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This is hard work (new thread EA update)

(63 Posts)
intheduskwiththelightbehindher Sun 03-Nov-13 13:41:03

Hi all. Starting a new thread to reflect 'new' start with DP - sorry, don't know how to link to previous thread. The short version for new readers is that my DP had an emotional affair, which is now over apart from one small thing, and we are supposedly reconnecting. I have been reading as much as I can, although it's hard to find uninterrupted time - there's always somebody wanting my attention, or more immediate jobs to be done eg tax return. DP has been having lots of early nights, so no adult talking has been done, and now he's ill. 3 days of a cold, groans, sighs, sniffles, coughs, and now his sinuses are playing up - steaming at 4am, hence more tired. Minor gigs are coming in for him, so a bit of extra income, but it's never good enough for him, so he practises more, complains that he's washed up, out of favour, etc etc - you get the jist. Oh and yesterday I changed my mind about something we'd planned to do do and got 'nothing I (DP)ever do is right!'
I want to talk about US, but he is all about HIM, and I never feel that I'll get a useful/helpful conversation if the time isn't right.
SO, any work I can do is on myself, and I've done a lot of reflecting about boundaries, especially in regard to previous relationships. I'm still looking for an appropriate counsellor for me (not convinced about Relate) - I think I need more than just relationship counselling - maybe something more deep rooted.
Apologies for the ramble - I'm ok, thanks to those who have asked, not great, but ok. have had long talk with ds and he seems more at ease.
Any advice about what else I could be doing greatly received.

Apileofanyfuckers Sun 03-Nov-13 13:44:59

Just glad you are ok. I am hardly in a position to advise - but be kind to yourself. Get treats for you. Is he still in the spare room?

IAmNotAMindReader Sun 03-Nov-13 13:50:09

All you can do is work on yourself. The right time may never come if he is going to stay wrapped in his own bubble.
A few things could happen here

You could learn to accept the status quo. You may decide to leave things as they are and concentrate on yourself and find other things to fulfil your life with.

You stay on your path and he eventually wakes up and starts to talk and fix the things he can or seeks help to.

He stays in his self absorbed bubble and you realise you don't have to deal with it anymore.

No one can tell you what to do but accepting any of these paths or others you may find without being truly happy to do so or expecting a different outcome is going to be harmful to your mental health.

Loopytiles Sun 03-Nov-13 14:51:52

Hi there inthedusk. Sorry things still not great.

JoinYourPlayfellows Sun 03-Nov-13 15:18:56

So he's still carrying on the lessons and he's being horrible to you?

In what sense are you "supposedly reconnecting"?

He is avoiding you and being a dick.

itsmeisntit Sun 03-Nov-13 15:30:59

you could LTB as was suggested in your last threads.
He doesn't respect you, does not acknowledge that he crossed your line many times. He is still carrying on the lessons despite your numerous pleading to ceases these.
He is continuing to behave exactly as always-it's all him him him and him.
Save yourself any futher heartache and ditch him

intheduskwiththelightbehindher Sun 03-Nov-13 15:38:33

I expected these responses.

MatryoshkaDoll Sun 03-Nov-13 15:43:32

I've followed your other threads and I'd been wondering how you were doing.

Sorry to hear things aren't great. It sounds like you're still doing all the work and he's still doing as he pleases and avoiding you. Now with an added layer of self pity and wallowing.

Attractive.

I think counselling for you is a good idea, but be wary of taking on too much responsibility for this. By all means explore your own boundaries and why you're continuing to put up with this. But don't use counselling as a way to try and change yourself so you can 'fix it'.

Upnotdown Sun 03-Nov-13 15:45:25

It's not really moving forward or past it if he hasn't given her up and gone NC. That's just you turning a blind eye, isn't it? Or am I missing something?

intheduskwiththelightbehindher Sun 03-Nov-13 16:11:20

I am wide awake to what is going on. Part of my problem is my unwillingness to just come out and say 'I need to talk about this'. I've always shied away from conflict, don't know why.
I'm going to give this my best shot for the children's sake. It was good once and I believe it can be again.
Having done some research I know that I CAN walk away if I want to, I really do have options.
What I'd like on here is some practical advice - how do you get your DP to talk and how do you listen without wanting to punish him/shout/stab???

JoinYourPlayfellows Sun 03-Nov-13 16:16:34

"how do you get your DP to talk"

You ask.

That's all it should take to get this conversation started.

"how do you listen without wanting to punish him/shout/stab???"

grin

Why shouldn't you want to do those things?

If you want to do preternatural calm, then just decide in advance not to respond to anything he says in any definite way and just nod along.

GuybrushThreepwoodMP Sun 03-Nov-13 16:30:53

OP you're getting these responses because it all sounds a bit one sided. You can't save this relationship by yourself, he needs to put some serious work into it. I know you've mentioned working on yourself- and that's fantastic- but if you aren't working together on anything, aren't you just two people occupying the same space rather than two people 'connecting'? What is the point is staying together? I don't think anyone is criticising your choice but are actually trying to stop you from taking the burden of this relationship on alone.
When you discussed all this 'reconnecting', did the two of you out a plan in place? Did you establish what needed to change and how? Of course you might be able to save this relationship- but you can't do it on your own by 'working on yourself'.

"How do you get your dp to talk?"
If he loved you and respected you and wanted to make the relationship work, you wouldn't need to ask the question because he would be bending over backwards for your forgiveness. As it is, you are doing all the bending over backwards just like you have been all along.
Chuck him out. Tell him if he wants to make it work, her better start doing some work. If you're scared this will mean you lose him then I think you have your answer.

intheduskwiththelightbehindher Sun 03-Nov-13 16:38:03

I want to be able to get the best response from DP. He won't talk to me if he thinks I'm going to have a go at him (again), and I'd like to sound to him like an equal adult and not a nagging mother or a needy child. I'm afraid my voice or my face will let me down. Any tips?

MatryoshkaDoll Sun 03-Nov-13 16:43:05

"How do you get your DP to talk?"

Well you can't if he doesn't want to. And he patently doesn't want to.

That in itself speaks volumes.

Handywoman Sun 03-Nov-13 16:44:46

Is there a link to the original thread, anyone ? Glad you have your eyes open , OP

MatryoshkaDoll Sun 03-Nov-13 17:03:41

I want to be able to get the best response from DP. He won't talk to me if he thinks I'm going to have a go at him (again), and I'd like to sound to him like an equal adult and not a nagging mother or a needy child. I'm afraid my voice or my face will let me down. Any tips?

But he's treating you badly and you have a right to object to that. If his interpretation of your objection is that you're 'nagging' or 'having a go', then I'm afraid that is pure deflection on his part.

Talking is going to get you nowhere. Because he's not receptive to anything you have to say. However you couch your approach he'll find a way to turn it around on you and make you out to be a nag. It suits him to have you on the back foot and questioning yourself so that he can carry on his own sweet way.

You need less talk and more action.

Loopytiles Sun 03-Nov-13 17:12:46

" Part of my problem is my unwillingness to just come out and say 'I need to talk about this"

You HAVE talked to him, and been dismissed and ignored, time and again sad.

When the problem is that someone is being a selfish dick you can't get the best out of them by behaving differently or changing yourself and suppressing anger, shifting boundaries.

Chances are you are a loving, caring, tactful, gentle partner. He either wants to be with you or not: if he doesn't (seems that way, sadly) he should admit it.

As for your anger towards him, that's entirely natural in the circumstances.

Loopytiles Sun 03-Nov-13 17:13:43

What went wrong with the couples' counselling inthedusk?

MatryoshkaDoll Sun 03-Nov-13 17:17:42

Sorry to keep coming back to this and banging on, but I was just thinking more about your last post and I can't believe you're second guessing the expression on your face when you go to talk to him.

Seriously, that is really not normal. How scared of this guy, and how unsure of yourself, are you that you're trying to modify your facial expressions just to get a decent response from him? Look at what he's reducing you to.

That part just really brought it home to me how fucked this situation is OP.

Noctilucent Sun 03-Nov-13 17:24:23

Faulk, you want some practical advice, which I can understand.

From what you describe, however, it will be of no use. His behaviour is that of a man beginning to check out of your relationship. It may not be the mother of his pupil now, but it will be another distraction in the future.

It is good that you are working on boundaries for yourself but you need to show your son that this is not an acceptable way to behave - and you cannot do this without the co-operation of your H. And he is not willing to co-operate as he thinks he has done nothing wrong.

At the very least, he has hurt you. You can tell him this, and you can ask him his he feels about that. But - and it is my opinion only - you are on a hiding to nothing.

He has not given you a crumb. He has not stopped the lessons, said sorry, attended counselling with you. You, however, have read, digested, and are trying to get to the root so you can carry on.

I said this before and I maintain - there is no relationship left to save. You can talk, he can talk, but you will not get the answers you need. So my advice is to gather your strength, prepare your child, and consider moving on.

cjel Sun 03-Nov-13 17:44:02

If it is this much hard work to have a grown up adult conversation with him about something so important and he has no intention of talking to you is it really worth the hassle?

kaizen Sun 03-Nov-13 17:58:18

Have you checked his phone? Given his attitude, I'd be suspicious of his 'early nights'. I think you might find your answer there.

tessa6 Sun 03-Nov-13 18:00:18

Hi dusk

'I want to be able to get the best response from DP. He won't talk to me if he thinks I'm going to have a go at him (again), and I'd like to sound to him like an equal adult and not a nagging mother or a needy child. I'm afraid my voice or my face will let me down. Any tips?'

This really rings bells for me. You are in a relationship with a problematic, unequal dynamic. You are caught in playing either parent or child in exchanges. Of course you cannot confront him properly or rebuild your relationship in this way. PLEASE look at the fact that he won't talk to you if he thinks you're going to 'have a go' at him. You are embracing on a course of even greater repression now. YOu are smart enough to know you have an issue with this, as conflict avoider. And now you are literally looking for tips as to how you can hide your emotions on your face and in your voice. Why not become a robot, OP? Or dance around all the time singing like Nora in 'A Doll's House?'

I'm being horribly facetious, I'm sorry.

But you need to do counseling TOGETHER if this terrible dynamic is going to be addressed at its root. And you are both going to have to become new people, to reconnect differently.

Don't feel punished or mocked because people are commenting on how simple it is to have a conversation. Those who've been in similar relationships will understand, as will those who've gone through the trauma of infidelity. I'm both, OP, and I can tell you that you need to accept a few things before you can move forward. One is that the music lessons thing is a battle that he has won that you may never move on from. You might, but you have had your already low status in this relationship confirmed and that is the worst direction to go in if you truly want to connect as adults in the future.

A more practical tip would be that you need to set aside time, once a week, if you're not doing joint counseling, to sit and talk as 'adults'. YOu cannot use your child's voice or mother voice and if you do, notice it and say out loud, 'I'm reverting to this form of communication again' and make him notice it too. His narcissism sounds almost unassailable but at least you are noticing it. Ask his to retell the story from your point of view, whilst agreeing you will not get angry in the conversation. Rad 'Feel the Fear and do it Anyway'.

I feel for you. I think you are trapped in an unhappy relationship and you are never going to be able to save it alone. All the best.

tessa6 Sun 03-Nov-13 18:00:59

I also agree that he is almost certainly still engaged with an inappropriately intimate relationship with his OW and nothing will change unless he admits that and gives it up. I'm sorry.

MatryoshkaDoll Sun 03-Nov-13 18:06:36

Yes, I also think he's still having the EA. And I suspect if you were to check his phone or his secret email address (what happened with that btw? Did you ever tell him you read that email?), then you'd find the explanation for all those early nights.

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