My Feelings Make Him Feel Guilty how do I stop this?
Let me just mention, that I am hurting really badly, lots of emotional pain. So hopefully this post is somewhat coherent.
If you haven't read any of my other posts here is a little background:
Maybe a month ago my husband saw a co-worker of mine and immediately asked for us to have an open relationship so that he could be with her. I've been considered "ugly" by most during much of my life, so much so that I've had to work through a ton of delusional thoughts and "baggage" because of my past. The "other" girl is movie star beautiful - I'm not kidding. She could be a Hollywood movie star, no problem. I did have some trouble coping with the situation. I was very sad and depressed for about a week, all of my "issues" were triggered, but I tried to move on, put on some makeup and started exercising. Sometimes I was still sad or insecure and could talk to my husband about it and he was cool about it, and I thought I was starting to cope better.
Today I expressed frustration that I have to put on a face of makeup to even approach acceptable looking and it was like, the last straw. He was very upset, got sad himself, and frustrated that "nothing he does is good enough for me". He told me that he felt so guilty about his attraction, because of my reactions to the whole thing, that his energy which had been "naturally going to her" has been destroyed, he's been trying not to even think about her, and feels rotten when he does. He's been trying, since then, to become closer to me instead... meanwhile I was trying to get used to the idea of letting him go. I truly thought I was doing ok with the whole thing, showed him her picture on facebook and even talked to her a little bit today at work without it affecting me at all (weird huh? when she's present, there's no problem. I'm even attracted to her!). But now I feel like i've handled the whole thing wrong, I didn't want him to stop what he was doing, I just needed time to try to cope with it all. It's one thing to say "yes I believe in polyamory/open marriage" and another to say "yes we will do this, now". I wanted more information about what was going to happen, meanwhile he was trying to suppress his desires.
I know now that I am not over the name calling from my childhood (I got called "DOG" every day of junior high and most of high school... that will do a number on a girl's head, believe me). And I may have screwed up what I valiantly believe in (our relationship and polyamory). I'm doing a second job now which is tiring and a big adjustment. But now I am worried about expressing any emotions. I don't want to hurt him any more...
I don't even know why I'm posting. How can I stop hurting him? I can't help how I feel, but evidently expressing it to my husband is hurting him too much and taking away from him the things he wants... Although I agreed with opening our relationship, it seems that my emotional reaction made him think otherwise. what options do I have, I don't feel like I have any. I thought we were supposed to talk about our emotions but if it's perceived as manipulation or trying to hurt someone, is it really OK?
Just WOW !
That's so hard. And I know you're not the first to be in this situation. We've actually experienced some of that in our own in the bygone past. But we're still here and better for it.
Your husband seems like a wonderful, loving person and obviously love you more than anything.
You ask about how "not to continue hurting him"...........
I'll propose that -if I can make this make sense - that you're not hurting him - in any conventional sense - he's just hurting for you ! It was his choice that is causing YOU pain - and because he loves you so much he feels YOUR pain ! And now he's feeling very guilty & responsible.
Does that make sense at all ?????
But it's become circular because now YOU are feeling HIS pain (over your pain).
A song pops into my mind here - "Love Stinks" <chuckle>
How to break the circle ?
You seemed to be really doing good awhile ago - realizing that all that cruel stuff from the past was blown away by someone who PROVED to you how beautiful you are in important areas. He married you and loves you deeply. So for him to feel better - and therefore for YOU to feel better, somehow he has to understand that those old wounds just got opened and that you have all you need to heal them permanently ! He didn't cause those wounds ! Impress on him that you in no way are holding HIM accountable for wounds he didn't cause. But that doesn't make them hurt less. Only time and belief in your true self does that.
He's obviously 100000% beside you with this but may not fully understand that in not within our power to do this for anyone else. All we can do is hold their hand and love them and support them all the way.
If he can do this and you can accept that support - you can break the cycle !
You go girl !
Yup I have been up and down. We're still not really talking and it's all so confusing. I have to go to my second job tonight, third shift hopefully I will not be crying by then! Ugh... We will be alright but I don't think I can really get upset for awhile at least not around my husband. I've never really been 100% OK due to my history of abuse but I've been doing better... I guess I get depressed or angry at times when it may be inappropriate... mixed up. And it's true... it's my job to heal the past, not his. I have a lot of thinking to do... You are very wise. :)
I feel for you my friend... you sound very sad and confused about it all.
I would like to propose a solution to you. Take what you can from it and leave the rest... I hope it is somewhat useful.
First of all I think it is good that your man is not pursuing this woman at the moment as I think there is a lot of relationship building that you both need to do together. I don't know what his story is, so I will just go on what you have said and leave it at that. Perhaps he can add for himself what will work or not work for him.
I think the first thing to do is to stop looking at yourself in terms of what people have said and done to you in the past. That was the past and you are not there today. Your concern is who you want to be in the future. What it sounds like you want to be is confident, self respecting, have feelings of self worth and feel as if you are attractive both physically and sexually as much as for your character.
How to do this? Well you could do that in a number of ways; stop looking in the mirror and putting on the makeup you have started to put on may help. I find with make up that some women hide themselves behind it and some use it to enhance. I can guess immediately why a woman is wearing makeup and the latter to me just makes a woman look worse. Of course it is just a guess though ;) By not looking in the mirror I wonder if you could start looking inward and really become aware of your body and your inner beauty. I know it's there, I can sense it in your posts. You have a way of writing that is gentle and lovely to me and I wonder if you can find that somehow and really embrace it.
The physical activity you are doing will be useful I think in terms of making your adrenaline run and also exercise offers time for one to go inward as a lot of it is repetitive and boring if you don't have something to think about. Good for you for starting that.... I hope though that you can focus on it as a tool to develop your feelings of happiness, well being and good body sense rather than to make yourself look better as I think in the long run that would be healthier.
Spending time writing about what it is you love about you, writing about what you would like to achieve (remember to not get overwhelmed by it... perhaps breaking it down into now, later and the future will help), reading some books on raising self esteem (Nerdist has read many! He has a whole list that is very useful... some of which are on the book list), doing art if you are creative, singing if you like to sing, petting an animal if you like that, anything that you can feel your own personal energy running through is helpful... talking to a therapist is a good idea too.
The point is that your husband did not necessarily go out and fall in love with someone else because he doesn't love you. He did not go out to find someone to compare to you...but it has triggered that in you it seems.. you are unique and special in his eyes, it sounds like and he loves you, otherwise he would not be feelings so bad about all this... I don't think he is trying to make you feel guilty, if he is then that is another story and you can come back and tell us, but wants you to know his feelings...if you go out and start focusing on bettering your situation then he will feel that he did the right thing telling you his feelings. The last thing you want him to feel is that he shouldn't of said anything. That will close down communication and eventually he will go outside of your relationship without you knowing because he doesn't want to hurt you. I say all this in terms of what I would do and from my experience. If I were you I would thank him for this experience and tell him how you are going to make changes in your life for the better because of it.
I do not find myself as an overly attractive woman physically but I have built my confidence up and know that is attractive to some and certainly attractive to ME. A few years ago I was not confident and the way I was treated and over looked hurt me greatly. I worked hard on myself and FOR MYSELF and now I get a lot of attention and am able to give a lot back.
Good luck and big hugs to you... :)
You can't make him feel guilty, he chooses to blame himself for you feeling hurt.
He can't make you feel secure, you need to work on that yourself.
What you both can do is own your feelings, talk about them, and focus on solving the problems, not blaming and defending.
(Yeah, we have a couple people around here who will feel like they're being blamed when a problem is being addressed, and will get all defensive, which is annoying because it does absolutely nothing to fix the issues at hand.)
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