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  #21  
Old 06-23-2010, 10:42 AM
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Matilda Matilda is offline
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*sigh*
I hear you, and the logical, practical side of me agrees.
I'm 'the nice one' though...a lot of who I am of myself is tied up with how indentify myself - and sometimes, yes, that is to my own detriment. I have a sometimes foolishly high standard for behaviour and ethics and morals, and because I myself 'do the right thing' by everyone else the whole time, I end up doing the martyr thing until I have nothing left for myself.

I know that's unhealthy. I know it's wrong to give and give and give until you yourself run dry, but it's part of how I am. I feel 'safe' in the knowledge that no matter how horrible someone else has been to me, I've not stepped on them or fought back or made them feel less or small, just to make myself feel okay about things. At night, I can sleep because I don't have a guilty conscience, I know I haven't done wrong by anyone (apart from myself).

In all fairness, I have an angel-complex. It can be annoying too, I know this, because I can come across as being holier-than-thou or preachy, I was like that even as a small child. I have the need to be "good". I hold on tightly to my own integrity, I 'behave' myself when nobody's watching too, because I'D know if I did something that was less-than-right-for-me. I don't ever expect or demand anyone to live by my set-of rules, because my sense of right and wrong is very black and white, and the human nature is shades of gray a lot of the time. I'm perfectly fine with all of that. I don't have the right or wish to impose my value-system on the world, either. It's just how I am.

In the situation I'm in now, I know my husband has been abusive, and I know I can't continue on in the same way. But I don't want to hurt him, I don't want to pull away and leave him, essentially, stranded. I do everything for the man, and I have done since we met. I 'mind' him, I'm always there to run back to, I'm the safehaven, the ever-forgiving-always-supportive one. But I've hit breaking point, so SOMETHING has to give.

We had another one of 'those' talks. I suppose I'm seeing him more objectively now, because I've take a little step back and tried to look at him as a man and not as "my husband" so much. A lot of who he is is very wrapped up in me. I asked him what made him happy - and he started listing off "cuddling with you", "watching tv with you" etc. So When I said "So...you enjoy cuddles and watching tv?" his reply was "No. I said 'with you' and I don't know how he's to heal and mend and grow as a person if he refuses to see anything as being worthwhile if I'm not bang smack in the middle of it. It's crazy, to be honest, because all through our relationship he has just...gone out to see a movie alone, or gone away the hang with his brother for the weekend, or stayed up all night by himself playing computergames or speaking in chatrooms to strangers...and enjoyed it WAY more than he would have had he chosen to spend that time with me, yet now, today when I ask him what makes him happy, he cannot think of one thing he'd find was fun or good-for-his-soul that doesn't rely 100% on me.

I don't understand it. I pull away so I can heal myself...and he clings on to me for dear life, yet for a decade and a half, I may as well have been on the moon for all he cared?
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  #22  
Old 06-23-2010, 12:20 PM
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catbird catbird is offline
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Well, you have a lot of interesting relationship going on. A thought that strikes my mind is the expression "the two shall become one." In other words, when you marry in many real senses you become two halves of one person, yet each a complete person as well. I know that sounds very old fashioned.

The only one who can answer this question is you: for your pair-bond to be good and healthy - AND FOR YOU TO BE HAPPY IN IT AS YOU SHOULD BE - what has to happen?
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  #23  
Old 06-23-2010, 12:51 PM
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Matilda Matilda is offline
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*nods* Yes, you've hit the nail on the head there, Catbird.
The problem originated, I think, when we got married.
In the beginning of our relationship, I was a very full, complete, happy person - I was popular, hectic social life, close family network, hobbies and groups I was part of, lots of charity work - I was never home.

When we got married, I gave everything, and everyone up, little by little - I got further and further away from 'the old me' and started pouring all I was into the marriage and into my husband's needs and wants.

2 became one, certainly, but didn't remain 2.
I came to the relationship as a person, and now I'm like a hollow shell. I gave 'me' up to be part of this couple, none of my wants have been addressed in the slightest, none of my needs are met, and I'm left with a whole lot of heartache.

What needs to be done to 'fix' things is for me to be a whole person again.
He needs to be a full person without relying on me for everything, everything he needs done, everything he wants out of me, all of his entertainment, all of his support, all of his nurture, right down to his identity.

I want 'me' back...but I feel like I'm doing something mean or wrong or selfish because I feel that way.
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  #24  
Old 06-23-2010, 12:58 PM
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Matilda Matilda is offline
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Peppermint's article reflects the honest original expectations in my marriage.
Going into the relationship, that was what I was promised. That reads as ridiculous, I look back on it now and I laugh at myself for the naivity, but as a teenager I believed every bit of it, and I've always kept 'my' side of that contract 100%.

Even now, just talking about this here, feels like I've committed some huge sin, some huge crime against him, because I'm 'showing him up' by admitting "but that's not what happened"
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  #25  
Old 06-23-2010, 05:01 PM
Ariakas Ariakas is offline
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you can reverse this if you want it bad enough. You can work back to being individuals in a partnership. It will be amazingly freeing and binding in the same breath You both have to want it though, to heal and make the relationship strong ...relationships get stronger with hard work...but it takes equal sides to make that hard work valid

Last edited by Ariakas; 06-23-2010 at 05:09 PM.
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  #26  
Old 06-23-2010, 05:53 PM
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Matilda Matilda is offline
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Well it didn't happen overnight, so it can't be remedied overnight.

I astonish myself now by how pragmatic I sound, and then I remind myself that I used to lead a debating team back in school. I've lost so very much of me, and I don't like what I've become - even if it was what I believed, originally, were the right reasons.

I don't know what I want besides being happy again.
I want me to be happy. I want him to be happy.
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  #27  
Old 06-23-2010, 06:50 PM
AutumnalTone AutumnalTone is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matilda View Post
I've woken up with a feeling of hopelessness.
Last night my husband and I spoke for a long time in great depth.
He's changed tactics again...now he is willing to put everything else he wants aside again, and simply focus on rebuilding the marriage.
I once worked with a great many men who had that same behavior pattern--behving poorly then promising to make everything better before behaving badly. I worked as an officer in the state corrections system and those men were all convicted felons. It's not only classic behavior for felons, it's the modus operandus for abusers of every stripe.
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When speaking of various forms of non-monogamy...it ain't poly if you're just fucking around.

While polyamory, open relationships, and swinging are all distinctly different approaches to non-monogamy, they are not mutually exlusive. Folks can, and some do, engage in more than one of them at a time--and it's all good.
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  #28  
Old 06-23-2010, 08:10 PM
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Derbylicious Derbylicious is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matilda View Post
Peppermint's article reflects the honest original expectations in my marriage.
Going into the relationship, that was what I was promised. That reads as ridiculous, I look back on it now and I laugh at myself for the naivity, but as a teenager I believed every bit of it, and I've always kept 'my' side of that contract 100%.

Even now, just talking about this here, feels like I've committed some huge sin, some huge crime against him, because I'm 'showing him up' by admitting "but that's not what happened"
Nothing you have said here sounds like you've committed any kind of sin. You came into a relationship as a teen. When we are young we don't know ourselves or enough about the world. I'm in my 30's too and have been with my husband for 16 years. I'm very fortunate that we've grown into a good match. Being that we were together as young as we were though it could have very easily turned out far differently.

I think at the time we got together that we both believed in the fairy tale as well. As things turned out though monogamy isn't what works for either of us. The difference between how we have ended up and where you have ended up is that we have always talked about everything all the way along. There have been hard times when I have wished that I was all he needed (honestly though that would be a lot of pressure).

As for cutting you off from any other social relationships that screams insecurity to me. I'm wondering if he's worried that somewhere deep down you are capable of having more than one relationship too and that somehow he wouldn't measure up. I'd ask him about this if I were you and I would also ask him theoretically how he would feel about you taking another lover (regardless of if you're actually interested in pursuing one at the moment or not).

If you have children you both need to be working on showing them what a healthy relationship is. Children tend to imitate what they see their parents doing when they grow up and get into relationships. This might mean that you both go to individual counselling and couples counselling or if things really aren't going to work out for the 2 of you it might mean going your separate ways and building healthy relationships for your children to emulate. Ask yourself honestly if you would want your children to end up living the way you are now.

I'm sorry that this post is sounding a little harsh. I'm concerned about you and I want to see you do what is healthy for you. The first thing on that list is to find yourself. It's easier said than done. Being a half of a couple since you were basically a kid (I've been there too) you tend to give up your own identity and become a part of the other person. I only really found myself once my husband joined the navy, we moved, and I stared from scratch finding my own life. Was it hard? Absolutely! Would I trade the experience to have my old, uncomplicated, undefined self back? Never!

-Derby
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  #29  
Old 06-23-2010, 08:38 PM
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Matilda Matilda is offline
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Thank you, Derby. I've read your post over a few times, and I hear what you're saying and appreciate where you're coming from.
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  #30  
Old 06-23-2010, 09:58 PM
Edward Edward is offline
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You've described the classic spousal abuser in your post. Not physically abusive, but by making you feel completely dependent on him and getting to agree to no outside social contact (which is unnatural for anyone, poly or mono) you've allowed him to gain emotional control of the relationship. This doesn't make you stupid or gullible; manipulative people have a natural edge because they're willing to intentionally manipulate others, whereas most of us have accepted the idea that manipulating others is wrong.

Contact your family. You need some emotional support, and families are willing to provide that. You need a lifeline, someone other than the internet to pour out your problems and worries to, and families will listen. You need ideas on what to do, and if your family is like most, they'll have ideas. (Mind you, you don't have to follow those ideas; but sometimes, bad ideas will spark good ones. Just some suggestions on what to do next, however impractical, will do you a lot of good.)

Most of all; you're not alone. You're not the first person this has happened to, nor (sadly) will you be the last. Dedicating yourself to someone who has proven unworthy of that energy may have been unwise; but it doesn't make you a bad person. You, and your children, deserve a better life. Make sure you (and they) get it.
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