they are being more responsible and trustworthy the boundaries can be moved or even removed." my take away was to only set boundaries I was comfortable in always enforcing and to be loving as I empathised "I understand you will be upset about having (for instance video games put away) however this is the consequence you chose for going against boundary

I truly don't know how your wife would react. Dr Jennings advised to allow a reasonable boundary to be set for yourself in order to model desirable traits and affirm it is possible to abide by agreed limits. My T thinks it could work if presented positively at right timing (sounds familiar with your discussion re wife and daughter) because when we have traumatic childhood we might miss crucial development concepts

Hopefully sleeping in another room is a once off not the start of another behaviour aspect

May you and family enjoy a summer vacation that is within budget constraints


Much caring
Onward to a safe community for all people in which to thrive ~ gentle hugs [if okay] ~ Fleur

the husband
Member
Posts: 485
Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2011 6:11 am

Re: A Husband's story (formerly "the husband's story")

Post by the husband » Sat Aug 18, 2018 6:38 pm

Thank you, Fleur

I appreciate your thoughts.

I had not considered an annual pattern, but I will look back. One of the benefits of this mammoth thread is that it's easy to do that. I forgot to state in the earlier post that all are welcome to post here, and posts need not be directed at me. I would learn from any discussion of the topic at hand.

My therapist moved and I have not sought a new one. Due to financial concerns, time concerns, and the fact that I've felt that I have internalized much of what she would say. She did offer to continue via Skype/Facetime if I felt the need. I will consider this.

I do believe that the drive for a job change is the same as for the big vacation. She is well respected in her jobs, but I think she stops feeling that way and wants out. Sometimes I think she may have felt exposed and vulnerable by an event she has not completely shared with me - but that's just a hunch. I think that since she can't make the job change, she wants a change of scenery. However, as you said: "Wherever you go, there you are." I've had time to think about our vacations and how tightly packed they've been, and realized that they've been too busy to think by design. I, too, am an introvert and need things to slow down so I can recharge. My fix has been to lobby for a tropical location, because there is a different cultural understanding of time there and thus it is virtually impossible to schedule anything tightly.

Your thoughts on boundaries for adults are helpful. I suppose that's what I was doing. When we were contemplating even having children (potentially disastrous, given each of our childhoods) we agreed that we would check each other and be receptive to checking if one of us felt that the other was out of line with the kids. I feel that I did check her in the manner in which we agreed. I hindsight I could have left out "kind" because I could have anticipated that she would flip it to unkind/mean and perhaps I could have been more neutral in saying "I think this could have waited until morning so she wouldn't be up all night worrying.". I give myself a 8 out of 10 for effort, and I don't think it was provocative in a way that excuses her from our agreement.

For context: My daughter has had significant medical issues and a number of invasive procedures. She is also on medication for generalized anxiety. My wife's decision to tell my daughter that she would have a blood test in the morning sent my daughter into a bit of a tailspin - which I had to deal with since my wife goes to bed early. This was not a fasting test, and there were no other plans for the day, so there was no reason to say anything. They could have gotten up, had the test, and then gone off for frozen yogurt or something. Easy. I think about how careful I am with my wife, and it shocks me that she can be so thoughtless about others.

Back to boundaries, I will read up on Dr. Jennings. I have held the line on the feedback issue and have not made the transgression okay by pretending it didn't happen. Currently I'm just going about my business, just not being overly solicitous toward my wife. I know she can tell I don't feel we have resolved this, but I'm going to let her choose her time to be safe and receptive unless it goes on too long. We need to reaffirm our commitment to parenting well, and I want to know that she heard me about what happened with our daughter.

On the other side of the parenting agreement, she told me that the kids were coming to her saying they were having trouble connecting with me. As they are 13 and 18 I simply asked them (without my wife present) if this was so. They both said they didn't know what she was referring to. For reference, we have dinner together every night, I play games with them for at least an hour every night, I read to them (both!) every night, I actually sing to them while rubbing their backs every night, I tuck the 13 y/o in, and hug my son good night every night. My wife used to be part of this, but then felt we were going to bed too late for her. However, the kids noted that she is often awake in bed playing games on her phone. She could at least do that in the same room.

Sleeping in another room after an argument was an odd overreaction in my book. She had said that she needed to stop talking for the night, so we stopped. I was reading in bed and there was no further provocation - it's an electronic book so there was not even angry page-turning! Last argument she stormed out of the house, despite the fact that we had concluded awhile ago and were not even within earshot of each other. I am concerned about this escalation. I think there may be distorted thinking and an inability to calm herself.

I'm not sure where we stand as of now. It is not unheard of for her to eventually calm down and see things from a new perspective without telling me.

Fleur
Member
Posts: 13109
Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2011 9:23 am

Re: A Husband's story (formerly "the husband's story")

Post by Fleur » Sun Aug 19, 2018 7:30 am

Hello the husband

Your descriptions of family life bring tears because I wish my Dad and husband had been so caring and thoughtful. Your children whether or not aware are truly blessed. As is your wife. You are proof for me that some men really do get relationships and healing can occur. Thank you

When I couldn't find a T who helped I used good old Dr Google. Looking for childhood trauma I came across childhood emotional neglect. The authors say it is possible for neglect to happen to anyone sometimes because significant adults cannot always accurately assess our child self needs and there are other legitimate concerns such as a new baby unemployment etc. It is when the neglect becomes too much like a pattern or occurs with abuse that we as adults can be distrusting secretive changing opinions or perspectives without sharing these with people close to us

Resonated with me as I have found life so difficult in ways other people take for granted. Such as a career - non existent and setting boundaries so that I share appropriately - not too much to be vulnerable yet not so little I am labelled stand offish

A tropical holiday ... Oh wow. That sounds just perfect to me. Think I'll look at potential destinations. Not that I shall fly there any time soon but it will be a great distraction from the stormy reality. Drought and fires in some places with above average temperatures yet others are having snow or floods. Seems similar story around the globe

I almost booked a Pacific Island cruise once then lost my job so that was the end of my consideration


Wishing you and family very well in all respects
Onward to a safe community for all people in which to thrive ~ gentle hugs [if okay] ~ Fleur

the husband
Member
Posts: 485
Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2011 6:11 am

Re: A Husband's story (formerly "the husband's story")

Post by the husband » Sun Aug 19, 2018 7:32 pm

Thank you, Fleur. I appreciate your reality check regarding parenting. I'm not perfect, but I really do try not to repeat the "sins of my father".

This morning was the time she usually makes time for sex, but I asked to talk instead. No sex for at least another week now, but I wasn't really wanting to rekindle an emotional bond after this anyway.

I reminded her of our agreement about checking each other about parenting issues and told her I felt I had done that and had done a pretty good job of it, but it want sideways. Her perspective was that she had told me that she realized that she had made a mistake, admitted to that, and suggested that she go apologize to our daughter, but that I would not let up. The only part of that is true is that she asked if she should go talk to our daughter, but she was so angry at that point I suggested that she leave it alone until morning. She never did apologize to her. She also said that she left to sleep in another room because I would not let up. I pointed out that she had said she was done and that I had respected her limit and was reading my book for several minutes when she got up and left. Then she said she had left because she felt the issue was unresolved. The only things she wanted to really get into detail with involved my relationship with the kids - which does not actually seem to be an issue, but I'll keep my eyes and ears open. The only way for me to leave it was to agree that we had seriously miscommunication and that I was glad that we had reaffirmed our commitment to the kids.

I think she does not actually remember what went on and fills in the blanks, possibly unknowingly, in a way that makes it all seem rational. It makes me doubt myself, despite the fact that I was working hard to listen to her closely for any sign of resolution and was choosing my words so carefully to match hers. There is no way anyone who knows me would believe that I would continue to harp on something if there was any sign of resolution on the table. I always search for consensus and work toward resolution at home and at work - not being a pushover but looking for real solutions. She claims that I pushed her into trying to process this at night when she's not at her best - but remember that she chose the timing. I would never do this because of the horrendous trust issues it would create, but I almost wish I could record and play these back for myself later to see if I was somehow mistaken.

Fleur
Member
Posts: 13109
Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2011 9:23 am

Re: A Husband's story (formerly "the husband's story")

Post by Fleur » Mon Aug 20, 2018 2:44 pm

Hello the husband


Recording sounds a very tempting idea if your wife agreed about you wanting to improve your communication skill -- ie not hers -- but I agree it could backfire and create other difficulties such as trust that you mention

Totally understand wondering if what transpired did occur. My H and Dad plus brother were wonderful at twisting everything around. My DID compounded problems as I am never certain whether I actually was present and paying attention the whole time

Then there are the conversations I have in my head. So it could be a whole raft of stuff going on

My dreaming and day dreaming interfere with reality too. Being aware means I am super careful in self monitoring but I get confused when tired upset hungry or ill

An escalation of I said , you said is hard to refuse especially when we know what the other person says is incorrect. Hurts me like crazy. I have learnt it only discredits me. For example Dad lying about previous night only he and I plus pets witnessed. Other family members jump on me but that last time I overheard what was shared. Every other time totally overwhelmed me. Never have spent a night in that house since

My spouse was headed for a breakdown but I didn't pick it and he wouldn't talk. Those last months we were together were awful. My words actions all got twisted. I applaud you for keeping family under one roof

No matter how much we would like to effect change for others reality is we can only work on and with self. You identify some areas you can improve and will I am sure do your best to change. Being human we all slip up

I am concerned that your wife is perhaps exhibiting behaviours that could imply changes that are less than useful or desirable. Do you consider she is somehow different at present? Is it her norm to report incorrectly about your children? Has there been in your marriage any time of MH hospitalisation?

I am not trying to worry you further but I am wondering if your wife is on the roller coaster of usual habit or could there be some other factor happening? I trust all of you stay safe. Please remember there are 24/7 phone lines and internet access available whenever you might like to share in real time

Sending you and family discernment for what is best
Onward to a safe community for all people in which to thrive ~ gentle hugs [if okay] ~ Fleur

the husband
Member
Posts: 485
Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2011 6:11 am

Re: A Husband's story (formerly "the husband's story")

Post by the husband » Tue Aug 21, 2018 5:12 am

Thank you, Fleur

It's interesting that you bring up DID, as I have wondered if my wife may have this. She would likely not be diagnosed as I think I am the only one to have seen it happen. Usually I just have s sense that we're no longer on the same track as we had been a moment before, but on one occasion her voice and speaking cadence became markedly different when I I pushed back (not physically) a little harder than I would today on something she was accusing me of. It was startling how childlike and altered she seemed.

I think that this skewing of information about the kids is new. But maybe they didn't know to tell me before? Now they're telling me that they told her that they were having trouble connecting with her, not me. I don't think they are saying this to appease me, but I'm going to avoid giving it too much energy so I don't create pressure.

My wife has not been hospitalized, and it would be particularly rough if she was because we are both medical professionals and are well known in the local psychiatric treatment community. She would have a hard time with that. I would make the call if I had to, but it would be a drastic step indeed.

Fleur
Member
Posts: 13109
Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2011 9:23 am

Re: A Husband's story (formerly "the husband's story")

Post by Fleur » Tue Aug 21, 2018 9:36 am

Hello the husband


Get concerns around going to hospital when you are medical professional. Met a nurse from interstate who chose to have psych care farther from home. In her case her secretary picked up nuances. It is difficult

DID can be extremely subtle as you share - you'd know more than me that the media highlights the visible no doubt about it switching. As a child it protected .me from the enormous schism of I love you so I can hurt you anytime I want and needing parental care. I used to watch from the ceiling. It's why I have trouble using I statements - it didn't happen to the self on the sidelines and THAT was the real me

So far of all the people I have met who identify as being on the DID spectrum only one male disagreed about using third person, without having a MH professional reminding him to use the singular first person. Likely you have met more than me

Please continue taking very good care of yourself and family
Onward to a safe community for all people in which to thrive ~ gentle hugs [if okay] ~ Fleur

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest