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Treesarepretty

Blowing off some steam

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Treesarepretty
2 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

You need seven out of nine to the extent they cause substantial distress for at least six months, @Treesarepretty. So missing a couple if she hits the others hard could still be an indication. It was only a thought anyhow. 

Wow, you reply quickly. 

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Telecaster68

I happened to be online and I get alerts. 

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Treesarepretty

Thank you, all the same. 

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Music & Lyrics

I really wouldn't say you're a predator, so stop worrying about that!  Whether she knows it or not, it seems like she is acting to make you feel that way because it gives her control.

20 hours ago, Treesarepretty said:

The main problem now is how I talk to her about a therapy when she seems to be trying hard already. 

I know, it's a minefield!  I reckon you should plan it out with someone?  Maybe call Samaritans or something like that.  Or maybe it's time to let some of your friends in on this and get them to help you figure out what to say?

 

Honestly, getting her to agree to see a therapist is probably the biggest hurdle in this process, but it can only get better from there!

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Treesarepretty
On 9/9/2017 at 0:49 PM, Music & Lyrics said:

I really wouldn't say you're a predator, so stop worrying about that!  Whether she knows it or not, it seems like she is acting to make you feel that way because it gives her control.

I know, it's a minefield!  I reckon you should plan it out with someone?  Maybe call Samaritans or something like that.  Or maybe it's time to let some of your friends in on this and get them to help you figure out what to say?

 

Honestly, getting her to agree to see a therapist is probably the biggest hurdle in this process, but it can only get better from there!

Thank you. I have been thinking about a recent exchange I had with Tarfeather and that led me to realize how rude it was to not respond to this post. 

 

I realize that I am not a sexual predator. That feeling of being convinced of it was only that night, and I think it was because of a combination of how she normally responds to sexual act requests--with disgust--and how she responded that night--with consent. 

 

I have now had 2 sessions with a couple's therapist by myself in which I have told her everything in this thread and more. The therapist is an Asian American woman who is likely socially conservative, like my wife, so that my wife will be more comfortable. My wife now says she won't see any couple's therapist because they have a vested interest in keeping the couple fighting and so therapy is the last stop before devorce.

 

The therapist said a lot of the same things that people on this thread have told me, but did not mention abuse, and she and I have come up with a couple of strategies to get my wife over there that may work. She says my wife may have a few things to work through, so the therapy would be good for her own wellbeing, regardless what happens with us. I am planning to wait until after my upcoming business trip to talk to my wife about this again because going out of town right after bringing up something so heavy doesn't seem like a good idea. 

 

Hope you are doing well, too, @Music & Lyrics

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Sally

I'll just say this as my opinion, since I don't know either of you.

 

There is a certain point beyond which 1) relationship counseling, i.e., both of you, and/or 2) trying to figure out what individual problems either of you might have are not helpful.   If the problem you are experiencing relates to one  of you wanting sex and the other not wanting sex, that just isn't going to change.  The one who doesn't want sex may be willing to have it sometimes, or the one who wants sex may be willing to have it less often, but the difference will always be there.  That's what you both have to consider very carefully:  can you live for the foreseeable future with that being the case?  

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pdRydia

Run.

 

(edit) Seriously, this woman sounds all kinds of abusive and manipulative. Run, don’t walk, away.

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roland.o

Don't run. Not before you've tried everything you're willing to try. You don't want to spend the rest of your life wondering whether it might have worked out if you had tried one more time, if you had had one more talk, if you had gone to one more session.

 

You've made steps to address the problems in your relationship. You're making progress. Don't give up at this point. Be wary, but don't give up yet.

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Music & Lyrics

That's so great that you've seen a therapist and been really open with her. Takes a lot of courage so well done!

 

I see your wife's point about vested interest in private therapy. It's a concept i struggle with too. But i think if it's a deal breaker for you at this stage that she gets help (and I think it's totally reasonable that it could be) then I think you should  make that clear to her. And hopefully then she can overcome her reservations.  Is she the type to be swayed by statistics or evidence? It's probably quite easy to find  out factually whether therapy is likely to keep fights going or be the last step before divorce. 

 

Waiting till after the business trip is a great plan! You could maybe spend some time on your trip home thinking about the main points you want to get across etc. And like you say, you'll be able to get started on a plan right away without having an awkward and stressful time apart :)

 

Other avenites...let's  maybe stop telling this guy whether to leave or stay yeah? ;)

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Telecaster68
  • She yells at him
  • She has told him he has no right to his feelings
  • She tries to control whether or not he masturbates
  • He does all the cooking and cleaning, at her insistence
  • She screams at him for trying to help a friend
  • She's racist
  • All this has been happening consistently for years
  • OP is clearly very unhappy
  • Most tellingly, OP is apologetic for complaining. Anonymously. On an internet forum.

 

Would you tell a friend to stay in that kind of relationship?

 

 

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Music & Lyrics

I  agree it's abusive.  No, i wouldn't tell him to stay. That doesn't mean telling him to just leave is the most helpful thing either. I just think it's more helpful to not share that kind of opinion :)

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Telecaster68

Well, having been on the abusive end of a relationship, I think the possibility of leaving at least needs to be presented to the OP. One of the things abusers do is to close down what you think are your options, especially leaving, and sometimes those options have to be spelled out fairly forcefully to land at all.

 

I'm sure the OP isn't going to leave a perfectly good relationship based on a few posts from internet strangers, anyhow.

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FictoVore.
59 minutes ago, Music & Lyrics said:

I  agree it's abusive.  No, i wouldn't tell him to stay. That doesn't mean telling him to just leave is the most helpful thing either. I just think it's more helpful to not share that kind of opinion :)

 

34 minutes ago, Telecaster68 said:

Well, having been on the abusive end of a relationship, I think the possibility of leaving at least needs to be presented to the OP. One of the things abusers do is to close down what you think are your options, especially leaving, and sometimes those options have to be spelled out fairly forcefully to land at all.

 

I'm sure the OP isn't going to leave a perfectly good relationship based on a few posts from internet strangers, anyhow.

Yep Tele is right. You really do start to believe that leaving just isn't an option and even feel guilty or bad for considering it, like you're the one in the wrong. That's the nature of many abusive relationships and why many victims of abuse stay for so long.. abusers illicit this weird sort of mind control over you (called Stockholm's Syndrome) where you become convinced staying and working your arse off to try harder (which you believe might fix their behaviour) is the healthiest, safest, best thing you can do.. When actually you, as the victim, can't change or fix the behaviour, only the abuser can.. and they won't. But it's in their best interests to have you believing you're better off staying and helping them, because (you believe) that's the healthiest and safest thing to do. You even defend them and try to help them, and lie for them, if someone tries to point out their abuse or the police arrest them for the abuse. If it wasn't for some ladies on Facebook convincing me I had no choice but to leave my ex and giving me advice on how to do it, I have no idea what would have happened (this was after I asked them advice on how to FIX the situation, how to help him be better.. I wasn't asking for advice on how to leave). So sometimes random internet strangers explaining to you how bad your situation is and convincing you you're better off leaving can actually help give you a better understanding of what you need to do. I still have Stockholm's Syndrome even though it's been 6 years since I left him, so thank God for the internet strangers (and my unexpected pregnancies) which were able to help give me the advice, bravery, and the strength that I needed to leave.

 

 

 

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Evren

I agree that your relationship is massively abusive, mostly from my own 16 years of emotional abuse. Mine was between my father and I, however many of things that you are talking about relate to what I went through. 

The worst part is what your going through right now, its called the honeymoon period. She will try to do nice things for you and tell you that you can do things, because she doesn't want you to leave. It always happens after the worst fights, and it never lasts. The longest honeymoon period in my household was 6 months, TRIGGER after my mother tried to kill herself, END TRIGGER because of the consistent emotional abuse. 

They make you feel like things are you fault, like what you want and need to be happy is wrong, and they do it in such a way that you never blame them for anything. This relationship sounds very damaging to you. In my personal experience it never gets better, they don't change. I'm not saying that its impossible but in my situation it was.

Here's the abuse cycle, it's a legitimate thing.Image result for abuse cycle

 

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FictoVore.
20 hours ago, roland.o said:

Don't run. Not before you've tried everything you're willing to try. You don't want to spend the rest of your life wondering whether it might have worked out if you had tried one more time, if you had had one more talk, if you had gone to one more session.

 

You've made steps to address the problems in your relationship. You're making progress. Don't give up at this point. Be wary, but don't give up yet.

That's a trap victims of abuse often fall into though, sadly. They become convinced they haven't tried everything yet, and if they just try more options and try harder, everything will eventually be okay. I actually physically felt fear for the OP reading his posts because I can see he is deep into the same trap I was once in in my abusive past relationship, and the idea that they are actively trying to bring children into it is very alarming because once she's pregnant, she'll have total control over the OP who will then be biologically driven to stay for the sake of their children, no matter how bad things get. I can tell from reading this thread that she will be the sort of woman who will use their children to dominate, control, and emotionally manipulate the OP, which will not only be terrible for the OP but no child should ever, ever have to live with that :/ 

 

On top of all that, she also blatantly lied to the OP to trick him into a marrying her, by telling him she wanted the same sort of relationship he did so he wouldn't leave her back when he had more freedom. That lie was designed intentionally to trap him into a type of relationship that is harder to leave (marriage) and children will just take that to a whole new level.

 

@Treesarepretty You do need to leave before she gets pregnant. You'll be miserable for the rest of your life if you stay with her and if kids come into it, she'll weild her dominance over them too, and almost certainly use them to manipulate you which will be terrible for you and them. Nothing you can do will change this behaviour, and she clearly does NOT want sex and is very much looking forward to when she can use the kids as an excuse not to have it. You're not even allowed to masturbate, and this is disgusting, abusive control over your body. Your therapist didn't mention abuse because 1) she wants you to keep coming back because that's how she earns a living and/or 2) she's one of those lowlifes who don't believe men can be abused. She would quite probably convince your wife to leave if it was you who were treating her the way she is treating you. Police allowed my brother to get physically assaulted by his wife a few years ago after he begged them to protect him when he went to get his belongings (which it turned out she'd destroyed anyway) because he knew he had to leave her but was too scared of what she'd do. If he was a woman, they would have gone with him, but as he is a man they just laughed it off. Domestic abuse (which you are experiencing, you're experiencing severe emotional domestic abuse) is not really taken seriously unless it's happening to a woman, but yeah, it's a thing.. and I'm actually pretty mad at your therapist for being so utterly useless, especially given the fact that you are trying for kids T_T Anyway, rant over. I had to attend courses on domestic abuse after leaving my ex and you've pretty much ticked every single box in the emotional and mental abuse category, and controlling whether or not you masturbate is an entire separte thing on its own. :S You could be so happy if you left her but if you stay... You'll live to regret it. Especially once kids come into the picture so you're officially trapped. :/ (and the controlling, manipulative behaviour could end up extending to them too.. you don't want that.)

 

I really hope things get better for you soon :cake:

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Telecaster68
Quote

You don't want to spend the rest of your life wondering whether it might have worked out if you had tried one more time, if you had had one more talk, if you had gone to one more session

Trees knows, at some level, that more talks, more therapy won't make any difference. How many 'just one more' before he says 'enough already'?

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roland.o
2 hours ago, FictoVore. said:

the idea that they are actively trying to bring children into it is very alarming

If you read through the thread history (I know you don't read by threads ;-) you'll notice that I was the first to question the idea of bringing children into this relationship. And yes, when I read the first post of this thread, I was very worried about @Treesarepretty too. But since then he posted that he won't bring children into the relationship at this point. And more recently, that he's seeing a therapist and coming up with new strategies. Yet the next two posts told him to run, as if neither of this had happened. That's why I offered an alternative view.

 

1 hour ago, Telecaster68 said:

Trees knows, at some level, that more talks, more therapy won't make any difference.

Difference to what? To the relationship? Maybe. To himself? I see no evidence for that. He wrote that the therapist helped him to come up with new strategies. I don't know what those are. I don't know whether they will work. But I consider it a progress for him that he now has new strategies. And I think it will also be a progress for him if he tries them out and experiences whether they succeed or fail.

 

I haven't been in an abusive relationship, and I don't want to invalidate the advice of those who have been. Yes, you see the signs, and many more of them than I do. And I agree that this relationship is abusive. Yet I still think that @Treesarepretty should take his time to make decisions, to try out the new strategies, and to leave the relationship on his own terms if he decides so; rather than just run away. If everyone is telling him to run, I'm going to play the devil's advocate and tell him: Walk, don't run, and take your time to decide on the direction. I have faith that he will make the decisions that are best for him.

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Telecaster68

At most, one more time around. He's been in this relationship for years, and the pattern keeps repeating. His wife is resistant to therapy, because she knows there's a good chance a half decent therapist would call her out.

 

The dynamic of abusive relationships is that the abused person sticks around thinking if they try harder this next time, their abuser will change. Trees has being trying this for years, and it's only getting worse. He won't be able to escape that dynamic until he gets out. That happens first, because every time he tries, she'll pull him back into the same patterns. At the very least, he needs to remove himself from that situation while he does the work on himself, then choose whether to re-engage. Otherwise, it's like trying to deal with PTSD while he's still hunkered down under fire in the foxhole.

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Treesarepretty

Thank you all for this. 

 

22 hours ago, Music & Lyrics said:

I see your wife's point about vested interest in private therapy. It's a concept i struggle with too. But i think if it's a deal breaker for you at this stage that she gets help (and I think it's totally reasonable that it could be) then I think you should  make that clear to her. And hopefully then she can overcome her reservations.  Is she the type to be swayed by statistics or evidence? It's probably quite easy to find  out factually whether therapy is likely to keep fights going or be the last step before divorce. 

I don't know if looking up the statistics will be enough, but that is a good idea, so thank you. 😁 

 

I am not going to tell her that this is a deal breaker for me because that is how I got her to take sex seriously and how I got her to stop yelling at me all the time. I don't like the idea of needing to have one foot out the door in order to get her to do something that I think we should be doing anyway. 

 

The therapist suggested telling my wife that we are not having kids until she agrees to come in for a few sessions, so that is what I will try next, after looking up statistics on the efficacy of couples therapy. 

 

21 hours ago, Telecaster68 said:
  • She yells at him
  • She has told him he has no right to his feelings
  • She tries to control whether or not he masturbates
  • He does all the cooking and cleaning, at her insistence
  • She screams at him for trying to help a friend
  • She's racist
  • All this has been happening consistently for years
  • OP is clearly very unhappy
  • Most tellingly, OP is apologetic for complaining. Anonymously. On an internet forum. 

She asked to not have to cook when she got a new job because she needed extra time to get up to speed there. I agreed, and then voluntarily continued afterwards because her commute is longer. Also, after our fight 6 weeks ago, she hasn't yelled at me, and she has told me that she won't get mad about masturbation. She also volunteered to cook this week because she is working from home. Oh, and she has agreed not to be racist in front of me and our kids. 

 

The reason I want us to go to a couple's therapist now is because that is the difference between me being content with our marriage and me being miserable. I want reassurance that she won't go back to the way she treated me two months ago, because if we can keep our current relationship indefinitely, then I will be okay with our marriage and can be happy due to other things in my life. The only way I will be happy with the marriage itself is if I go back to thinking that she will want me somewhere close to as much as I want her. That is something that will not happen, and it would be wrong to try to make her change, but I will still be satisfied if she isn't all over me. If it looks like she is going back to yelling at me regularly, then I will not stand for that. 

 

19 hours ago, FictoVore. said:

If it wasn't for some ladies on Facebook convincing me I had no choice but to leave my ex and giving me advice on how to do it, I have no idea what would have happened (this was after I asked them advice on how to FIX the situation, how to help him be better.. I wasn't asking for advice on how to leave). So sometimes random internet strangers explaining to you how bad your situation is and convincing you you're better off leaving can actually help give you a better understanding of what you need to do. I still have Stockholm's Syndrome even though it's been 6 years since I left him, so thank God for the internet strangers (and my unexpected pregnancies) which were able to help give me the advice, bravery, and the strength that I needed to leave.

I started considering leaving after I came onto AVEN and read about asexuality and the testimonials of asexuals and their sexual partners. Some of the stories I read in the "Compromise" thread and the "Good Partner" thread made me angry because I don't think my wife has any idea what my favorite music is, or my favorite tv shows, and if I am down about anything other than something really serious and really personal--like a death in the family--then her first reaction is usually to tell me not to let my co-workers know I am stressed out for fear that it will stress them out and I'll get a bad performance review. Most recently, she said this when I said something like "oh no" when I read about the fires here in California. 

 

The point is that this website, and this subforum in particular, is what actually made me start to be upset enough with my marriage that I thought about leaving. Again, if it looks like things are not going to stay okay then I am not going to stay. 

 

19 hours ago, Evren said:

Mine was between my father and I, however many of things that you are talking about relate to what I went through. 

The worst part is what your going through right now, its called the honeymoon period. She will try to do nice things for you and tell you that you can do things, because she doesn't want you to leave. It always happens after the worst fights, and it never lasts. The longest honeymoon period in my household was 6 months, TRIGGER after my mother tried to kill herself, END TRIGGER because of the consistent emotional abuse. 

They make you feel like things are you fault, like what you want and need to be happy is wrong, and they do it in such a way that you never blame them for anything. This relationship sounds very damaging to you. In my personal experience it never gets better, they don't change. I'm not saying that its impossible but in my situation it was.

That sounds horrible. 😣😣😣 I am so sorry! 

 

This is why I am so adament about us getting therapy. We have had fights before where she ended up saying she would try to appreciate the things I do for her, but that only ended up lasting a week or two. When she appeared good with sex during our engagement period, that lasted a year and a half and I found out afterwards that she resented me for it the whole time. I am worried now that this is happening again and if we have kids without anything getting fixed then we will be back to where we were two months ago, but with her resenting me even more than before, and possibly me resenting her. 

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Music & Lyrics
On 10/12/2017 at 2:28 AM, Treesarepretty said:

I am not going to tell her that this is a deal breaker for me because that is how I got her to take sex seriously and how I got her to stop yelling at me all the time. I don't like the idea of needing to have one foot out the door in order to get her to do something that I think we should be doing anyway. 

In some ways that's really smart, you really don't want that situation where threatening to leave is the only tool you have.  It does raise questions though about what you will do if she doesn't get help, if leaving wouldn't be your first choice in that scenario?

 

On 10/12/2017 at 2:28 AM, Treesarepretty said:

She asked to not have to cook when she got a new job because she needed extra time to get up to speed there. I agreed, and then voluntarily continued afterwards because her commute is longer. Also, after our fight 6 weeks ago, she hasn't yelled at me, and she has told me that she won't get mad about masturbation. She also volunteered to cook this week because she is working from home. Oh, and she has agreed not to be racist in front of me and our kids. 

You need to stop making excuses for her.  Sorry to overwhelm you with some kind of well-being to-do-list but, once again, convincing you that there is a justification for her behaviour is a really important abusive tactic.  In the same way as:

 

On 10/11/2017 at 9:43 PM, roland.o said:

Difference to what? To the relationship? Maybe. To himself? I see no evidence for that. He wrote that the therapist helped him to come up with new strategies. I don't know what those are. I don't know whether they will work. But I consider it a progress for him that he now has new strategies. And I think it will also be a progress for him if he tries them out and experiences whether they succeed or fail.

While it's always good to learn new therapeutic techniques that help you handle conflict and stress better - you are really not responsible for the abuse.  No change you can make to yourself will ever solve the problem.  And if you keep thinking it will, you're at risk of her convincing you that the abuse is your fault for not changing enough.

 

On 10/12/2017 at 2:28 AM, Treesarepretty said:

The therapist suggested telling my wife that we are not having kids until she agrees to come in for a few sessions, so that is what I will try next, after looking up statistics on the efficacy of couples therapy. 

 

That's good stuff :) Did you have that chat with her yet?  How did it go?  And did you find the statistics you need?  Want us to pitch in and see what we can find as well?

 

On 10/11/2017 at 7:08 PM, FictoVore. said:

really hope things get better for you soon :cake:

Likewise.

 

P.S. To clarify my previous comments, I agree that abusers tend to make it very hard for survivors to leave (physically, emotionally, financially and/or countless other ways).  That was really my thought behind saying let's not be too persistent with that kind of advice.  The way I see it, it's the equivalent of telling someone with a mental illness to 'just snap out of it'.  More likely to increase the survivor's feeling of isolation than it is to help them change things.  Plus, we weren't all giving the same advice (at least one person told Trees to stay).  So then it becomes a case of getting contradictory advice from multiple people.  We've all been in that situation and know how overwhelming and counterproductive it can be.

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Stoic_Rebuttal

It's your life and you do with it what you wish, but please do not fall into having a trap baby with this woman. I've seen it happen a few times where a couple fights, and one of them says, "Everything will be better when the baby arrives."

 

A. Million. Times. No.

 

Friends of mine have fallen victim to the magical disappearing birth control pill, or the amazing broken condom, and as a result end up trapped in a relationship they were planning on leaving. They're honour-bound to raise the kid, whether they like their co-parent or not. In every case I've personally witnessed, they just end up as co-parents; not husband and wife.

 

I guess my point is (as others in the thread have pointed out) that you can't expect her to change. Her behaviour is consistent over several years, and it's not going anywhere. If the threat of you leaving is the only thing keeping her civil, I don't need a degree in rocket-surgery to tell you that that's not healthy. If you two have a kid, she will still be an abusive wife, AND you'll have the responsibility of a kid on top of that. Chances are, she'll be an abusive mother too. God forbid, she starts using the baby as a weapon against you in the relationship.

 

Tl;dr, Fix your marriage, or don't. That's your decision to make, but heaven help you if you bring a child into that mess. It'll be good for nobody.

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Treesarepretty
5 hours ago, Music & Lyrics said:

You need to stop making excuses for her.  

I am trying to be accurate. She is trying, which is something. And I don't want it to sound like she threatened me to make me do all the household chores or anything. 

 

6 hours ago, Music & Lyrics said:

That's good stuff :) Did you have that chat with her yet?  How did it go?  And did you find the statistics you need?  Want us to pitch in and see what we can find as well?

No, I haven't had that chat yet. I am waiting until I get back home after my trip next week. There are some peer reviewed review articles that I found behind a pay wall, and the stuff that is available in the popular press basically just says that the majority of couples who go through therapy are worse off after 2 years, and 38% get divorced. I can get past that pay wall, but I need to figure out the best way to do so because the easiest way to do it involves my work computer. 

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Treesarepretty
7 hours ago, Stoic_Rebuttal said:

Tl;dr, Fix your marriage, or don't. That's your decision to make, but heaven help you if you bring a child into that mess. It'll be good for nobody.

(I actually did read the whole thing, but quoting just this makes for easier reading later.) I want a child very much. That part is non-negotiable. The reason I want my wife to go with me to therapy is to fix whatever problems with us that led her to be so unreasonable before so that I don't have to use threats to get her to "be civil." She will never want me sexually. I have come to grips with that. I can still be content with our marriage if we can be romantic and reasonable, with some sex, even though it will not be a lot of sex. 

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FictoVore.
On 10/12/2017 at 9:43 AM, roland.o said:

If you read through the thread history (I know you don't read by threads ;-) you'll notice that I was the first to question the idea of bringing children into this relationship. And yes, when I read the first post of this thread, I was very worried about @Treesarepretty too. But since then he posted that he won't bring children into the relationship at this point. And more recently, that he's seeing a therapist and coming up with new strategies. Yet the next two posts told him to run, as if neither of this had happened. That's why I offered an alternative view.

 

Difference to what? To the relationship? Maybe. To himself? I see no evidence for that. He wrote that the therapist helped him to come up with new strategies. I don't know what those are. I don't know whether they will work. But I consider it a progress for him that he now has new strategies. And I think it will also be a progress for him if he tries them out and experiences whether they succeed or fail.

 

I haven't been in an abusive relationship, and I don't want to invalidate the advice of those who have been. Yes, you see the signs, and many more of them than I do. And I agree that this relationship is abusive. Yet I still think that @Treesarepretty should take his time to make decisions, to try out the new strategies, and to leave the relationship on his own terms if he decides so; rather than just run away. If everyone is telling him to run, I'm going to play the devil's advocate and tell him: Walk, don't run, and take your time to decide on the direction. I have faith that he will make the decisions that are best for him.

 

1 minute ago, Treesarepretty said:

(I actually did read the whole thing, but quoting just this makes for easier reading later.) I want a child very much. That part is non-negotiable. The reason I want my wife to go with me to therapy is to fix whatever problems with us that led her to be so unreasonable before so that I don't have to use threats to get her to "be civil." She will never want me sexually. I have come to grips with that. I can still be content with our marriage if we can be romantic and reasonable, with some sex, even though it will not be a lot of sex. 

It sounds like Trees is intent on a child regardless, even if he won't bring one into the relationship right now. :/

 

I'm sorry @Treesarepretty, but you truly can't fix her. Even if things seem to be fixed at some point, that will be her lulling (manipulating) you into a false sense of security so she can get pregnant, at which point you'll be officially and irrevocably trapped (and possibly even sometimes fear for your child) and she can redouble her cruelty and manipulative treatment of you without any fear that you'll ever leave (because of the kid). I completed a six week long course in recognizing the signs of domestic violence and Stockholm's syndrome after leaving my abusive ex, and like I said previously, you've ticked practically every single box. I know you believe you can fix her, and you have this dream idea of how the relationship could be someday, and that you want to defend her, but I promise you, you can't change someone like this. It truly is impossible. 

 

I'm also actually more concerned for you than I generally would be for a female, because there is very little support for men out there in domestic violence situations. For example, if she decides eventually she wants to destroy you totally by taking sole custody of your child, or decides to wield power over you by threatening to take the child or even hurt the child, you really won't have a leg to stand on with the law. She could say anything, any number of awful things about you, and the police and the law will almost always be on her side and help her prevent you from seeing your child.

 

Wouldn't you rather move on to a healthy, stable relationship with a loving wife who treats you with the respect that you treat her? And whose sexual desires more match your own? and who you can happily and healthily bring a child into this world with? Imagine how wonderful that could be.

 

Good luck regardless though, maybe you'll be the one in however many millions of cases where people have been in your exact position and yet stayed, truly believing they could fix things :/ :cake:

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Wolfjackle

I'm a little late to this thread. If you are determined to try and work on this, I won't try and convince you to leave the relationship; you have enough people doing that here!

 

What I will say is that I had a friend/roommate who was extremely emotionally manipulative (I hesitate to use abusive) and made me miserable for months before I was able to move out and wanted to share some of the similarities that I see in our situations. Of course, it was much easier for me to reach a breaking point because it was a friendship, not a marriage. However, it was hard because I only moved out 6 months ago and I had been best friends with this girl since 2005/6 when we met freshman year of high school. On top of that, I am one who sees close friends as family just as dear as any sibling or cousin. It was really hard and while I still can and do hang out with her, our relationship will never be the same and I don't know if she realizes that. I lived with both her and her sister.

 

The worst part about living with her was that the few times I ever brought up a problem with her, she refused to meet me half-way. I was always crazy for feeling upset with the situation. Or blowing something out of proportion. Once, I forgot to pay my share of the cable bill which I admit was a mistake. In my defense, the bill came in when I was working double 12hr shifts, then after that I was out of the house for a few days because my dad came to town to visit. Well, since I hadn't really been home much after the bill arrived, I missed paying it. Her reaction? Was not to text me and tell me to pay it, but to flip out and completely change the wifi password (to: nopaynowifi). She never notified me that I forgot the bill. Never notified me that she changed the password. When I confronted her about the overreaction, she acted like she was completely in the right, I was irresponsible and stupid and deserved it. To make it worse, brought up another time when I had messed up on paying a bill (I accidently switched two payments so I overpaid one and underpaid another) completely ignoring the fact that that incident had happened in the two weeks after my grandmother had died and I was an emotional wreck and tried to make it seem like a patterned behavior. I'm sorry, but twice in two years does not make a patterned behavior, especially when there were extreme extenuating circumstances (my grandmother died and I had spent the previous few months at her bedside - I was not doing ok) during one of the incidents. There were other situations, some more serious some not. End of the day, no matter what the issue was, I was crazy for being upset and she had done nothing wrong. Actually, I like using the bill example because I did do something wrong, admit it, and still feel justified in saying she overreacted. (A belief that has been agreed on by many people. When I told my current best friend, she burst out laughing because my roommate's reaction was so ridiculous.)

 

Crap, I did not mean to rant like that. That situation is behind me and I can't let it keep bothering me. There are a lot of articles on recognizing the signs and symptoms of emotional manipulation, which I think is different from abuse. And I do think manipulative behaviors can be worked through and the relationship repaired. But only if the manipulator truly wants to change and is determined to make those changes permanent. 

 

What I want to get to is this: turning the blame on you is a really crappy thing to do and as someone who had to live with that it is really not ok. If she is willing to actually improve and try to move on from that it can only be good. If you feel like you have to give her that chance then that's what you have to do. If this is the first time she has really tried to meet you halfway and you want to believe it, that's good. Just know, you have been compromising and she has to meet you halfway. If she cannot or will not agree to that then something drastic has to change.

 

Take care of yourself and definitely think twice before bringing a child into this mix. I'd caution on at least a year while you and your wife can get comfortable with a new homeostasis that is fair to both of you. That will give the two of you time to work on your problems and either come to a solution or not. I know you have put the idea of kids on hold for now, but you've also said you really want them. Just, be patient. Before you take that step, be sure they will be born into a family that can be supportive and loving towards every member, including you and your wife. The child won't be the only person who matters, the parents do too, and if they aren't happy with life the child won't be either.

 

Long post was long. Sorry :/

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alibali

I would say (asexual wading in here) that the only way forward is either therapy for both of you where you come to a mutually agreed compromise, if you are determined to continue with the relationship. It should be a partnership.  You can't "fix" someone else, nor take responsibility for their actions. You can only decide what you want to do. If she refuses to meet you halfway then you can decide whether to accept it or to leave. It is also not compatible if only one person who is doing all the accepting, whether that is about sex or anything else in the relationship.

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Treesarepretty

 

Quote

On top of all that, she also blatantly lied to the OP to trick him into a marrying her, by telling him she wanted the same sort of relationship he did so he wouldn't leave her back when he had more freedom. That lie was designed intentionally to trap him into a type of relationship that is harder to leave (marriage)...

She actually did explicitly say that we needed to get married so that she would have some assurance that I wouldn't leave. 

 

Quote

Nothing you can do will change this behaviour, and she clearly does NOT want sex and is very much looking forward to when she can use the kids as an excuse not to have it...

 

Your therapist didn't mention abuse because 1) she wants you to keep coming back because that's how she earns a living and/or 2) she's one of those lowlifes who don't believe men can be abused. She would quite probably convince your wife to leave if it was you who were treating her the way she is treating you...

 

I'm actually pretty mad at your therapist for being so utterly useless, especially given the fact that you are trying for kids T_T Anyway, rant over.

I think that my wife and I can change our dynamic permanently if BOTH of us really try, not just one, but I want to have some professional guidance on how to do it so that I can have some level of certainty that it will really stick. Right now I am convinced our new dynamic is temporary.

 

The therapist asked me what I wanted to do, rather than encouraging me to stay or leave. I am not in any kind of immediate danger, so I'm not worried and I think that she could tell that. She also recommended that we stop trying for kids until and unless our marital problems get cleared up. I think that she thinks that my wife's parents were unreasonable with her, based upon what I have said about my in-laws, and so my wife is the same way with me. I think she thinks she can work with my wife to help her get through some of her own problems. I normally have to be a buffer between my wife and my in-laws, so I want my wife to see someone, no matter what happens with us. 

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Treesarepretty
On 10/16/2017 at 7:39 PM, Wolfjackle said:

I'm a little late to this thread. If you are determined to try and work on this, I won't try and convince you to leave the relationship; you have enough people doing that here!

Thanks for coming! I have just jumped into threads several years old, so don't worry about it. 😃

 

On 10/16/2017 at 7:39 PM, Wolfjackle said:

What I will say is that I had a friend/roommate who was extremely emotionally manipulative (I hesitate to use abusive) and made me miserable for months before I was able to move out and wanted to share some of the similarities that I see in our situations. Of course, it was much easier for me to reach a breaking point because it was a friendship, not a marriage. However, it was hard because I only moved out 6 months ago and I had been best friends with this girl since 2005/6 when we met freshman year of high school. On top of that, I am one who sees close friends as family just as dear as any sibling or cousin. It was really hard and while I still can and do hang out with her, our relationship will never be the same and I don't know if she realizes that. I lived with both her and her sister.

 

The worst part about living with her was that the few times I ever brought up a problem with her, she refused to meet me half-way. I was always crazy for feeling upset with the situation. Or blowing something out of proportion. Once, I forgot to pay my share of the cable bill which I admit was a mistake. In my defense, the bill came in when I was working double 12hr shifts, then after that I was out of the house for a few days because my dad came to town to visit. Well, since I hadn't really been home much after the bill arrived, I missed paying it. Her reaction? Was not to text me and tell me to pay it, but to flip out and completely change the wifi password (to: nopaynowifi). She never notified me that I forgot the bill. Never notified me that she changed the password. When I confronted her about the overreaction, she acted like she was completely in the right, I was irresponsible and stupid and deserved it. To make it worse, brought up another time when I had messed up on paying a bill (I accidently switched two payments so I overpaid one and underpaid another) completely ignoring the fact that that incident had happened in the two weeks after my grandmother had died and I was an emotional wreck and tried to make it seem like a patterned behavior. I'm sorry, but twice in two years does not make a patterned behavior, especially when there were extreme extenuating circumstances (my grandmother died and I had spent the previous few months at her bedside - I was not doing ok) during one of the incidents. There were other situations, some more serious some not. End of the day, no matter what the issue was, I was crazy for being upset and she had done nothing wrong. Actually, I like using the bill example because I did do something wrong, admit it, and still feel justified in saying she overreacted. (A belief that has been agreed on by many people. When I told my current best friend, she burst out laughing because my roommate's reaction was so ridiculous.)

I also agree that that is a set of massive overreactions. A lot of the time, when my wife has these overreactions about small things, like whether it is okay for me to spend money on cookies and coffee for myself, she realizes it afterwards and we do skits where we ridicule ourselves. It is like SNL, but it ALWAYS makes us laugh. 🤡 

 

On 10/16/2017 at 7:39 PM, Wolfjackle said:

What I want to get to is this: turning the blame on you is a really crappy thing to do and as someone who had to live with that it is really not ok. If she is willing to actually improve and try to move on from that it can only be good. If you feel like you have to give her that chance then that's what you have to do. If this is the first time she has really tried to meet you halfway and you want to believe it, that's good. Just know, you have been compromising and she has to meet you halfway. If she cannot or will not agree to that then something drastic has to change.

This is not the first time that she has tried to appreciate me and the things I do for her, nor is it the first time that she has made an effort to have more sex. That is why I want a therapist to be involved, so there will be something different this time that will make our success more likely. 

 

On 10/16/2017 at 7:39 PM, Wolfjackle said:

Take care of yourself and definitely think twice before bringing a child into this mix. I'd caution on at least a year while you and your wife can get comfortable with a new homeostasis that is fair to both of you. That will give the two of you time to work on your problems and either come to a solution or not. I know you have put the idea of kids on hold for now, but you've also said you really want them. Just, be patient. Before you take that step, be sure they will be born into a family that can be supportive and loving towards every member, including you and your wife. The child won't be the only person who matters, the parents do too, and if they aren't happy with life the child won't be either.

Thanks for this. Different people have different standards for how good they need to feel to call themselves "happy" and in my case, calling myself "content" is enough for the long run. My wife and I have had some arguments about whether we should take time to really be a couple after we have kids. I am on the side of "yes" for exactly the reason you give here. It will likely take awhile to have kids once we start trying, anyway, for reasons that I don't want to go into right now. 

 

On 10/16/2017 at 7:39 PM, Wolfjackle said:

Long post was long. Sorry :/

If you put on your hiking boots to get through my posts then you don't need to apologise to me. 😁

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EarthMama

Trees, this is a thread and a half you've started.

 

Make no mistake - you are currently in an abusive relationship.  It may not have become physical abuse, but the damage she's exacted to your mental stability and emotional well-being are clear in your words.

 

 

When you're out from under her influence - you acknowledge your misery.  When you are back under her influence, you bury it as she has conditioned you to do.  Once you stand up to her, the honeymoon phase begins anew, until you've forgotten HOW to stand up to her, and the cycle of abuse begins all over again.

 

You...singularly...need help.  You need to work with a therapist or Councillor to break the conditioning she's instilled in you.  You need to develop the tools within your psyche to recognize the early signs of emotional manipulation and build shields to prevent this influence from rooting in your subconscious.   You need to learn to protect yourself, or you'll end up as a plaything for abusive women the rest of your life.

 

SHE needs to come to terms with her personality on her own.  No amount of begging, badgering, bribery or brutality on your part will help her realize exactly WHAT she is.   She won't want to change her abusive tendencies as long as they are working for her.

 

They've been working for her for a long time.  She's comfortable with them.

 

If you really, deep in the pit of your soul, want to help her...leave her.  See a therapist who specializes in helping victims of domestic abuse, and heal yourself.  Develop the tools you need to be a less vulnerable person.  Make yourself someone a partner can cherish.

 

Only then, should you tentatively reach out to her, to see if she's done any improvements to herself, or if she's replaced you with a new punching bag.

 

 

 

 

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Music & Lyrics
On 10/17/2017 at 0:50 AM, Treesarepretty said:

No, I haven't had that chat yet. I am waiting until I get back home after my trip next week.

Oh yes, you did mention that.  We'll be rooting for you when you do!

 

On 10/17/2017 at 0:50 AM, Treesarepretty said:

the stuff that is available in the popular press basically just says that the majority of couples who go through therapy are worse off after 2 years, and 38% get divorced.

Well, that's not entirely damning.  Couples who attend therapy are a self-selecting group, right?  They're the couples who are already having problems.  So if their divorce rates are higher than the general population (and I don't know if 38% is?), that doesn't mean that the counselling hasn't worked.  The fact that a majority stay together is encouraging.  As for the majority worse off after two years thing, is this where you read that?

http://guidedoc.com/does-marriage-counseling-work-statistics-facts

This article says that only a quarter report being worse off after two years.  Again, that means the majority are not worse off.  Which hardly supports the theory that counselors are effectively paid to keep arguments going.

Did you find this one?  It seems pretty balanced and evidence-based, and comes out in favour of counselling if done the right way :)

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/terry-gaspard-msw-licsw/marriage-counseling-does-_b_4655577.html

22 hours ago, Treesarepretty said:

I want to have some professional guidance on how to do it so that I can have some level of certainty that it will really stick. Right now I am convinced our new dynamic is temporary.

I'm really glad you're aware of this.  Don't let her convince you otherwise! 

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