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Just Ranting, Don't Mind Me


Solstice

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I'm just writing this to get it out. I don't expect anyone to read it or care, but I don't want to let it fester inside me anymore. I wondered if posting here might help.

I was supposed to go on vacation in a week and a half. I've been looking forward to it for a year now -- work has been so tough, and my personal life is a disaster...and that's where the problem comes in. My husband and I aren't getting along at all anymore. He announced he does not want to spend the vacation with me. If I go, he won't, and if he goes, I can't. It's fully paid for, and non-refundable. If we both don't go, it's money wasted. If I go (meaning he can't), I know what I'm likely to hear later: I made his life a misery, and then I ran off on vacation. Even if he never says that, I'd think it myself and it would eat me alive. So, I told him to go. It sounds trivial, but I hurt every time I think of it. Him doing all the things I looked forward to, and now can't.

OK, so that's trivial. It's just vacation. There will be other times, other trips, if I want them. Then there's the rest of everything. My husband has decided that I need to apologize and make amends for literally everything I have ever done wrong in our marriage (and we've been together a long time, and I've done a lot wrong). Not only to I have to apologize, to his satisfaction, but I have to find some way to "give back" to him for all those wrongs. I've tried, but nothing I come up with is satisfactory to him. So, he's angry all the time and says I only care about myself, because if I cared about him I would be able to figure out what to give him.

And there's my life. Go to work, struggle through, with no break to look forward to, and go home to someone who thinks (and repeatedly tells me) that I'm a selfish bitch and with whom I cannot make peace, no matter how hard I try.

Each day, I feel like I'm dying a little more. Becoming more broken. Some day, soon, there will be nothing left of me to repair.

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I'm sorry, Solstice. You know I lived the gender-reversed version of this (though the ex never risked me going on vacation without her, so maybe she's not stupid.) ;-)

Can you see it as a week's vacation, spent at home? If it's non-refundable, does that mean it's not alterable at all (such as each going to a different destination)?

Someone who insists that you don't care about them risks eventually making it true. But it's their risk.

Do you die if you stop being married? That's the sort of thing I used to think ... translated, of course, into other terms. All I could think about were all the difficulties of getting divorced. But somehow, I didn't think about the difficulty of being dead, which is that you never wake up.

Hang in there, friend.

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Thanks, Mark. I know your story tracks mine, though it appears you were smart enough to get out, and I'm not there, yet.

I am trying to look at it as a vacation, of sorts, at home -- I'll still work, since I'm so busy that I can't justify burning vacation time to sit at home, but I'm trying to come up with fun things I can do to make it a little better. And no, there's no way to change it so one of us goes one place and the other goes somewhere else. So he'll go, and I'll stay, and I guess that's the grown up thing to do.

I'm trying to convince myself that not staying married is not the end of my life (or the world, as it sometimes seems). In a lot of ways, I'd like to be divorced and be done with this. I don't think I love him anymore, though I still love who he used to be (or who I thought he was). Problem is, though, I do care about him. And as I think I've said before in this forum, he relies on me financially in every way. Health insurance, income, everything. If I leave, it will have a devastating impact on him -- no, that's really not an exaggeration. Plus, I've come to believe him: that everything that's bad is my fault. Yeah, I know, my higher brain tells me that's not possible, but the codependent part of me that my therapist is chipping away at tells me it's all my fault and I can't ruin someone's life and then walk away. So I stay. I keep staying. I really think it's killing me, but I can't force myself to do the right thing.

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Well, I wish I could "blame" the successful [sic] outcome of my marriage on my having acquired intelligence, but what really happened is that she filed a protective order so that I was forced to leave. Call it inspiring ...

Maybe he needs to wake up to the fact that your leaving would have a devastating effect on him. Or maybe that's why he's being such a jerk ... because he knows already.

Your solution _is_ the grown-up one, which only leaves the question of why you want to stay with a child. You didn't somehow ruin him and make him a child, after all. He managed that by himself.

Anyway, I apologize because I'm being rather direct about my opinion here. It certainly is possible for people to straighten out an unhappy marriage. You're the one who has to do the deciding, and I don't need to make you feel worse about the decision you're currently making.

Hang in there.

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Protective orders can be very inspiring...:o (though, in all seriousness, I'm sorry you had to go through that)

Please don't apologize for being direct. What you're writing makes sense.

It's a strange thing. I'm a smart person, and I can look at all this intellectually and realize what a destructive child he is being, and how impossible his standards are. I can put on my old "psych major" hat and understand the things that make him do what he does. It's all very clear.

But then the other part of me kicks in, and tells me he's right, I'm wrong, I can't leave, I am the cold, hateful bitch he says I am...and that's all I can hear. I hope, with therapy, that will change. I kind of doubt it right now.

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But then the other part of me kicks in' date=' and tells me he's right, I'm wrong, I can't leave, I am the cold, hateful bitch he says I am...and that's all I can hear. I hope, with therapy, that will change. I kind of doubt it right now.[/quote']

Maybe you heard similar criticisms in the past? Could leaving him be frightening on some level? I hope you will keep challenging those negative thoughts.

I'm sorry about your vacation. That must be very disappointing. :o

It is good to hear from you. I hope things look up for you soon.

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Well, wearing your psych major hat (which I'm now forced to imagine what one looks like ...) is more useful when working on one's own issues. Other people are easy. :-) But they're also not ours to change ...

To avoid echoing Beth directly, I could ask instead: what's that "other part", the critical part, of you called? What hat is it wearing? Perhaps its name might tell you something useful about its origins and purpose. Knowing its purpose, you might be able to satisfy it a different way ... which some call finding a more successful coping mechanism.

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i'm about to chime in with an unsolicited opinion that will be of zero use. so be it.

Considering he is unable to grow a pair to look after himself in the smallest way, it would seem to me that it was you, Soltice, that EARNED the vacation, in every sense of the word. Tell him to earn his own vacation-inconsiderate infintile prick.

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