Is anyone glad they're married?

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SearchingForAnswers

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Is anyone glad they're married?
« on: June 02, 2019, 12:28:47 PM »
I've started following this forum and it seems the majority of posts are people stuck in relationships with their PD spouse. Whether it be kids or some other commitment.. I haven't seen anyone glad that they're making it work, maybe they just don't come here?

My husband is uASPD, not the worst by far and to a point that he's come to a self-realization about it. He's looking to start therapy (I am too) but in the meantime he's been working on honesty. I honestly can't understand how his brain works, the things he tells me I can't comprehend. Due to other issues (that led to us realizing his traits), I've set up some boundaries that are helping me right now. We are staying in the same house and having a lot of calm, deep, and meaningful conversations. For the most part though, I don't feel safe and I feel our trust is very broken. I'm trying to believe that he's working on himself. Is it possible for us to work through this and heal? Is it possible to have a strong, happy, healthy marriage with a person who has a PD?

I value happiness very highly, emotions are important to me, does that make it impossible to be a successful wife for him?

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Cascade

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Re: Is anyone glad they're married?
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2019, 02:53:32 AM »
Thatís a tough question for me to answer. There are days Iím somewhat content in my marriage, when things are going as smoothly as they can go with a PD spouse.  But my marriage is far from healthy and sometimes I feel more single than married. I donít feel emotionally safe with my husband either and itís difficult to completely relax when heís nearby.
     I think whether itís possible to have a decent marriage with a PD person depends on how extreme or mild their traits are and on how well you learn to interact with them and use the tools mentioned on this site. It sounds like your husband is much more aware of his issues than most which should give you hope.

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not broken

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Re: Is anyone glad they're married?
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2019, 11:34:08 AM »
Glad you found this forum, searching, welcome.  It has been beyond helpful for me in the last ten months since I landed.  It has been my experience, that what you are asking is something only you can answer for yourself. I think the only way to know is if you are true to yourself, validate yourself and are honest with yourself. There are many factors to take into account: length of relationship, severity of PD traits or behaviors, awareness and honest of the person without PD in the relationship, understanding of yourself in the cycle, etc. 

I really thought for years that if I could get my hwNPD to see how mean and nasty and hurtful he was being with his words, our marriage and relationship would be okay.  I thought that is what needed to happen- the magic bullet. The reality I have come to find out is that I needed to change too, I became an enabler of the cycle.  I am not saying it was my fault at all, please don't mistake my acceptance of my role as accepting blame for his actions or words.   When he finally did have his light bulb moment of how verbally and emotionally abusive he was being, because I think I had reached the end of the line and had detached (plus his mother died, which I think released him in some ways) and the yelling, name calling, belittling, shaming, blaming, etc. stopped (for the most part) he assumed we could move forward and be stronger together, closer than we were before.  The controlling hasn't stopped and even though he is understanding more about himself, he has yet to truly show respect for the space that I have been asking for.

For me, because I was living in such a stressful environment on a daily basis and didn't realize how bad it was, my eyes only recently opened to how disconnected we had truly become.  I am now able to be honest with myself, and have recently started being more honest with him about the fact that I don't trust him.  And I mean I don't trust him with much of any information about myself-  not what I want, my dreams, my goals, sensitive emotional topics about my kids, etc.  I have crafted a life in the same house AROUND him.  If it was something he would find irritating or an inconvenience, I didn't let him see it- even charity work.  I wouldn't ask him to pick something up from the store if I thought it would irritate him, I wouldn't go out without him if I thought he would be bothered, etc.  I thought I was eyes wide open with my life, but as I have peeled the layers back and started to focus on me and what I need, it has been an eye opener of what my marriage and relationship really is; I realize that I have been in denial and lying to myself for a really long time.

It is my opinion that the only way we can find an answer for ourselves is to learn about ourselves.  We need to learn why we felt it was okay to accept, deny, allow, and concede our feelings, opinions, voice and value.   If we can acknowledge that with honestly, and accept and love ourself,  we have a better shot of owning our decision and ultimately our lives so we can truly be happy.

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capybara

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Re: Is anyone glad they're married?
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2019, 03:49:01 PM »
I think that's an interesting question. I do have days when I'm very happy to be with BPDH. He has a lot of good qualities: family (and our relationship) are extremely important to him, he is honest and takes his commitments seriously, his intentions are good, he works hard at his job, and he has overcome some very difficult challenges. I do love, respect and admire him.

I am not sure what the future will hold once our kids are older. Right now therapy is helping and I hope that will continue and we will be in a better place next year in our marriage. We'll see!

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FreekMagnet

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Re: Is anyone glad they're married?
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2019, 03:11:53 AM »
Hello, searchingforanswers

No, I'm not "glad." I think all the benefits of marriage are hers -- me coming to the rescue, keeping a roof over her head, caretaking, blah blah blah.

I was raised in a very dysfunctional home and had some bad things happen as a teen/young adult. TBH, I was coming out of a deep depression when we met and she seemed fun, etc etc.

Things seemed peachy for a couple of years but then she seemed to unravel and her serious mental illnesses, which she DID tell me about, but which I didn't understand, came out and caused problems again. Well, and she also has a drinking/pill problem...

Long story short, 25 years later I can't believe I have been such a "stand by your gal" woman. It's pretty sad. I saw my mother do the same thing and always wondered why... I don't know what it is. Failure to see reality? Stubbornness on my part? Desire to be loved and thinking nobody else does?


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vonmoot

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Re: Is anyone glad they're married?
« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2019, 04:23:19 PM »
Quote
Thatís a tough question for me to answer. There are days Iím somewhat content in my marriage, when things are going as smoothly as they can go with a PD spouse.  But my marriage is far from healthy and sometimes I feel more single than married. I donít feel emotionally safe with my husband wife either and itís difficult to completely relax when heís nearby.

I just changed one word.  The thing I had to realize is that I have take care of myself first.  I nearly allowed myself to get caught up in despair.  I working to shake that off.  Some days are better than others but I'm progressing.

Am I glad I got married?  Well..I justify that with the fact that I have 4 awesome kids.  That's the only reason.  The negatives outweigh the positives.
The demand of the loveless and the self-imprisoned that they should be allowed to blackmail the universe: that till they consent to be happy (on their own terms) no one else shall taste joy: that theirs should be the final power; that Hell should be able to veto Heaven.
The Great Divorce. C.S. Lewis

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Mary

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Re: Is anyone glad they're married?
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2019, 01:20:09 AM »
Hi Searching,
You said, "I value happiness very highly, emotions are important to me, does that make it impossible to be a successful wife for him?"

I would say no, but for you to be happy, you will probably have to redefine success.  I look at it a little like the "Welcome to Holland" piece written for parents of a disabled child. We think we've planned a trip to Italy, and instead we have ended up in Holland. Although I think the metaphor for being married to someone with a PD lands us in, I don't know, a jungle somewhere. (and I'm Jane, ha ha)
https://www.ndss.org/resources/a-parents-perspective/

The rollercoaster ride has brought me to new worlds, even as I've experienced very low lows. As vonmoot said, my children are a true gift. And I have been pushed into the arms of a loving God who I have been found to be only a whisper away. This I would never trade.
Mary
For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called. (Isaiah 54:5)

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Arkhangelsk

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Re: Is anyone glad they're married?
« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2019, 01:52:38 PM »
Hello.

I read this forum heavily from 2011-2015.  When you do that, you get a sense of the rhythms.  What I observed is that the stories are the same, over and over and that people tend to divide into two groups: 1) people that stay with the PD; 2) people that get out.

That is the moment where the stories change a bit, for only the people in group 2.  In whatever way possible, the PD will try to keep sucking their family member back in (especially if there are children).  But the people who divorce (or walk away from other family members) and go as low-contact as possible - their stories begin to have happiness in them.  They get better at boundaries.  They replace toxic relationships with healthy ones.  They begin to enjoy freedom and joy they did not even know they were missing.

Of course, the forums are self-selecting and worth only what anecdotes are worth.  But I read them a lot for a long time.  These observations I made led me to decide to leave my marriage.  It was painful (because I loved my husband and wanted, more than anything, to help him be whole) and because he fought and continues to fight with incredible persistence.  We have young children and the battles have been mentally, emotionally and financially horrific.  I knew they would be all along.  Which is why it took me so long to decide to be done. 

On the other side of this heartbreak, I have to say - truly I am more happy than I ever imagined I could be in this life.  I now know this could never have happened if I have stayed with my ex-husband. 

What makes me happy now? 
- I am not being re-traumatized every day.  This lets me dig in to grow and to heal;
- I no longer make choices because of fear (fear of loneliness, fear of losing my husband and family, fear of rocking the boat, fear of never rocking the boat, god - there was so much fear);
- Once I made space in my life for goodness, I actually made many new relationships.  New friends, who were far more healthy.  A far better relationship with my children.  And, a new partner, who has redefined everything I know about what a relationship can be;
- Control over my finances, even though they are depleted from court battles;
- Respect and recognition from the few friends that stayed.  They love the new me;
- I have an amazing new hobby that I adore.  I never had free time before, because my ex and the messes he made sucked it up.

I think I could keep typing this list for a long time.  I am happy and grateful and, honestly, elated about the life I have in front of me.  But, I do not know if what I am writing is what you hoped to hear.  I am sorry for it.  I wish you well as you chart your course.   

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bohemian butterfly

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Re: Is anyone glad they're married?
« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2019, 03:30:00 PM »
Hello.

I read this forum heavily from 2011-2015.  When you do that, you get a sense of the rhythms.  What I observed is that the stories are the same, over and over and that people tend to divide into two groups: 1) people that stay with the PD; 2) people that get out.

That is the moment where the stories change a bit, for only the people in group 2.  In whatever way possible, the PD will try to keep sucking their family member back in (especially if there are children).  But the people who divorce (or walk away from other family members) and go as low-contact as possible - their stories begin to have happiness in them.  They get better at boundaries.  They replace toxic relationships with healthy ones.  They begin to enjoy freedom and joy they did not even know they were missing.

Of course, the forums are self-selecting and worth only what anecdotes are worth.  But I read them a lot for a long time.  These observations I made led me to decide to leave my marriage.  It was painful (because I loved my husband and wanted, more than anything, to help him be whole) and because he fought and continues to fight with incredible persistence.  We have young children and the battles have been mentally, emotionally and financially horrific.  I knew they would be all along.  Which is why it took me so long to decide to be done. 

On the other side of this heartbreak, I have to say - truly I am more happy than I ever imagined I could be in this life.  I now know this could never have happened if I have stayed with my ex-husband. 

What makes me happy now? 
- I am not being re-traumatized every day.  This lets me dig in to grow and to heal;
- I no longer make choices because of fear (fear of loneliness, fear of losing my husband and family, fear of rocking the boat, fear of never rocking the boat, god - there was so much fear);
- Once I made space in my life for goodness, I actually made many new relationships.  New friends, who were far more healthy.  A far better relationship with my children.  And, a new partner, who has redefined everything I know about what a relationship can be;
- Control over my finances, even though they are depleted from court battles;
- Respect and recognition from the few friends that stayed.  They love the new me;
- I have an amazing new hobby that I adore.  I never had free time before, because my ex and the messes he made sucked it up.

I think I could keep typing this list for a long time.  I am happy and grateful and, honestly, elated about the life I have in front of me.  But, I do not know if what I am writing is what you hoped to hear.  I am sorry for it.  I wish you well as you chart your course.

Thank you for writing this.  As someone who is almost out (but is tempted to stay when they are "nice" and "loving") this helped me tremendously.  Thank you for sharing this.

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Lauren17

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Re: Is anyone glad they're married?
« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2019, 12:55:05 PM »
Am I glad Iím married? In a generic sense, yes. I have my children. Thereís a stability to being married that is important to me. Am I happily married? No. Iím so sad that Iíll never have a mature, reciprocal relationship with my husband.
You ask if youíll ever be a successful  wife for him. Iíd encourage you to think about being a happy person for you!
Iíve found lots of actionable suggestions for finding happiness in spite of hard conditions in Living Successfully with Screwed Up People by Elizabeth R. Brown.
ďYou held me down, but I got up.
Get ready, Ďcause Iíve had enough.Ē
-Katy Perry

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Arkhangelsk

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Re: Is anyone glad they're married?
« Reply #10 on: June 14, 2019, 04:55:25 PM »
Bohemian -

The "nice" periods are the worst.  My husband made some final pushes where he tried to pretend he was reformed that were truly epic.  He told me his eyes were open and he was "ready to be the husband I deserved, if only I would let him."  But I had seen the pattern for too long.  Sure enough, once we were finally living apart, the mean came back with a vengeance.

I deeply, truly feel for you.  And I hope you hew to your path.

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Pepin

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Re: Is anyone glad they're married?
« Reply #11 on: June 16, 2019, 12:53:38 AM »
For the most part I am happy -- happy that I have two wonderful children and happy when I can spend time with my family and my husband when PDmil is not involved.  It is DH's enmeshment with PDmil that makes my marriage and the relationship my children have with DH, difficult.  The kids and I are carrying hefty bags of resentment that we have had to keep in check.   :blink: 

What the kids and I don't do anymore is to pretend that we *like* (or even care for) PDmil or that she needs to be an important aspect of our lives.  Instead, we focus on ourselves and each other.  As sad as it has been (and maddening) the kids and I have learned a lot, thanks to PDmil and DH.  When DH travels, there is 100% peace in the house and zero anxiety.  We don't have to listen to him talk to PDmil on the phone; we don't have to live in fear knowing that we will have to visit with her either.  And even when DH does visit her, we now don't have to feel obliged to accompany him anymore.  PDmil laid her cards out on the table making it clear that when we all visit together, she will only speak with DH and ignore the rest of us.  She does this in other public situations when other family members are present...and I am certain that many are piecing together exactly who she is based on behavior.  What grandmother doesn't dote on their grandchildren?  Guess.   :evil2:

As for DH, he is no angel in this situation.  It is hard because he carries guilt over PDmil being a widow and he also has been sadly brainwashed.  Just the other day he said to me that he felt that he was a spoiled jerk of a kid because he was relentless in asking for things -- and what kid doesn't do that?  They want more based on what their peers and society around them has!  Or they want more to further an interest or something that they feel is important.  DH felt that his behavior was wrong because they had little money...but he failed to understand that his behavior was on him and that if his parents got upset or felt bad, that their reaction was on them.  As a parent, it comes with the territory.   :stars: 

DH has a hard time focusing on himself and genuinely feels bad that his parents - though particularly PDmil -- did not and does not want to have all that he has worked very hard for.  Him and PDmil are two completely different people -- the difference is that PDmil takes advantage of DH to make up for what she lacks and does not have and DH thinks that because they are related by blood that they are of similar mind.   :rofl: He's been carrying her dang rope for decades with her having him believe that she has been doing it on her own.   :no_shake:  NOPE.  DH is a very smart man....but his shortcoming is not understanding what kind of person his mother really is.  She's played him like a deck of cards for his entire life and I KNOW that when she passes, there are likely going to be some challenging periods for us to get through as a husband and wife.  Believe me when I say that when she is gone, I will also change as a person....because I will be the happiest DH has ever seen me.   :applause:
Why work so hard to have a relationship with someone that does not care the same way as you?

No PD is going to tell me what to do.

Born into a dysfunctional family and married into a dysfunctional family.

People who don't bring joy, let them go.

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not broken

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Re: Is anyone glad they're married?
« Reply #12 on: June 16, 2019, 06:27:02 PM »
Bohemian -

The "nice" periods are the worst.  My husband made some final pushes where he tried to pretend he was reformed that were truly epic.  He told me his eyes were open and he was "ready to be the husband I deserved, if only I would let him."  But I had seen the pattern for too long.  Sure enough, once we were finally living apart, the mean came back with a vengeance.

I deeply, truly feel for you.  And I hope you hew to your path.

This right here is where I am at- and have heard almost this EXACT statement to the letter for months.  The difference is that he says I "just need to give him an inch to see his changes, because he has been WOKE and is a new person".   Which is NOT happening, because I have realized I just don't want to.  My mind and body simply cannot go back, give in, nor even allow any ounce of vulnerability.  My hwNPD is FOTY right now, and Mr. giving, thoughtful, doing anything and everything "for me".  I genuinely don't even know what to talk about with him right now.  Anything I offer as conversation, he takes as being "interested in him" and a connection- which I don't want him to assume. 

As I figure out what I want and next steps for myself and my kids- I am so irritated, frustrated, angry, etc with his focus on me being "distant and cold" and how he just has to be strong against the loneliness and hurt he feels, because I need to work through my own feelings- which is a direct result of his verbal and emotional abuse over the last two decades. 

Thank you, ark. Your comment was really helpful and a reminder to stay my own course and choose me. 

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Arkhangelsk

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Re: Is anyone glad they're married?
« Reply #13 on: June 17, 2019, 11:51:30 AM »
Choose you, Not Broken, 

If your partner was really reformed, he would be able to focus in on you and the damage he has done.  He would see you need respite. 

Instead, he is focused on words of manipulation.  He is focused on how he would be amazing - if only YOU would act the way he wants.  This is controlling.  You are not responsible for it.  The only thing you are responsible for is you and the children in your care. 

It used to make me sick to think that my only way out was to leave my kids behind 1/2 of the time.  (Most states go 50/50 on custody, unless there is physical abuse).  But I realized that they needed at least one stable, sane parent to survive.  And I could not be stable and sane and married to their father. 

This morning I woke up with my 9 year old cuddled on one side of me and my new partner on the other side.  We all talked quietly for a bit.  My 9 year old told me that his dad hated my new partner and thought I was a bad person for living with him.  So we discussed it.  It has been 6 years since I asked for a divorce and the man has not changed.  But, from this place of safety, I have built a new home and an amazing new life.  When I got rid of my PD, I made space for goodness.  My son was just fine after our little chat.  So I got up and went to the bathroom.  When I got back, my son was curled up with his step father and they were both sleeping peacefully.

I never imagined I could feel so good again.  I wish I could go back to the terrified, desperate, achingly sad person I was six year ago (and a decade ago, and 2 decades ago) and hold her hand.  I would tell her that we can never know the future, but we can make sure that the only people we keep around us cherish us and care for us.

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EclecticMike

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Re: Is anyone glad they're married?
« Reply #14 on: July 15, 2019, 05:19:55 PM »
My gladness started out robust but over the past 38 years, it has been whittled down with each episode, circular argument or suicide threat. The bad part is that the frequent times that she is nice or LoveBombs, it erased my memory of the trauma although the mental and physical effects remained in the background. My therapist had me start journaling and that has been an eye-opener. I look at the person on the page and think, why in the world does he put up with that and then I realize that it is me. unfortunately, after this many years, I fear that I am beyond the point of no return as the logistics of getting my life back seem mind-boggling.

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BrianSmith

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Re: Is anyone glad they're married?
« Reply #15 on: July 17, 2019, 08:37:00 AM »
Oh, it always reveals only in years and decades. You won't never have understood how good this person is in a few years. 

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SparkStillLit

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Re: Is anyone glad they're married?
« Reply #16 on: August 31, 2019, 12:25:04 PM »
I'm not glad. If I could go back, I wouldn't have done it. My H asked me the other day if I would have gotten married, and I hesitated. He said "it's ok to say no", but it's not ok, so I quickly covered up.
I love my children, so there's that, but my kids are traumatized by this. DD is a young adult, and in therapy for a couple things, but DS is a middle teen.
I've been in therapy before, and need it again.
I think the benefits of being married are all to him. I even say if anything happens to him, I will never ever remarry.
I've spent half my life doing this...I don't know...exhausting soul sucking dance.
I know I'm a new face here, but I just wanted to say it. Everyone's stories read juuuuuust like mine. I stay for right now because I think he'd unleash financial and emotional war and destruction on me, and use our son as a weapon in it. I may reconsider with both children safely out.

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Poison Ivy

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Re: Is anyone glad they're married?
« Reply #17 on: August 31, 2019, 12:43:29 PM »
Hi, SparkStillLit.  As the saying goes, welcome to the club that no one wants to be a member of.

I'm divorced. I love my children more than I thought possible. They make my life worth living.  But their dad? Oh, dear, he has so many problems and always did, and other than that having a relationship with him resulted in the creation of our children, marrying him was probably a terrible mistake.

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GentleSoul

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Re: Is anyone glad they're married?
« Reply #18 on: September 16, 2019, 06:28:40 AM »
I am really because of the issues in me.  My partner picker is broken.  So whoever I would have married would have been a PD/alkie/addict of some sort.  I am using this time married to uPD H to work on me.

If I had left the marriage to work on me, I most likely would have hooked up with another problem personality person! 

Staying with uPD husband stops me doing that!   I have been married before but always left before I worked on me.  Hence kept repeating my pattern.  Time for ME to stop!

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blacksheep7

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Re: Is anyone glad they're married?
« Reply #19 on: September 19, 2019, 05:20:19 PM »
Am I happily married in love, no, I have a good life with dh.  We have many common interests.  He works hard to provide so we can go on nice vacations, travel, go to concerts and out with the gkids which is what we enjoy.
He is a big co-dependent, taking care of everyone else like his mother was and sister is. He can not live alone...like his father.  He is not disrespectful to me but lacks emotional connection so because of that there is no intimacy between us. The big problem was that  Does Not Open up,  we had a major conflict which I tried to address for two years. All he would tell me each time, your're making too much of it and or don't worry.  >:( Not a big talker/conversationalist, only the superficial.  A man like that does not attract me.  I finally pushed him to the brink because he was acting out his unhappiness being slightly aggressive in his driving for example, bitching about everything and everyone.  At this point I told him I had enough of it, being triggers from my past, NF  That being in a one way street did not resolve anything for me/us and that I was exhausted in trying to repair our relationship alone.  He thought I was putting him out the door then and there which I wasn't.  He then said we would wait 20 yrs if he had to.  Oh gosh.  This was one year ago.  We do things together but as friends.   I'm 64 and the home we live in is mine.  If he isn't happy, he can leave and he knows that but he won't.

I told him that he had to work on himself like I worked on myself, I have no more energy to think about him all the time, it wasn't reciprocated when I did. I learned that I have to be happy and content first, he has to do the same.   It is very difficult to have a dh who does not open up at all and believe me I tried.

When I came ootf with my foo, he supported my decision with nc but I lacked his emotional support, big time.

We live like before, having a life but no love life.   He just sits and waits expecting me to change or come back to the way I was which won't happen.  I don't feel guilty or bad about it.  I layed out the cards many times.   
I'm concentrating on me now, since coming ootf I have many things/projects I want to do.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2019, 05:25:05 PM by blacksheep7 »
I may be the black sheep of the family, but some of the white sheep are not as white as they try to appear.