You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby

THIS POST IS THE RESULT OF A COMMENT ON A PREVIOUS POST.  I wanted to give it a thoughtful answer, and by the time I finished reading my response, it really warranted an entire post.

Hello Moi, First of all thank you for sharing your experience and suggestions. You are one of a few people I have met so far here who will just tell it like they see it, good or bad. That is exactly the type of feedback I am looking for here at WP. Candy-coated words or a pat on the back when one is not warranted is not why I come here.

The first thing that struck me about your response was your opening sentence about my needing to decompress from my job. I found that interesting, because I have posted very little about my job situation, and am happy with both the job and the people I work with. In fact, the difference in my working life after a career change is part of what inspired me to look into other areas of my life to change. The post that you responded to was mainly a positive affirmation to watch myself that day because I only had 4 hours of sleep. I know myself well enough that I am more likely to say something I don’t mean when sleep deprived.

The next thing that I want to make clear is this. I WILL NOT LEAVE MY FAMILY FOR ANOTHER WOMAN. Was there a time where that may have happened over the last couple of months? Possibly. In fact, in the last couple of weeks, I had a dream about how good being appreciated by someone else would feel and the ow was in the dream. I now recognize that for what it is…the need to feel close and appreciated by SOMEONE. That someone could be my wife. I know that I can’t piss my wife off all the time and expect appreciation…it doesn’t work that way. We are going to have to work TOGETHER, better than we currently do, to have a family environment that kids will benefit from. At this point, I realize that the beginning of any relationship will seem sunny and nice, and am past the infatuation phase with the ow. I have instead turned my attention to improving myself.

Now, that doesn’t mean that I am going to come here and beat myself up over my shortcomings. I am also not going to be a doormat, for someone to take an emotional dump on me whenever they feel like it. I am working on changing myself for the better, but am not going to exhaust myself giving 100% to someone who is only willing to give very little effort. And let me clarify. My wife is an excellent mother to our kids. There is nothing she wouldn’t do for them. I just feel we have lost our center and connection to one another, and I want to win that back, or realize that I gave it my best and move on. Repeat WIN THAT BACK, because I know it’s not something she is just going to GIVE me. Maybe sharing a common ground by talking more about the kids with her is a good place to start.  On the other side, if we cannot meet in the middle, I don’t have to be unhappily married to my wife to be a good father to my children. We all deserve better. I do recognize that relationships have their ups and downs. Been with my wife for 16 years.

I do know couples who fall into the category that you mentioned. I also personally know many couples with children who have divorced, and are now with someone who really gets them and are much happier than their previous marriage. Sometimes, people just grow apart in ways that could never have been seen decades prior. Maybe sometimes they did see it, but were not honest about their feelings until later in life. At any rate, in my situation it is about more than two people getting along…I have my kids to think about and that is THE BIGGEST FACTOR of the equation.

This place is kind of like a diary of sorts. I post a lot of day-to-day things that may sound trivial. The reason I post them is so that I will remember them. I don’t know how much of my blog you read, but in the moment, I sometimes write about the raw emotions. This blog is anonymous, so I’m not really worried about hurting anyone’s feelings, my own included. Now, that doesn’t mean that I will out and out attack someone for sharing their story either. I do appreciate the support of other people here, and am glad to be involved in the sharing of their stories. I have learned a lot over the last 6 months. Having received support, I also enjoy providing support when I can -to either one of my few followers or anonymous posters. I don’t think anyone comes here to hear “You are right.” or “I’m so sorry to hear that, blah, blah blah.” People in everyday life will provide useless surface talk like this. In my experience, people come here for the honest, like-it-or-not, truth. If I’m wrong about something, I will admit it.

Regardless of their situation, I think most people would benefit from the quiet time with no electronics that you mentioned. Some can call it meditation, some taking a nap, or just chilling out. I also think that anyone reading should recognize the truth you stated about new relationships potentially being a temporary fantasy. Don’t let your ship get driven into the rocks listening to the sirens. If anyone wants a change, change YOU first for the best. Don’t look to someone else to provide that.

Moi, I do hope you will continue to read, and if you have any insights, please share them. I realize that your neighbors may have been friends, and that situation may not have been easy to watch as it played out. Your response made me realize how much I actually have thought about the big picture over the past couple of months, because I could easily address all of your points raised because it’s something I had considered recently. Having said that, I do not have all of the answers. If nothing else, I can learn the type of perceptions that may be interpreted from the story of my life that I am laying out for the world to see. My goal is to be open about my life, improve my life, and not to be ashamed about any of it because I did the best I could at the time.

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Author: fight4urlover

So about me... I'm a middle-aged guy, married 15+ years with kids. I love my wife, and have never so much as kissed another woman the entire time we have been married. When we first met, we had both been cheated on, and we decided that we would not cheat on each other. I think we have both teetered on the edge. Like most married couples, over the years, we have given each other plenty of reasons to build resentment at times. So this space is a personal reflection of my journey of attempting to remain married and true. That's why I started this first-ever blog. The goal is to avoid sounding like one of those "perfect" articles of someone who sounds like they are giving advice. This all comes from personal experience or from talking to other people, married and single, and I want to keep it raw. To me that's more exciting than a well-researched topic. Everyone can relate to this on a human level. I know that guys like to get to the point, and ladies like a good story with plenty of details, so I'll try to find a balance. Strap in and let's ride!

11 thoughts on “You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby”

  1. I just read your comment and feel the need to respond. Through training and my job I have come to learn how personalities, families of origin, life experiences all play into what we bring into adulthood. Our basic personalities are set by the age of four. It does not mean we don’t have some flexibility brain wise but for the most part we are who we are. We are either extroverts are introverts. We either have a wonderful sense of humor or less so. By this stage musical abilities have shown up, language skills are present. There is no way to change another human being. We are who we are. The best way to ensure a stable marriage is to be married to someone with your basic values. Do you laugh at the same things? Are your morals and values the same? These things will blindside you if you do not have them together. All families have spoken or formal rules. “Don’t run with scissors. Wear a helmet on your bike. Don’t put your hand on a hot stove”, but there are millions of unspoken rules that you bring with you from your original family. You also bring your own personality and the rules you have secretly developed. You don’t think about them, you don’t recognize them but they are there. It is those rules that you and your spouse run up against. You think she’s silly, she thinks you are rude. It is these secret, unspoken rules that are so toxic in a marriage. One person might say “I don’t want to talk about it” and the other recognizes that they keep getting shut down every time they try. After that it takes no time for resentment to begin. You cannot have a loving and stable marriage if someone’s resentment is allowed to fester. You have to have open communication. Experts talk about it all the time but most families do not know how to begin. This is how you begin. You send the children away and you sit down across from each other and talk and talk and talk. Lots of anger, lots of resentment, lots of hurt feelings come out and they are going to have to be dealt with.
    This is one of those chicken and eggs questions. Was your resentment of your wife before or after you fell for the other woman. There is a blog called chump lady where betrayed spouses unload what was done to them. They got the “I’m not in love with you anymore”, “you do things that make me crazy”, “I haven’t been happy for years”. The people on this blog have decided there is a cheaters handbook because every single cheater uses the same language about their affairs. Because you probably have a deep sense of morality you feel the need to make your wife the bad guy so that you can justify having feelings for another woman. It is the most common thing in affairs. Resentment that you might have had for years becomes the loudest, biggest thing in your life now. You can justify all sorts of feelings and things because you now recognize that your wife never make you happy. That’s ridiculous. Your wife can be a companion, a lover, a friend but she is not in control of your brain. If you are genuinely unhappy with your wife find out why. You loved her at one point, you cherished her at one point. Secrets are so corrosive that getting this all out on the table is going to either make or break this relationship but you need to get out of your mouth what you are writing on this blog.
    Think about your children. In my job, which is to deal with families and teach a class to adults about behaviors, I have learned the children seldom get over divorce. They carry some of that with them into adulthood. You and your wife have a contract. It is so binding it it has to be dissolved legally. Long before they can articulate it they recognize that they are part of the contract. Whichever spouse leaves the home is LEAVING THE CHILDREN. Any attempt to whitewash that is bull**** and the kids know it. You and your wife had these children together. They are your responsibility. Period. Sorry. I get a little huffy when children are in the picture. The problem with affairs is they hijack common sense and common decency. You start lying and deceiving. You start arguments with your spouse. You spend time, energy, emotions on a person who usurps your family’s place in your heart. You can talk till the cows come home about being careful of their needs but children aren’t stupid. If you leave you have broken the contract with them.
    There is a memoir written by a woman whose parents swapped spouses with another couple. It happened when the writer was four. It is not a point to point factual book. It is the memories of a child who did not know what to do with the pain of abandonment. The book is THE SISTERS ANTIPODES and I recommend it for anyone contemplating an affair.
    Hope things work out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Moi, thanks for that. Lot of good points. The biggest being communicating. We actually have had one of those talks face to face, allowing the tears to come out, so I do not just sit here and spew. It did take a while for my wife to agree to sit down, but she thought that I was unfaithful with her years back (which I was not), but she never flat out asked me about it, so it just festered. Before we got married, we had both been cheated on, and agreed that it sucked, and was not something we were going to do to each other. She looked a little shocked when I told her I was true to my word. Things seemed to get better after that, but seem to have begun closing off again. I believe it is time for another one of THOSE talks. I mean, honestly communication needs to be constant. I actually created a post called “Questions” for answers that I needed at the time. Some notions appeared to be in my head, and some not so much. I think the post “Clearing the Air”, was the outcome of all of that at the time. In regards, to your “chicken or egg” question, I do not resent my wife, but I have resented some of her behavior towards me years ago. I think some of what she harbored contributed to that, but I am not without blame. So, I get what you are saying about trying to justify behavior. I do not have any plans with another woman, but I do have plans to be happy. Think I will see if we can send the kids away soon, and really get down to it. We definitely do not laugh at the same things most of the time. I think she thinks I have no sense of humor, Thanks for the recommended reading.

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  2. Moi, another thing that started within the last year, is that I don’t feel I can trust her. I have had several dreams about her with another man, different men. She denies it. She will be texting sometimes late at night. One time recently she got a text at 5am, and I asked if work always gives that short a notice on coming in. Her reply was “What do you care?”. She will never answer for who she is texting. Maybe it is another mom about some thing the kids are doing the next day, but why not just say? Needless to say, that is a big problem, and something I need an answer on. Wish I had a built in lie detector.

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  3. Do you see why you two need to talk? I am one who does not believe in locked devices. If you have a spouse who won’t let you read texts etc the relationship is already strained. Boy, howdy!! You two need to make time Every Single Day, by yourselves, to talk. You need access to each other’s devices. You need to ask blunt questions. One thing for sure….behavior trumps words every time.
    Here’s the thing…….anger is someone cutting you off in traffic. It’s boiling and then it’s gone. Rage is a different story. It is under the surface and bubbles there for years. Some people can let go of insults, being ignored, made fun of, and others hold onto to resentment forever. Y’all need to figure out what you are holding to and figure out how to get rid it. In any long term relationship you have to clear the air. You need to ask for forgiveness and give it as well.
    My suggestion is always hugs. Human touch is too important to ignore.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, I guess the first step is having another one of those all-out honest talks that Moi was talking about. Next, since I feel like I need a partner, I’m thinking most people would want to feel they have a companion. If I can show her how I can help her and her family, maybe she will recognize the effort, and working together will build some type of bond over time.

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      1. Yes, actions are definitely worth more than words. People can say all the want all the time, but without effort it’s meaningless. I’m sure she has other things, she would like to talk to you about also. But the passive aggressive actions, need to stop.

        With the cell phone thing, when you have your talk with her, show her your phone so that she knows you have nothing to hide from her. Hopefully, she will willingly show you hers. 🙂

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