Making a Better Marriage

Discussion in 'Rebooting in a Relationship' started by mrtumnus, Jul 22, 2019.

  1. Day 126

    The weekend went mostly well. I got a little tired on both Sat & Sun, and that somewhat triggered my SO on Sunday. She felt like I was checking out because I wasn't getting what I wanted - baby steps to sex (not necessarily sex itself). I genuinely don't think this was the case; I think I was legitimately tired after staying up late Fri, and spending all day Sat out and around people. Also, I think I was somewhat disappointed toward the end of our date, because she was spending lots of time on the phone/texting trying to figure out something we were shopping for. I acknowledged my failure to communicate these feelings/reactions, but noted that I probably didn't understand them in the moment. I'm still learning to identify not only emotions, but also reasons for them; for so long, I've just numbed out and suppressed them, rather than identifying, accepting, and dealing with them.

    So, as a result my SO was very emotional Sunday night. We talked, and I felt that the conversation went OK. We seem continue to be stuck in the same spot - she doesn't know how to start trusting me and doesn't really feel like trying. She did say something new - that she wants me to "protect" her. I affirmed that I would love to do this. Not sure entirely what it means day-to-day, but at the very least I need to (continue to) work on protecting her from myself. As far as I can see this means sticking to my recovery habits, getting better at communication and emotional responsiveness, keeping my desires and expectations of her in check, avoiding codependent behavior, and preventing my own resentment and self-pity from taking root.

    I did put forward (again) the option of avoiding sex or at least orgasm, but focusing on bonding behaviors. I think my SO is afraid of moving forward with anything that leads to sex, as she has historically felt objectified and hurt by my response after sex, in the following days. I tend to want more sex after having it (chaser effect, likely) and when I don't get it when I think I "should" I've shut down, treated her with the cold shoulder, harbored resentment, etc. And that was on top of and mixed in with P abuse (not anymore!). Now, I continue to dedicate myself to avoid these responses (even without sex they can crop up :( ), but at this point I've effectively conditioned her to expect these. Turning this expectation/fear around will be difficult and take time.

    I hope my empathy for my wife is growing. I am slightly proud that I am able to hear these things and not turn them back around to be about myself. I am seeing more of her pain, and how she feels cornered, like every choice she has does her further (potential) damage. Of course, I hope she continues to choose connection, trust, and progress, but I see how this really feels out of reach for her at the moment.

    I feel: hopeful, motivated, confident
     
  2. nfphro

    nfphro Fapstronaut

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    I read your story and first of all I think you are doing great in recovery and I think you have achieved a lot the last 126 days.

    But reading your posts make me really sad. You got an answer on Sept. 1st by 2974629562994628 and it expresses what I feel. Of course I know nothing but what I read hear, but my warning bells ring.
     
  3. Thanks for reading and commenting. However, I really don't understand your viewpoint, or that of 29####. I hear blaming of my spouse for my behavior. She never asked for me to lie to her for years. She never accepted my use of porn as a coping mechanism. She expected ME to give 50/50 in our marriage, but instead she's been effectively living with a child. How is it her responsibility to "bounce back" and meet my "needs" right away?

    It's been only 126 days since I dropped a bomb on my spouse. Since then, we've had lots of talking, lots of reflecting, lots of insights. I see the foundation for a better marriage gradually being built, but it's going to take a while.
     
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  4. Psalm27:1my light

    Psalm27:1my light Fapstronaut

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    Can I just point out to those who believe his wife is taking advantage ( not you mrtunmus). She has lived with this addiction over 3650 days. Of which I’m going to guess much of it in the dark as it was most likely hidden. You now expect her to welcome/love him with open arms after 126 days? Lol. Maybe that seems like a lot to the pa but to those of us who have been cheated on, lied to and abused this is just a drop in the bucket. Come back in 1000+ days and then revisit where the wife is.
     
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  5. Psalm27:1my light

    Psalm27:1my light Fapstronaut

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    I do so admire your understanding!!
     
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  6. nfphro

    nfphro Fapstronaut

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    Okay, I just wanna say, that I was not talking about "How is it her responsibility to "bounce back" and meet my "needs" right away?" and "You now expect her to welcome/love him with open arms after 126 days?". That is miles away.

    Apart from that, all the best to you and your SO.
     
  7. Sorry if I inferred, but all I had to go on was your referencing ####'s post. I would appreciate any clarification or insight you might have. I post publicly, inviting any correction or challenges to my thinking.
     
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  8. Psalm27:1my light

    Psalm27:1my light Fapstronaut

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    That’s what I inferred as well....
     
  9. nfphro

    nfphro Fapstronaut

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    You are right, as I was only referencing the post, it was not clear. Neither can I nor do I want to correct you.
     
  10. Fair enough! I would not wish to diagnose another's issues either. Thanks for reading :)
     
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  11. GID2020

    GID2020 Fapstronaut

    Mr Tumnus, I've read through most of your journal because I think I tend to gravitate towards the journals of PA's on here that the content reminds me of something my husband might write. I guess, put another way, I think you sound like a good guy, who lost his way with this addiction and you are trying hard to make things right. One part of an earlier post struck me, as I saw another PA on here say that his wife asked him to do what your wife asked you. The quote is:

    I'm curious what the thinking behind that idea was? What purpose would it serve to tell a small child that information? As a mom, I'm shocked that your wife would want you to tell them about this. My feelings about it are irrelevant, of course, but since, like I said, I saw someone else on here say their wife asked them to do that too, I thought I was missing something. I can understand her asking you to do whatever she felt was necessary for her to heal but how was that helpful to your children? It seems like the only purpose is to make you look like the bad guy to them. I'm not there in your relationship so I can only say how it appears to me from the outside. And I suppose at the end of the day it's really none of my business, but it struck me as very passive aggressive and not healthy. :(

    It was also sad to me that you said early on that you don't deserve your wife or kids. I think I can understand how you might have felt that way but I hope that you are starting to feel like you do deserve them now. I'm sure that you were just expressing how you were feeling at the time but that kind of mentality may be what let you to become a PA to begin with. Although, again, I don't know you but I'm just going on the overall feeling of your journal.

    Thanks for letting me share my thoughts, although I guess you don't have a choice. :p I wish you the very best in what you are attempting to do. I think, and I've tried to tell my husband this too, that it is brave. Changing yourself for the better is definitely hard work and it seems like you are very committed and I hope that you can be proud of yourself for that. :)

    PS. I love your screen name. Mr Tumnus is a great character who definitely redeemed himself in the end. :)
     
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  12. Psalm27:1my light

    Psalm27:1my light Fapstronaut

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    Hmmm... as an so that also told her husband he needs to come clean with the kids, it was more from the viewpoint of addiction thrives in secrecy and shame. Now, my kids are older, 16, 18, and 21. It was also to reinforce the talks I had held with the kids about how bad porn is and what is does to a person. Because children pick up on the atmosphere and fill in the holes often times blaming themselves. I think they explained in an age appropriate way.
     
  13. GID2020

    GID2020 Fapstronaut


    I would totally agree that addiction thrives in secrecy but I'm just not sure what a 6 and 2 year old could get out of that conversation. It was done in an age appropriate way from the way he described it, I just don't think it was necessary. Maybe saying something like "Daddy is really sorry that he gets mad sometimes and I am working hard on not being mad and being a better Daddy for you and mommy. I was mad for a grown up reason that I don't want you to worry about because you are all wonderful and you were never the reason that Daddy was mad." I've had to explain my first marriage ending to my biological children so I feel I have some experience in this realm.

    That being said, what people say to their kids is up to them. I have 6 kids and don't feel it's necessary to share this information with them about their dad/step dad. Your choice in telling your kids was, I'm sure, a thoughtful one for the reasons you listed. Everyone should do what they feel is best for themselves, their SO and their family. I was just curious about why his wife might have thought it was necessary. My curiosity sometimes gets me in trouble, but not so far in this thread. Thanks for your thoughtful response @Psalm27:1my light . :)
     
  14. Psalm27:1my light

    Psalm27:1my light Fapstronaut

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    Ah, I didn’t realize his kids were that young.
     
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  15. I can't entirely speak for my wife, as this goes way back to D-Day. But, I think in general, we are very open with our children, and will always answer any questions they have with candor, as appropriate. In this case, I can see your point that it might not be best to have our children worry about their parents' marriage. However, the other thing I think we are both trying to do is model openness and transparency for our children. We want them to be able to talk about things they've done wrong in the past, ask for forgiveness, and try to get better. Again, yeah they're probably too young for this to be effective, but that was the intent. Maybe worth discussing with my SO to see what her thinking was...

    Hmm, I still would say I don't deserve them. But only because I don't think anyone truly deserves anything. We are blessed with good things. We have the privilege to be on this earth and enjoy life. But to say we deserve something smacks of entitlement; I hesitate to claim it. I think I originally said I don't "deserve" my wife and kids in a more negative sense (like, "it would be better for them to not be with me"). Now, I think I've definitely moved on from that self-deprecating thought. I happily accept them and am glad we can go through this life together. I will do my best to care for them well.

    On the other hand, maybe it's helpful to think about it the other way. Does a child deserve a parent's care and affection? I would say so flipping that, it seems correct that a parent deserves a child's love. A spouse deserves their spouse's love. Interesting - thanks for the thought experiment, lol.

    Thanks, though I wasn't the first one here ;) @MR. Tumnus. Although it seems he has disappeared from NoFap. Hope all is well there...
     
  16. Day 130

    The week has gone rather fast. Counseling Monday night was, meh. He still seems a little all-over-the-place, and hasn't yet given me a treatment plan. He asked to meet with my wife, which she is not interested in doing. The topic for next session is boundaries, so we'll see what happens.

    I saw an orthopedic doctor on Wed - he directed me to get x-rays to see if scoliosis might be a factor in my back/neck pain. I have renewed hope that there will be a solution to the issues I've been experiencing.

    Sobriety has been good; I did click on a few links that in hindsight were risky. Nothing came of it, but I should be more careful, and really analyze my motives for even taking a chance. One of the links was about deep-fake technology, which of course has been applied to P. My curiosity was stronger than my caution.

    Each night this week I've had enjoyable non-sexual intimacy with my spouse. Talking, hugging, holding, hand-holding, kissing, and praying. I think I'm getting better at being present during this, and allowing the desire for more to be in the background, acknowledging it but not letting it overwhelm me.

    I feel: Relaxed, anticipating the weekend, desire to be with my wife & family, looking forward to cold days/nights with fires. :emoji_fire:
     
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  17. daemonswithin

    daemonswithin Fapstronaut

    He's still here - he just changed his name to Bogo Biggins, so no worries!
     
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  18. It strikes me that what you are doing *is* actually the more. Compared to the true intimacy you are developing with your wife by humbling and denying yourself in this way, you are laying a firm foundation to build on once again. Compared with that, sex is sort of base and low, you know what I mean? It's great and all, but it it far *less*.

    From my pov, your desire for "more" is on full display and you are properly ordering your merely physical desires to the back of the line where they should be anyway. I imagine this is how she sees it, too.

    Well done!
     
  19. GID2020

    GID2020 Fapstronaut

    I would love to know the thinking. Again, not my business, but I do have children and have I no intention of discussing this with them. As parents we always want to weigh what we think is best for our kids against what we think is expected of us. It's a delicate balance for sure.

    I'm glad to hear that you've moved on from that thought. :)

    I'm always happy to make people think. Lol. I feel like the whole deserve/not deserve thing is actually an interesting concept. I may have to think about it as well. Lol. :)
     
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  20. Psalm27:1my light

    Psalm27:1my light Fapstronaut

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    With our kids being older, we basically told them that we were not going to have secrets in our family. If dad were and alcoholic, we would’ve told them so why would this be any different? With my husband going to meetings 3 days a week and then both of us going to counseling, our kids would’ve asked questions and then what? We also wanted our girls to know how devastating this is as well as our son. Absolutely the hardest thing my husband has ever done and hands down the most pivotal in his healing.
     
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