Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
This is hard work (new thread EA update)(63 Posts)
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.
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?
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.
Hi there inthedusk. Sorry things still not great.
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.
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
I expected these responses.
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?
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???
"how do you get your DP to talk"
That's all it should take to get this conversation started.
"how do you listen without wanting to punish him/shout/stab???"
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.
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.
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?
Is there a link to the original thread, anyone ? Glad you have your eyes open , OP
" 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 .
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.
What went wrong with the couples' counselling inthedusk?
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?
Have you checked his phone? Given his attitude, I'd be suspicious of his 'early nights'. I think you might find your answer there.
'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.
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.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.