Invisible in childhood - ignored in marriage And the band played on....

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Wife#2

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I think I realized today WHY I was attracted to my husband and why I'm not anymore. I was an invisible child, unless I made a stink, then the attention was NOT good. A parent who's probably uBPD, certainly depressed and exhausted and overwhelmed does NOT want a chatterbox in her face. My husband gave the appearance of wanting to know what I was feeling and thinking. He still does. But, in truth, he's being 'polite'. He's still going to do what he's going to do, regardless of my opinion.

In the day-to-day of our lives, I work, go home, eat the meal H has cooked, clean up or he does - either, spend time with our son, watch the news, watch tv (ok, that's my addiction even more than cigarettes is TV), spend more time with DS8. The whole time, H may try to talk to me once or twice, has likely fussed at DS8 at least once. Most often he talks about his hobby, something he wants, is getting, got and is figuring out. Then, he'll turn his back to me and look up more information on the computer about his hobby. We may watch a little and or talk a little together before we go to bed.

His idea of a romantic line - you know it's a no underwear zone tonight, right? Or, the equally inspiring 'I'm getting some tonight, just wanted to let you know'. If I don't want to, that is not important. I am a wife, I must fulfill husbandly desires and needs. What *I* need or desire is second place. It's that way, in large part, because I've allowed it to be this way.

I've been shut down so many different and creative ways for having opinions, wants, needs, desires that did not mesh with his wants, needs, desires or expectations. NO wonder I keep getting triggered. The more I'm triggered, the more I want to escape. The more I want to escape, the more pissed off I get about HIS wants, needs, desires and expectations. No wonder I draw even deeper into myself. THEN, he starts complaining about how distant I am. Well, tough titty said the kitty. I get mad and I finally say what I want, need, expect. Then, begins the campaign to prove why his are better, more important, most valid and I should just accept HIM AS HE IS. Nothing about accepting ME AS I AM. I should change until he's happy.

I'm at the end of my rope in this psychodrama again. I'm ready to tell him to take a flying leap and see how good those wants & needs will help him then. That, if he complains about how hard it'll be if I divorce him, well, he should have thought about that before. He should have considered that before attempting to break down one of my rock-solid boundaries AGAIN, when I told him that was a divorce scenario before.

I'm angry. AT myself for letting it get this bad. At myself because it's MY wants & needs and boundary that are causing this divorce. I'm mad at him because he can't see that HE also has a BIG part of the fault. I tried to tell him that if those things are what are important to him, he married the wrong woman and it was time to let me go instead of trying to change me into that fantasy. I ain't gonna change that much - NOT Gonna happen. I'm not trying to change him, just to let him know that we are NOT a good match and that, rather than 'force' him to change, I just want out. I'm not trying to impose rules on him, just show him that there is no compatibility between us anymore. I will not yield. He will not stop. We need this trainwreck of a marriage over before someone gets hurt even worse.

I'm so triggered that I barely can get off the sofa at home. Only my love for my son gets me up and going many days. Some days, even that can't budge me. I don't want to do anything, say anything, be anything. I just want to disappear, but they won't let me, even for a mental health break from both of them. Here's how messed up I am. My H has the spare room and a abuilding out back as HIS refuges of peace and 'leave-me-alone'. Each son (The DSS23 still lives at home) has a bedroom to himself - their 'leave-me-alone' zone. The living room is no refuge for me. The kitchen is no refuge for me. The bedroom is shared. And if I'm anywhere besides the living room for more than 5 minutes, here comes husband asking if I'm alright - even if I told him I was going to lie down and take a nap!

I have nowhere else to go but inward. Then, because I'm staring at the TV when I dissociate, H will get disgusted at me if I don't know what just happened on the TV. I'm looking in that direction, not watching! H does NOT understand this. I may have my tablet handy, playing a game on it. He'll ask what I'm doing, but his tone is disapproving if I have the tablet out (should love HIS hobby, not have one of my own that HE doesn't like). I'll tell him just playing a game - and even show it to him, but he's still disgusted that I can't tell him everything that happened while he was not in the living room. GRRRRRR.

Really. I'm so exhausted. I can't be everyone's everything, but especially if that leaves me being my nothing. And, now I feel like I'm the one with the PD because I'm ranting and sounding selfish and whining about not getting my way. So, now I'm angry at myself for wasting my time to type this and your time to read it. <expletive> . Sorry. Getting off the pity wagon.

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Three Roses

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Sounds like you are really unhappy! Sorry you're not getting the support you need  :hug: :hug:

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LanaBanana

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Wife#2, that sounds like such a lonely toxic environment, I'm sorry to hear that  :hug:

I think you're on the right track about setting boundaries and affirming your wants and needs. Like you said, if your husband can't respect that, then the relationship is really not a good match. You shouldn't have to give up your needs to accommodate him.
Don't feel bad for ranting about your situation here, it's totally normal given the context that you're reaction this way and that you're angry. This website was made to share feelings, so don't apologize for expressing them.

I hope the situation gets better for you, but in the meantime, I'm sending you a big hug  :hug:  :hug:

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robin

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I grew up with a depressed mother and a father who was not a nurturing type of parent.  He worked most of the time and travelled.

I thought I caused my mom's depression.

I have read a lot on childhood neglect and attachment disorders--Pete Walker is especially helpful.
I realized I have been in "survival mode" since birth, that I have believed I am essentially unloveable.  The defenses that I formed to survive a childhood with no loving parent created the way I felt  in both my marriages.  The minute I was committed to the Husband, my abandonment depression (from childhood) --being the only blueprint in my consciousness-- was re-stimulated.

Once into by abandonment depression, although at the time I believed it was the husband/relationship that caused me to feel empty, bad, unfulfilled,--it was the childhood issues.  I was actively into addictions during my first marriage, and recovering in my second marriage.  However, although I was not drinking and drugging in the second marriage I sunk into a (black hole) depression, the exact way I felt as a 5 year old child!!  I really started to blame myself because I had been in therapy and I wasn't self medicating.  It wasn't until I ready The Body Keeps the Score (Bessel Van der Kulk) that I understood what had happened to me, that i was innocent, not unloveable, that I was in constant "survival" mode, and that I needed healing.  I realized that I was not defective and damaged, that I was incapable of being happy in a relationship because I had a damaged "blueprint" from growing up with a depressed mother.

Now, how to heal the blueprint?  Educating myself about complex ptsd, childhood trauma, neglect, attachment dysregulataion is a good first step, understanding it has lifted a huge piece of the overwhelming sadness and hopelessness about ever being happy.  I am changed deeply in mind and body since The Body Keeps the Score--I am not afraid all the time.  I have realized that need to feel "safe" is normal given my upbringing.  I believe that healing this pain can be done in part through rhythmic movement together with (visualizing) being empowered in childhood situations that I felt helpless in.
Visualizing being able to run away while riding the bike at the gym.  I am building strength as well so I feel less vulnerable.  Believing that I can defend myself physically gives me a sense of empowerment.  Its a start.  I am dedicated to growing that loving inner voice and to disengage from the toxic critic that grew out of my blaming-self as a child.
I hope this helps you.  (This is the first time I have ever joined a blog, and given a response to someone.)
:))))

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Three Roses

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Robin, sounds like I am going to read that book!   :thumbup:

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Wife#2

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Robin,

First, thank you and welcome! I have read a lot of Pete Weller's offerings and it does help a lot. I have not read 'The Body Keeps The Score', but I will be going to the bookstore soon with my son and think I'll pick that one up for myself.

I find it sad that we pick spouses who set us up to feel 'comfortable' aka like our childhood memories of what family should be. I missed the mark because, although my H appeared to be a dedicated family man with a good moral core, he turned out to be just as hurting from his own cPTSD issues that are still not resolved.

I started out being warm and loving - something foreign to him, and a welcome change. His own mother was cold, distant and practical. He started out being attentive and thoughtful. Over time, based on our reactions to each other, stuff that happened that was really off the chain and the pressures of him having children from his first marriage in the home, well, we've both devolved into the archetype we both knew from childhood.  Now, both of us share a house and a bed, but we're not emotionally connected in any intimate way. We've both put up so many protective walls now that we barely know the other exists.

The scariest thing is I see us treating our DS8 the way we were. Even despite my best efforts to consciously make sure DS8 knows he matters and is very much loved EVERY DAY. But, I see that the gulf is forming between us. Because of my past, I panic, not sure if it's a natural part of his getting older or if it's the proof of my and my H's cPTSD playing out in his life, perpetuating another generation. Based on how DS8 talks about his father, he is suffering in a similar way to how I did. Dad is in the home, but completely unavailable and critical of what he does take the time to see about the child.

What saddens me most when I think of this is that I KNOW that my husband loves our son and that our son loves his father. Has anger, resentment and minimal respect, but also has so much love. I want to nurture that while not allowing the anger and resentment grow. I can't do that on my own. And H thinks I'm over-reacting and being 'all new-age BS about it'. He does not want me to put DS8 into therapy. I don't understand his resistance.

So, I feel ignored because my opinions are so invalidated. The walls are too high to really sit down and talk anymore.

I think H and I could both use the book you recommended. I'll have to see if they're on audio-book. H's eyes have failed too bad for him to read a standard book anymore.

Again, thank you! For your post, your honesty, your help and for having the courage to speak up!  :: HUGS ::

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movementforthebetter

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Wife #2, thank you for writing this. I am facing the same issues with my partner and have struggled to articulate what is wrong in the relationship despite knowing for years that it's not working for me. BF truly sees everything as fine even when I have brought up concerns in the past and we have not resolved them. I have withdrawn. His idea of trying to get me in the mood is to literally grab at my body. No interest in what would make me happy. In therapy I am focusing on bettering myself so I can leave and hopefully spend some time happily single.

I feel for you with the kids. That must be hard for you. Can you keave the house for alone time? I find going for a walk really helps me. Maybe physically removing yourself from your stressors could give you a little relief.

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Wife#2

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Thanks for the response! I'm still pretty down and I'm thinking about what you said. The challenge I have is that my DS8 is so desperate for Mom time that he begs to come with even if all I want to do is walk around the block. Then, it becomes about which way he wants to go. He's only 8, so he really doesn't understand why that would bother me. If I told him that I just want to be alone, it would hurt him very deeply.

Then there are moments like last night when I just want to scream at H, but it wouldn't do any good. I'm working crazy hours for the next three/four weeks, until the big project is done. I'm not alone, many at work are also. This wasn't a voluntary situation. The end result is that I went from working a standard 40 to over 60 hours a week. This, of course, is cutting into home time. DS8 is very unhappy about how little time I can spend with him. But, what ticked me off was this thoughtful comment from hubby (TMI alert!): 'Wife2, I hope you're not expecting me to go four weeks without any. Because that's not going to work for me.' REALLY!!??!! What if trying to accommodate YOUR needs when I'm exhausted and you never do anything to 'get me in the mood' anymore anyway isn't working for ME!!!!! OMG, really? I was too stunned to even answer out loud. Answering what I typed here would have been a fight. I heard the same crap after I had DS8 - and that was medically ordered! Seriously? How DARE you say you love me when what I'm going through matters less than the number of days since you had sex!??!!! 

I am so furious with him. I did manage to give him a kiss before I went to bed last night, but the way I did it made it clear that NO, my priority right now is NOT servicing him! OMG, the fact that he REALLY, REALLY feels this way and that I'm the bad guy if I don't give in and give him what he wants makes me want to scream, yell, throw things and stomp my feet! HOW does he not get it after 12 years of marriage? After countless conversations about how he expects but does nothing to help (one shoulder rub because of the extra work lately, and I had to ask for that a day in advance! I'm not kidding!). So, because he's continuing to cook meals, I'm supposed to 'hold up my end of the marriage bargain?' Um, try again <want to use expletives here, so badly>

AND, I gave him the day off cooking - and will more if he wants - by picking up dinner. Even that, he managed to piss me off. It wasn't good enough that I go get it tonight after work. No, then we'd be eating too late. I had to get up and go get it LAST NIGHT - making me late getting to bed - so that HE would have it in the house tonight before I got home. I wish I was making this up! I wish he wasn't being so insensitive to what I'm going through!

And the saddest part is, he's worked these kinds of hours while married with small kids in the house (first marriage). The kids say he spent ALL those evenings telling the kids to leave him alone, come home, eat, take a shower, then straight to bed. He was too tired for sex in that marriage, but in this one, since I'm the one working, I'm supposed to still be up for it because HE WANTS IT. Not because he's done anything romantic, like ask our 29yo to watch our 8yo for the evening and fix me a nice special dinner. Not because he took extra care cleaning the house (lousy on the best of days - wants 'credit' for sweeping and cooking dinner and maybe doing a load of laundry), not because he finally cleaned a toilet so I didn't have to. Solely because he WANTS it. He would never do those things I just talked about. They don't even occur to him.

I'm on another rant. I have to get back to work. But, I had to vent or I really think I'd explode. I'm so triggered, because he completely ignored that I was bone-tired and ready to go to sleep. He wanted sex (didn't get any) and he wanted me to go to the store on HIS schedule, even after asking me if that was ok and me answering, 'No, I'd really rather do that tomorrow after work, I'm really too tired to be driving right now'. TALK ABOUT IGNORING ME!

Back to work.  Again, thanks for answering. I'm so sorry that any of you know how this feels. It is horrible and I wouldn't wish this on anyone.

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Three Roses

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The challenge I have is that my DS8 is so desperate for Mom time that he begs to come with even if all I want to do is walk around the block. Then, it becomes about which way he wants to go. He's only 8, so he really doesn't understand why that would bother me. If I told him that I just want to be alone, it would hurt him very deeply


This is a great place to start modeling healthy boundaries to your child so that he will learn by your example. From what you've said, he won't learn them from H!

You can tell him you need some time just alone to recharge your batteries (does he like science? You could even use real batteries as a demonstration). After all, you cannot give your son what you don't have. Then, in the same conversation you can set up a time that is all about him. I know you're tired and it will be hard to find the extra time, but your sanity and your child's emotional health are worth whatever it takes.

Sending you big  :hug:

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Wife#2

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He'd get the battery analogy. We share my Nook and it has to be charged ALL the time. He definitely gets how frustrating it can be to have a dead battery. And he'd understand that I'm using that AS an analogy. He does try to give me time, sometimes. And we try to ALWAYS have our best/worst part of the day discussions before bed. Even now, when he's staying up later than me, we do his goodnight routine and then I go to bed while he stays up playing on the computer or Nook.

DS8 does sometimes give me time to myself, understanding that I need some time. Not always, but he does try. What I get from H is like this: The headache medicine commercial that has one child make a loud mess, and the other shouts even louder: 'Be quiet, Mommy has a headache!'. Ok, my DS8 is the first child, he makes a little noise or request of me. H is the one shouting - 'Your mother told you to leave her alone, so go away!'. I can't let that stand, so then I fuss at H, who is shocked because he was just defending MY private time! It's like that. Ugh.

Thanks for the big hug, here's one for you!  :hug:

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Wife#2

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Re: Invisible in childhood - ignored in marriage And the band played on....
« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2016, 07:17:17 PM »
Three Roses,

I did take your advice, about the time to myself (too lazy/tired, whatever to walk the block). I went into my bedroom and locked the door for a while.

DS8 knocked once - I reminded him this was MY time. 'Ok, Mom, when is it over?' '30 more minutes' 'I'll be back in 30 minutes then!'

H knocked twice - I reminded HIM this was MY time. 'What are you doing in there anyway?' 'Nothing bad or illegal, just relaxing by myself!' 'Can I come in and talk to you?' 'No. I'll be out in 45 minutes.'  Later, he was back, 'Are you going to the store tonight?' 'Not if I can help it. I'll talk to you in 15 minutes when MY time is up.' 'I just wanted to know...' (interrupting him) 'We'll talk about it in 15 more minutes!'

And the band played on.....

Since then, he actually asked why I've been so touchy (as in easy to anger) lately. REALLY? Hm. Let me think! And, he wanted credit for NOT pushing the sex issue for the last two weeks of my work project. Credit?  I told him I appreciated that he hadn't pushed it and allowed me to get the sleep I so very much needed. He said, we'll, it's not going to be like that again, is it?

Sarcastic thought - 'Let me get out my crystal ball. No, Husband, it will NEVER be LIKE THAT again. You will NEVER have to go more than two days again. EVER. << emphatic questioning his parent's marital status at his birth >>'

Actually said 'There is no make-up for lost sex, just like there's no make-up for lost sleep. I'm still the same middle-aged to senior woman I was before all this overtime. If you want an Energizer bunny, I need to be replaced'

Answer? 'Dang, I was just kidding! But, really, don't I get ANY credit for being so understanding?'   :blowup:  What was that first question Oh, yeah, why am I so cranky..... UGH.

Follow-up sarcastic thought - 'Here's your clue, Darling. Don't lose it again.'

Then, I got a gem last night. Not about sex THIS time (I ignored those, I was tired and my back hurt from time spent playing games on the floor with DS8). But, somewhat randomly, H tells me that if I want a divorce, I should just kill him, because he wouldn't survive 'going through that again'. I tried to keep it 'just a joke' and said, 'Sorry. I'm not going to jail leaving DS8 an orphan'. Instead of coming back with something indicating that he was just having a random thought or that he'd reconsidered how his words sounded, he came back with, 'You'll just have to make it look like an accident.' WHAT? Are we really discussing this? So, if I want a divorce, your suicide is my fault? NO. I reject that pressure. If you can't handle another failed marriage, do more to make it a success! Don't make the wife the prisoner of the marriage or of your actions! I could not believe my ears!

I know he's also c-PTSD. I also know his wife was a total (question species of ex-wife and breeding capacity). I further know that the divorce, following on the heels of the death of his mother, sent him into a spiral that almost claimed him. While I have lots of sympathy for all of that and for the * that caused him to HAVE c-PTSD, I cannot, CAN NOT have as my only motivation for staying in the marriage to be the fear that he will end his life if I don't stay. OR that he will want ME to be the one to end HIS life as, likely, he wouldn't be able to do that to himself anyway. He's a survivor. It just ticked me off sooooo much that he would even bring that into the conversation, when we weren't even talking about divorce, marriage or life.

Still reeling after that one. The only thing I can think is that I went into the bedroom to talk to my sister (because H had the living room TOO LOUD for conversation and DS8 wanted me to pay attention to HIM, not my sister on the phone), and we ended up talking for over an hour. So, because I talked to my sister for an hour, I'm plotting to leave him? Is his fear of abandonment that strong? No wonder he's depressed. I'm gone to work all day and he must really be afraid that I'm plotting ALL THE TIME to leave him. In a way he's ironically right. I do plan how to leave, if I can ever get off my butt and DO IT. But, it is not an active plan right now. And comments like that make it easier and harder at the same time.

*** I didn't cause it, I can't control it, I can't fix it ***
*** I didn't cause it, I can't control it, I can't fix it ***

Wow, do I need to keep this mantra up.....

*** I didn't cause it, I can't control it, I can't fix it. ***

What he chooses to do as a result of my self-preserving decisions is HIS responsibility. NOT mine. I can care, I can want to make things easier, but I am not, ultimately, responsible. Re-read that Wife2. Re-read that daily.

Ok, gotta stop. Internalize this statement, 'I didn't cause it, I can't control it, I can't fix it.'

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Three Roses

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Re: Invisible in childhood - ignored in marriage And the band played on....
« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2016, 07:46:35 PM »
 :applause:

A friend of mine says, "Not my circus, not my monkeys." :)

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Wife#2

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Re: Invisible in childhood - ignored in marriage And the band played on....
« Reply #12 on: September 28, 2016, 01:08:19 PM »
I started this thread almost 4 months ago. The only thing that's changed is the weather outside. And that there have been brief moments of him trying to be HIS version of kind (not badgering me because I didn't put the laundry away as soon as was physically possible).

He's gone on strike from making sweet tea. He's gone on strike from doing laundry. He's yelled at me because we ended up needing a new bathroom floor, a new dryer (only took 6 months of overloading before dying), a new toilet and a new drain field for our septic tank. He only sweeps twice a week now. He mops less than that. He dusts never.

We've also got a new puppy that came up on our porch. H loves it and it is HIS dog. I get to clean up the messes every morning because H stays in bed EVERY day until I'm out and going. H says he's housetraining the dog, but I believe that is more just when he notices her sniffing he'll run her out. Not really training the dog. But, I'm the (questioning my species and breeding capacity) if I gripe about cleaning up behind the dog every day. And, I'm just spiteful if I try to get him out of bed before me on the weekends so HE gets the pleasure of the cleanup.

Running through my head is a 5-year-old who says, 'Mommy, can I keep her? I'll do EVERYTHING and treat her REALLY good!' Except, because this is my husband, I expected actual help when I said yes. Instead, I get the 5yo type answers and behaviors. And the human 8yo and 24yo are mean people because they won't help H with the dog and since H hasn't trained her at ALL, they're mean because they don't love that the dog jumps up on them all the time.

It's getting worse instead of better. I'm getting sicker from all the stress. I take my time as best I can. It is more than I used to get, but less than I need. I'm cementing the plans for separation. I'm getting ready. The fractures are too big, this earth is about to shift and there is no longer ANYTHING to be done to change it.

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Dutch Uncle

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Re: Invisible in childhood - ignored in marriage And the band played on....
« Reply #13 on: September 28, 2016, 01:13:41 PM »
 :aaauuugh: on him,

 :hug: to you.

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movementforthebetter

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Re: Invisible in childhood - ignored in marriage And the band played on....
« Reply #14 on: September 28, 2016, 03:29:30 PM »
Differences in how you care for pets are like differences in how you would raise children - so hard to overcome without equal effort and communication. Sending you strength for everything you need to deal with.