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Sun Aug 6 10:46 am  #41


Re: Really Starting to Wonder.....

Counselors do not know everything, especially if things are hidden. I did counseling with my now-ex and the counselor thought we were different and had a chance. This was before anyone knew about the lesbian aspect. I guess my point is that secrets are the relationship killers, it's not lack of sex, not helping around the house, not keeping your temper in check, etc. I think that is where you need clarity, anything else could be just him going through the motions.

Last edited by Daryl (Sun Aug 6 10:48 am)

 

Sun Aug 6 11:11 am  #42


Re: Really Starting to Wonder.....

OOHC, yes, I actually do have a personal therapist as well.  I have talked with her about it and she is helping with some exercises to help with the anxiety around all this and with ways to "use my voice" and work I need to do as a person.  I have told her my worry that my husband is gay and she said I need to trust my gut on this.  But then in another conversation she said I'd be surprised if he turned out to be gay.  She said sounds like OCD to her.  I asked her why she thought that and she said this is just two people with two different opinions and that is ok.  But that is the kind of thing that makes me stop and question it.  Why does she feel that way?  I guess I want someone to say "yes, I think it is a real possibility that you are right about this"  Otherwise it still leaves me second guessing.  

The next part of your comment about him doing more does bother me too.  I have had thoughts like this is manipulation at its finest, or I am being given the Jedi Mind Trick.  It seems that as soon as I pulled away he panicked and started trying to fix things, but now it seems like a show.  For sure if we had sex it wouldn't be believable that he was really enjoying it.  I say why now?  After all this time do you suddenly want to?  He even said I don't know why, but ever since I've been back I want to have sex with you.  I said this sounds like a last ditch effort to keep me here!   Right now I go back and forth between thinking he is the most manipulative person there ever was and that is why I am so confused and maybe he genuinely means it.  I'm leaning toward the first one at the moment......

     Thread Starter
 

Sun Aug 6 1:54 pm  #43


Re: Really Starting to Wonder.....

OutofHisCloset wrote:

 what are we doing to push ourselves?   

 

I can see what you mean. But the only person who can answer that is the straight spouse going through it, 
hence your statement simply becomes another helpful & supportive paragraph in the stories we're all writing
for ourselves....  
Advice/anecdotes/explanations that we all can ponder on and apply to our own situation


*between a rock and a hard place*
 

Sun Aug 6 2:21 pm  #44


Re: Really Starting to Wonder.....

I used to do some volunteer work with domestic violence victims. We were taught about a cycle in which the abuser would promise change and "make up" to the victim after the abuse so that she (most were women) would give him another chance. The change did not last but the moment she had friends and resources aligned to support her is when he'd do this and she'd not leave/return to him. This could go on for years until friends and family gave up on her.

It should not matter to us whether or not he is gay. We should be looking at his overall behavior and how it affects us, not waiting for someone or something to attach a rainbow label to him.

 

Sun Aug 6 2:51 pm  #45


Re: Really Starting to Wonder.....

Ellexoh wrote:

OutofHisCloset wrote:

 what are we doing to push ourselves?   

 

I can see what you mean. But the only person who can answer that is the straight spouse going through it, 
hence your statement simply becomes another helpful & supportive paragraph in the stories we're all writing
for ourselves....  
Advice/anecdotes/explanations that we all can ponder on and apply to our own situation

 
I'm lucky enough to have been in this situation twice now. And both times I am better off out. Both times I took an eternity to leave, both times I fragmented my brain trying to tear myself between understanding them and looking after myself (they sure as heck were looking after themselves). Between the first and the second, once I got my shit together I was the damn diddliest happiest little thing you could want to know, peace of mind reigned supreme, I was calm, collected, content, grateful for every good thing in my (single) life for over a decade. Then it happened again, slowly, slowly I lost myself again and only now, 8 months out am I beginning to feel myself again, nowhere near like before but from a second timer, out is better than in with the screws being turned and the strings held by someone else. Yes it hurts to think of the "good" times, but as far as I can see now they were just a good act, because their interests were elsewhere. Only time away gives you this sort of perspective and even then it only comes slowly.

Sorry to go off thing again!

Last edited by Duped (Sun Aug 6 2:52 pm)

 

Sun Aug 6 3:01 pm  #46


Re: Really Starting to Wonder.....

Duped wrote:

Sorry to go off thing again!

 

Don't apologise
It's wonderful to get a reply

 


*between a rock and a hard place*
 

Mon Aug 7 7:18 am  #47


Re: Really Starting to Wonder.....

A therapist 's job is to listen, reframe, provide coping strategies, and empower you. It's not to tell you what to do.  You are currently on the hamster wheel, and you are the only one who can get yourself off. Once I got off, my world stopped spinning, and I was on solid and stable ground.

 

Fri Aug 11 10:11 am  #48


Re: Really Starting to Wonder.....

Elloxoh,

I very much understand what you're saying about not being ready or having had enough until you get to that point.  You never know how far you are from that point - just that you are moving in its direction.  You hope that one day, you'll arrive at this place where it's evident that THIS is the point where you need to make a decision.  Or THIS is the moment in time where it suddenly felt like a switch has flipped.  Rarely in my life have I had that.  ONCE - when I had to go to court to get a restraining order against my mentally unbalanced son, because he had become physically dangerous to the other children in the house.  Truth be told, it wasn't having had enough.  I'd had enough for a LONG time at that point.  Everyone was telling me that something had to break already.  I knew the decision could only come from me.  But I loved him - he is my son - the child I nursed at my breast and swore to protect with my life.  How could I do this to him?  How could I push him out onto the street and be a decent mother - a decent person?  What if he came to his senses and things turned around?  Well, one day he got into a bad physical fight with my younger son - whom I'd never seen be physical before.  I asked my older son to leave.  Just..... get out.  And while he was out, I walked around, putting away what I thought were dangerous items - vases, larger heavy items that were within reach, etc.  I had locked the doors, too.  I never felt the "I've arrived" feeling at a decision.  What I DID feel was that I realized I was SCARED.  Oh my god - I'm SCARED of him?  I didn't realize I was scared, but I recognized my behavior as being that of someone who was scared.  If Iiiii was scared, and I was larger than both of my other children, then what must they feel like when they're home alone with him???  Oh my GOD - I have to end this.  I have to DO something.  Iiiiiii never got to the decision for myself - I ONLY was able to make a drastic decision when it came down to protecting others who were more vulnerable than me.  In that moment, I made the decision to go to court the next day.  Called my husband on the phone and told him to take the next day off for this.  Told the other kids to make no plans.  Went to court, met with the advocates, met with the judge, got the order.  Went out into the hallway, and bawled like a baby.  I did what I had to do.  And I was mortified that I was at that point in my life.  But my feelings didn't matter any more - I was resolute on the action.  I didn't expect to have no feelings on the matter - it was just that the feelings were NOT going to change my decision.  I would just deal with them separately - they were not going to make me re-think anything.

With my ex, I never reached the point where I felt like I was at that precipice.  It was more of a realization that nothing had changed in 16 years, and we had SO much change to happen before I could even stop being unhappy.  More until I would actually happy.  And in looking at the track record, we were NOT going to get there.  Hell, I think that overall, we had no real movement in the problem that wasn't just temporary.  I never got tired of waiting.  I got tired of hoping.  The day that I lost hope that anything was actually going to change was the day I set the wheels in motion.  It was either accept that place, or get away from it.  I was NOT choosing to stay in that place.

We see battered women never get to that place.  We see them continue on in a relationship because they love him.  They are in danger, they are not being treated lovingly, they are living a miserable existence.  And yet they stay - because they love him, and they hope he'll change.  We wonder when they'll have had enough.  We know that if we were in their shoes, we'd have had enough loooooong ago.  You may not see your situation as being the same as theirs.  And in many ways, it's probably not.  But there are similarities.  You are unhappy and unhealthy.  You are not enjoying life.  You are not joyous on a regular basis.  And you know what has to happen for that to change.  Only.... YOU aren't the one in control of the change.  If you keep believing that the change will come, then you will keep staying.  It's only when you lose hope that change will likely occur that you will make a decision.  The real trick is being honest about whether hope SHOULD exist at this point.  Not whether you have it because you're determined to have it.  But rather, if you were looking from the outside in - and weren't biased due to your love for this person - would you think that you should have hope?  THAT's where the decision is at.  Right.There.

Kel


You are not required to set yourself on fire to keep other people warm.
 

Fri Aug 11 10:34 am  #49


Re: Really Starting to Wonder.....

Josie,

Your story is similar to mine in many ways.  I just didn't have any real proof that my ex was gay.  There was no desire on his part for me with regards to sex and intimacy (and yes, they are two different things).  And I was constantly told that the problem was him, not me.  But no explanation for what the problem WAS.  I felt like he didn't know, either - that it was some mysterious absence of desire for me, but he didn't know why.  I asked, believe me.  And he'd just say that he wasn't that into sex.  He wasn't that into complimenting me, either.  I never got a "you look great!" compliment when I came down the stairs all dressed up for an event.  The kids could see how I looked and fawn over me, but my husband could/did not.  Even when prompted, he couldn't compliment me.  The kids doing so should have prompted him to just echo after them.  It didn't.  Me telling him HE looked nice should have been met with more of a response than "Thanks".  Me asking how I looked should have been met with a different response than "fine".  It seemed petty to want or need these things to be said to me - didn't that mean I had a low sense of self-confidence?  Why did I need so much outside approval???  Maybe it was me.  Maybe I needed things that I shouldn't have needed.  Why wasn't him earning a paycheck and coming home and helping around the house enough?  What was it that I wanted - perfection?

And so I kept on like that for a long time - warring with myself in my own head.  And then occasionally cracking and telling him that I wanted more.  Large discussions were had - ones where I cried and raged and he apologized and made promises.  He might be better for a few days or a week or so.  And then it would slide back to where it was.  And I'd continue waiting - knowing that it wasn't a switch that he could flip in his mind.  Knowing that having more wasn't instantaneous.  And on I'd go - until another half year would go by and I'd reach my peak again.  I tried everything - becoming more attractive, wearing different clothing and lingerie.  Doing my hair and makeup everyday instead of just for work or special occasions.  Lost weight, got surgery to have a flat stomach and perky boobs.  Learned how to do a lap dance.  Attacked the man on the regular.  Stopped waiting for life to happen and tried to MAKE it happen.  NOTHING worked.  What more could I do?  So I began to tell him not just that I was unhappy, but how serious this was to me.  That my needs were not being met, and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't make it unimportant to me.  And that if things didn't change, it WOULD put us in a nosedive that would result in divorce.  It wasn't even a choice I was making, or a threat.  It was a fact.  I don't know what more I could have done.  I'd tried everything.  EVERYthing.  And he was right - the problem wasn't me.

I never did reach my limit on how long I could take it.  I reached my end point on hope.  I realized that things were NOT going to change.  And once I reached that point, I had a decision to make - accept this as my life and shut the hell up already, or plan my exit.  I could NOT decide to accept unhappiness.  No matter what the problem was, I was unhappy, he was either incapable or unwilling to change, and I didn't want to waste my life in that scenario.  I projected my life out another 20 years.  I didn't see anything different except the kids being gone and us having less distraction and more time alone, which didn't look exciting.  And I realized I'd be SO angry with myself if I allowed myself to get that far down the road just on fumes.  Clearly I wasn't making HIM happy, either.  Why did we keep going around in circles if we weren't even making each other happy?  Just so we could say we'd persevered?

And then one day, I passed him in the hallway after being out, and he said, "Hi, how are you?", and I said, "I can't do this anymore."  I didn't plan on saying it - I heard myself say it.  He said, "Do..... what?", and there was that singular moment where I could have just said something else - told him I couldn't stay up that late anymore.  Or that I was tired of being fat.  Whatever - it would be easy to find another reason.  And I just took in a breath and said, "This - being married and feeling this way every day.  I can't do this anymore."  It wasn't THE end, but it was the beginning of my journey to get to a different place.  It didn't feel great - there was no relief or freedom in me saying what followed.  And yet here I am - 7 years down the road from that January day, sitting in a different home, with a different husband, happy every damned day.  And if I have any regret, it's that I wish I would have woken up earlier.  Realized earlier that I wasn't nothing - that I mattered, too.  That me staying with him wasn't fixing the problem.

We each take every day one at a time.  That's what I did.  It was only when I looked backwards to the beginning and ahead to the end that I realized I was deciding every day to just keep waiting another day.

Kel
 

Last edited by Kel (Fri Aug 11 10:35 am)


You are not required to set yourself on fire to keep other people warm.
 

Fri Aug 11 3:10 pm  #50


Re: Really Starting to Wonder.....

When my mother left my father after 30 years of marriage, the only thing that allowed her to do so was that his mental illness had escalated to the point that he threatened to harm my sister.  She had not left when 15 years earlier he had choked HER and I had begged her to get us out of there. She could act only to protect my sister and not herself.  My best friend was able to leave her husband only when he put her and her daughters at financial risk and in legal jeopardy from a fraud scheme, althought their marriage had been a disaster for years.  In these cases, the decision was in some sense made for the women--the course of action was clear.  It wasn't that they had to decide to leave; they knew they couldn't stay.  
   In my case, it hasn't felt like that decision has been made for me by the circumstances, and deciding to leave after 35 years of marriage, gathering up the courage, letting go of the hope that maybe things might change, that my husband will come to his senses and stop wanting to be a woman, has been the hardest thing I've ever done.  My husband never said he wanted a divorce; he said he continues to love me and he wants to continue to have sex with me--but as if we were two lesbians.  That he changed the terms of the marriage by declaring a sexuality at odds with my own wasn't even enough to allow me to believe it was ok to leave him, because I still loved him.  I still had hope;  I still believed that maybe I could change myself to fit what he wanted or somehow "win him back."
    I lived in his closet for a year and half after disclosure before I found this forum; it took me months after I found it to make a call to a SSN volunteer in my town, and then to tell a friend; my name here, Out of His Closet, marked an important step for me, but it has taken another year after that first post here, two and a half years since disclosure before I could tell anyone in my family (my mother--which I did just two nights ago; she was supportive, and I didn't hold back, even on the sordid sexual details I've written about on this forum).  
    I've known for a long time that telling my mother would be the point at which the die was cast, the point of no return, because I knew that once I'd told her that my husband dresses in women's clothes, hates his male body, is sexually excited by feminizing himself, that there would be no way I could stay in the marriage.  The day after I told my mother I finally reached the point where I could bring myself to call a lawyer--which I did yesterday--but when I was told she was in court and her secretary wasn't yet in so I'd have to leave a call back number to make an appointment, I couldn't even bring myself to leave a call back number.  I was shaken when I put down the phone.  But the ice is broken, and although at onle level I still can't believe I have to do this, at another I know I have to and will. I know that I love my husband still, but I also know that it's a love that is become destructive to my health and well being, and I must separate myself from hm.
    My mother said, earlier today, you can look at this divorce as saying that you have decided the situation is not something you wish to be part of.  She's so right: I haven't wanted to be part of the situation since the day he disclosed it, but it's taken me this long to come to the point that I could act to end the marriage.  As Kel says, "I reached my end point on hope.  I realized things were never going to change."  And I can't accept that, as she says, as my life.  ​I'm choosing myself, that is, and choosing for myself. 
   But god, how long it has taken me, and how hard it has been.  I certainly couldn't have done it without the pushing, prodding, understanding, support, and stories of those on this forum.  

Last edited by OutofHisCloset (Fri Aug 11 3:31 pm)

 

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