Sacrifice

I guess what I did was sacrifice myself.  I thought it was noble and needed.  I thought a person who cared made some sacrifices for those they loved. I thought that a family (or anything worth building) sometimes took some sacrificing to happen.  I still believe that. I learned about sacrifice from church, as a woman, as a worker, in literature, from models of happy families around me. I lived by the thought that I gave for the good of the bigger picture.  It was all supposed to be worth it in the end. But DH said to me after my 35 years of being a woman and a wife, "What did you ever to for me?" And I am learning how little he thinks of me.  I made many choices "for" his benefit because I was brought up in a time when the husband was the financial "bread winner" and he was to be "honored" and I believe I even said the word "obey" in my vows so long ago. I have more education than DH but I believed in supporting his career instead of mine when we were young so I could take care of the home and children. Today, I feel like a Viet Nam vet. I have scars from the time served (I was drafted by pregnancy) and I did not realize no one was appreciating it. My marriage was like a 35 year battle rather than blissful union of working together for common causes.  I was blaming myself for not being stronger.  I had been knocking myself on the head for being "codependent" in the last few years (how could I be so needy? I had been thinking.)  We didn't know any better.  I was taught to be loving and caring and supportive (good home makers, sexy wives, loving mothers). We were not taught about ADD or getting our needs met or equality or leadership. Getting MY needs met, with my background, seemed selfish to me.  But I know now that to be sane and happy and not confused and resentful, a person must listen to their own feelings and figure out what their own needs are. And feed themselves what they need to be happy and creative and functioning. How do we tell ourselves the story of what happened in our marriages with a positive ending? As humaneye said in his post, "I didn't really have a Dad, so I became my own." I am trying to re-write my "story" in my head in a positive light and I will be the one who can appreciate what I have done and accomplished over the last 35 years. I need to feel partnered and safe. I don't have someone who cares so I am becoming my own.

What Sacrifice?

Here is how his story of our marriage might go if I can put myself in DHs shoes and imagine ADD DH might have it in his mind:

"She wants things too perfect.  She is not content to just let things go and enjoy life.  She is always about the "tasks" that need to be done.  I need a woman who can respond with warmth and understanding.  Someone who I can just relax and feel comfortable and accept me for who I am the way that I am.  I am not perfect but neither is she. Human beings are not perfect.  She worries too much and cares about what other people think too much. It doesn't pay to dwell in the past. Live in the present moment, that is where the fun is.  I am glad she takes care of things but I also take care of the yard and I do contribute. I am trying the best that I can.  If she would just relax, we would get along just fine. I have been happy enough in our marriage.  She just needs to work on her happiness. Happiness is an inside job. A man needs sex and if he doesn't get it, why should he try to do what she wants? A man needs attention, and if he doesn't get enough at home, he must find it somewhere else. I am fine. She is a bit neurotic. A person has to do things to make themselves happy, like I do. I can't make her happy."

It seems important to me to try to see his side.  His M.O is: If things are not OK at home, he must go out and make HIMSELF feel OK.  Trying to work on it with the family doesn't work out and things eventually blow over. Wives get over it and kids eventually learn their lessons by themselves out in the world. It is best to just go with the flow and not get worked up about things. No worries.

This is where I am in my journey

We give what we want.  I give DH partnering and safety.  He gives me fun, relaxing, happiness, going with the flow.  I am "getting" to where Melissa comes to terms with this.  But I don't want to "get it".  I am not wanting to "get it". His part seems more fun and I don't trust that if I am more fun and relaxed that he has partnering and safety to give to me.  If he did, I wouldn't have had to "pick up the pieces" so long ago. I am getting it, I don't trust it yet with my particular DH. And his "fun" just angers me now (because I don't feel safe) and I am not happy or relaxed. 

Totally experiencing this too.

I recall being pregnant with child number two, working full time at a high pressure job, parenting a toddler with special needs and multiple delays that were undiagnosed. I got little to no attention, affection or anything from him. His family treated me terribly because I was struggling to deal with my younger sons' behavior issues and had no support. I was made to feel shamed for having another child when I had one that was already difficult. I recall him saying horrible things like publicly declaring at a family members' party that since I was the only one who wanted this child I was going to have to do all the work, while checking out this other girl sitting across from us. Of course, she wasn't pregnant with a swollen belly. I recall him screaming at me on the phone when I was crying and stressed out because my job was becoming a pressure cooker, my blood pressure was soaring, and he was having work difficulties of his own. He forced me to keep our health insurance with my job so I wouldn't quit, instead of transferring it to his work. That was one of the many mind games he played. I was told my pregnant belly looked strange and weird and at 7 months asked when was I going to hurry up and lose pregnancy weight? His family and him treated me so badly I almost took our toddler son and left him, but had nowhere to go. I canceled my own baby shower because I felt no one wanted me to have this child. I recall going to a pastor and crying over the situation, asking for advice, and he gives me this book saying I have to honor and respect my husband. When I was being treated like this. Now I understand, it's really about getting what we need to survive, at least in a relationship like this. I have scars now from the past, but I have learned how to survive. After that I formulated a plan for survival. I found people who were willing to give me human emotions like sympathy and friendship, even if it was just penpals. I found someone who could see I was a real human being and not a slave or tool to be manipulated. I realized that he would never give me anything like kindness or love. I fight now just for the minimum I need- medical care for me and the children, bills paid, if something is really broken and needed, like an appliance or door, I fight him tooth and nail to get that resolved. The rest I take care of myself. He doesn't care and it's all about him and his preferred people, friends and family, in his selfish little world. I am no longer a door mat and I don't let him treat me like he used to anymore. Those days are over. Sacrifice for somebody who gives you nothing in return in ridiculous and outdated.

I feel for you

I understand exactly where you are coming from. You need to stay strong and don't let him abuse you. Whether it comes from a disorder, or from just plain selfishness, his behavior is unacceptable. Please try to find a way to get out. My blood pressure was dangerously high when I still lived with my XBF, because you never knew what would make him angry....but you knew it would happen each day. It was like torture trying to avoid friends to avoid arguments. He was always looking at and commenting on other women's specific body parts,  loud enough so they could hear, always something sexual or fat shaming them, and then acting like I was the crazy one , Gaslighting me, wondering why I was embarrassed and upset by his behavior. He would stalk enemies online, and he perceived a lot of innocent people just trying to do their jobs as enemies. He hates my best friend because she was very supportive of me when I broke up with him. Why? Because he won't take a look at himself to take any responsibility. Your H sounds a lot like mine. I broke up with him a year and a half ago and he still holds a grudge and thinks I owe him because I was the one with the sole income when we were together. He is refusing to get a job, after all this time, because he thinks he OWNS me (and my money). Be careful, and remember that you are not alone. 

Why do you stay?  You're

Why do you stay?  You're employed, have benefits, so why do you stay?

 

That pastor was horrible and I hope you realize how wrong he was. There are some "old thinking" pastors who still hang onto the idea that women should put up with everything and anything because they need to obey their husbands.  Omg.  Makes you wonder how those pastors treat their own wives.

 

How long have you been married?  I can tell, it only gets worse, much worse.

whew

Yeah.  What you said.  I realized after about 30 years (going on 37 right now) that I was always expecting that someday my turn would come.. to get support in my career or other dreams, to get help with the house, to do things together.  Why on earth did I think that?  And what I am doing here 7 years after that realization?

Sacrificial Love

I just did a search on this forum for the word "sacrifice" because I woke up this morning with thoughts about how I was taught that love was sacrificing your own needs for those (or what) you love.  This IS the Christian definition of LOVE. And as a youngster I sang the songs dictating to me to "Be like Jesus".  This did not work well for me.  I don't feel I lived my best life sacrificing for someone, my H,  who totally does not realize what I have done for him.  But do I want someone to sacrifice their needs and wants FOR ME?  No!  I want those I love to live their best lives.  This morning, I have a heavy feeling of regrets and aimlessness.   I am trying to feel it, accept it, and take a new direction.  For 40 years, I have not paid attention to my own wants and needs.  I don't even know what they are anymore and have become someone without a will or without direction.  I thought love for my family and love of God was my will and my direction.  Now I feel like an outsider in my own life.  And I feel stupid and alone.

Jenne.... Join the Club!!

I think there is word for this...."disillusioned" !! LOL  I'm laughing at myself because I was right where you were too?  Right after I got divorced for the first time after my first wife ran away with another guy never to be seen again....I was standing there with my mouth open and going....but but but.....I did what I thought I was suppose to do?  I did everything right...as I was told...and so here I am?  What went wrong?

I got that too Jenne.  Be like Jesus...and walk in his foot steps and sacrifice just like he did?  I've got to tell you....you and I got lead down the garden path to failure on that one!!!  That's the equivalent of Mary Feldman telling Gene Wilder in Young Frankenstein to "walk this way" and he just followed him?  That's kind of Monkey see Monkey do....by using that approach?  And doubt very seriously when you stop and think about it....that Jesus was saying to become a Martyr like him and sacrifice yourself like him and just copy his lead and for you to follow?  Follow? LOL

I get so frustrated over this and really makes me angry (now ) when I hear this baloney being passed off and taught?  Really...is that what Jesus was saying and trying to tell you to do?  Become a victim and a Martyr like me?  And even in the that much.....he sacrificed himself ...so we don't have to?  Isn't that the point of why he did that?  For us...so we don't have too?  So how do you resolve that...and what you were taught I might ask?  I'll tell you exactly.....YOU DON"T because that's not what he did or said to do?  Who ever told you that...was completely missing the point but that is not your fault either it's who ever told you that in the first place but....you or course...can't use that as excuse now can you?  It sucks hard....but after all...what can you do?  Really?  And what are you going to do about it now?  The million dollar question...once again?

 

J

You all deserve "real" love.

Guys, All of you here have helped me so much by letting me know I was not alone in my very unhappy past relationship.  You guys are compassionate, intelligent individuals trying to help their partners....BUT, for whatever reason, your partners are not following the same rule book. They are thinking about themselves. I don't think that is what real love is. I think real love involves a balance of give and take. Continuing to sacrifice when you get little or nothing back is more like martyrdom than love, in my opinion. You all deserve so much more than you are getting. You guys need to give yourselves permission to love and nurture yourselves, and not wait for your partner to have some kind of life changing personality transformation. You need to make your life your priority because if you don't, who will? When was the last time your partner made you feel validated?  I know it is very hard to realize your partner may never change, but I think Dr Phil put it best when he asked, "What is worse than being in a bad marriage for 30 years???...being in a bad marriage for 30 years and one day. "

 

I hope all all of you sweet people have peaceful holidays. 

Will Versus Intention Jenne

Just a side added thing to what I said.  Living a "Willful life"....or an "Intentional Life?"  I could write a book on that first one...let me tell you!! LOL

Will is just desire?  Intention is deliberate.....on purpose even if you don't act on the intention or you do..and even if you are wrong in the doing part?  The intention is what counts?  It's the thought that counts...when giving a gift?  Even if that person can't use it...it's the thought that counts which is different than saying.....it's the desire that counts?

Intention is everything...even if you don't act on it because intention...over rides desire....and it requires the extra step of thinking about it first?  Desire needs no thought as in.....I'm horny.  Know what I mean?  Why do you want to have sex with me?  Because your horny???  I've got to tell you....if it were that easy....I'd be in the bedroom or where ever....any time I felt like it if that's all I had to say?

What do you think Jenne.....would that work for you if someone or your husband just said only that? And for that matter...".lets just skp the fore play and get right too it...because that's what I feel like and that's what my desire tells me to do....so lets go...what are we waiting for!!! "LOL

Why was that again?  Cause I feel like!!! LOL

Not so much?? LOL

 

J