Jump to content

How to successfully reconcile?


Recommended Posts

1 hour ago, FF-lawyer said:

the amount of effort and time I have spent in this relationship the last 2 years!

I’m not sure honestly that I find this relationship to be a safe place, I haven’t felt safe in it for the last 2 years, due to his back and forth and indecision. 

So, OP, what exactly are you going to do?  Continue on like this?

I agree with Bluecastle:

"but I think people thrive and come into themselves most authentically when they feel respected, not when they feel like respect is a carrot on a stick that will come if they run fast enough to snag it. "

 

Edited by LaHermes
add
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 92
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

I'd focus on this latter part, more than the former. Curious: Do you have the same impulse with friends, with family? I ask because it's worth understanding what's behind that, the degree to whic

I think the above describes me to some extent, until I was in my mid-30s. I made excuses for their shortcomings and took up the slack for them. When I reached my mid-30s, a switch went off. I bec

The Wendy behind Peter Pan Psychologist Dan Kiley, who defined ‘Peter Pan Syndrome’ in 1983, also used the term ‘Wendy Syndrome’ to describe women who act like mothers with their partners or peop

One of my friends broke up with her fiance for that very reason; he saw himself as superior to her because he had a high paying career (boat captain) and she worked as a medical biller, lived with her mom and was a single mother. He continually"guided" and "advised" her. In essence, the message she got was "you're not good enough. You need me to 'fix' you". And she came to resent his constant prodding to "improve" herself.

Of course the relationship fell apart when she got tired of him expecting her to always follow his "advice". He got annoyed when she chose to forge her own path. He didn't approve of her doing things her way; he felt he knew what was best for her and expected her to agree.

That dynamic is not sustainable. Even if your ex chooses a path to better his life that you "approve" of. At some point he will start making his own decisions and he won't need or want your advice anymore. Then what? Will you truly be relieved or will you be annoyed that he doesn't follow your lead?

Link to post
Share on other sites

My ex husband was a habitual debtor. He was a fireman, a general contractor and we owned income property.  By all accounts and looking from the outside, we had it all.  But what you wouldn't know is we were living month to month with credit collectors after us.

I was a stay at home mom with two small children, running myself into the ground trying to keep all the plates spinning.  He'd take money from the household to pay workers, to pay for vacant rentals and because I had the better money sense he slept perfectly well at night while I was riddled with anxiety.   I didn't have an income but I had to try to manage his.

He continued his bad habits because I rewarded his  behaviour by cleaning up his messes and there were never any consequences to his recklessness.. . .Until the anxiety got me into to therapy and I had to learn to let go.   

It was a symbolic moment and basically the beginning of the end, when I took all the bills and threw them in the air and they scattered all over the kitchen floor.  I was done putting the fires he continually set.  The fires he set and lied about.  It was like living with a drug addict.  His drug was money.  Things began to spiral down the drain and I filed for divorce.

We divorced and without me in his way he bought a new home, remodeled it, a new truck, an rv, a boat, motorcycles.  This list goes on.  Within 3 years he had to file bankruptcy, lose everything and move into a crappy little apartment.  His sons lived with me full time.

He (somewhat) learned these lessons approaching 50 years old!  He wasn't going to learn with my help or my control.  I realized I couldn't control it all and had to let go and allow him to make his own mistakes and suffer the consequences.

Edited by reinventmyself
Link to post
Share on other sites

@boltnrun and Jibralta: I see, thanks. I do have reasons to believe that he can’t be trusted to take the reins, but I am unsure of my own assessment, as I tend to be a but harsh on people. I hesitated in the last 2 years, I know, but I was so happy that he moved to me 1.5 years ago that I wanted to make things work no matter what. Being with him everyday was just overwhelmingly great, despite a boatload of issues, and it took a VERY long time to give it up.

@bluecastle: honestly, as proud as I am of my own achievements, I don’t want to be with someone who is “lost”. What I would like is someone who is at least reasonably “established” and “successful”, enough to be able to contribute with ideas for a common future, who can say “what if we lived in X”, “what if we did a world tour in X years”, “what if you did X and then I could do X and we could have X project together” and who can question/criticize what I am doing instead of always saying everything I do is pure gold. I feel like I am living my life and he is living like a clone of myself, next to me, with my interests, my hobbies, my lifestyle, my future plans, and none of it is coming from him. Of course, I may have contributed to that by making all the decisions, so it’s not all on him, but it’s just terribly frustrating.

So to answer the question, I don’t need to be “challenged” by him (I give myself enough challenges already) but I want to be at least a little bit “guided”, just a few ideas here and there. A few months ago, he asked if we could live in a different European city for instance, for 2-3 reasons that he laid out - that was the first time he had an idea that wasn’t mine, and that was amazing! I was super excited, but then he said not to get too excited and that we would need to think about the modalities. But it was a first, and I got to thinking that maybe it could continue.

@LaHermes: basically I would like to see if he stays that passive, without me to make decisions for him. 

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, FF-lawyer said:

@bluecastle: honestly, as proud as I am of my own achievements, I don’t want to be with someone who is “lost”. What I would like is someone who is at least reasonably “established” and “successful”, enough to be able to contribute with ideas for a common future, who can say “what if we lived in X”, “what if we did a world tour in X years”, “what if you did X and then I could do X and we could have X project together” and who can question/criticize what I am doing instead of always saying everything I do is pure gold. I feel like I am living my life and he is living like a clone of myself, next to me, with my interests, my hobbies, my lifestyle, my future plans, and none of it is coming from him. Of course, I may have contributed to that by making all the decisions, so it’s not all on him, but it’s just terribly frustrating.

So to answer the question, I don’t need to be “challenged” by him (I give myself enough challenges already) but I want to be at least a little bit “guided”, just a few ideas here and there. A few months ago, he asked if we could live in a different European city for instance, for 2-3 reasons that he laid out - that was the first time he had an idea that wasn’t mine, and that was amazing! I was super excited, but then he said not to get too excited and that we would need to think about the modalities. But it was a first, and I got to thinking that maybe it could continue.

@LaHermes: basically I would like to see if he stays that passive, without me to make decisions for him. 

 

I think you'll be much happier with someone who is an equal partner.  

An equal partner does challenge you, because no one has it right 100% of the time.  We all have blind spots, and you want a husband that will be able to gently point out yours.

The way it seems now (and perhaps it could change later I'm not sure), but now, it seems like you're the only one who is challenging him.  He's not (it seems) capable of being mature enough to also help you, "see," things or make big decisions together.

In a partnership, they both realize their limits and flaws and rely (somewhat) on the other to help them a little with those things.  Too much help crosses a boundary and feels like an invasion.  But the way its supposed to work is that because we're human and all make mistakes, have flaws and blindspots, having that extra person is supposed to be an asset to your wealth.

Is he capable of being a real asset? 

Edited by maritalbliss86
bolding the main point
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
45 minutes ago, FF-lawyer said:

@LaHermes: basically I would like to see if he stays that passive, without me to make decisions for him. 

Wrong answer FF!!  Life is passing you by, and life is very short! Wait and see is a fool's  game.  Why are you so hooked on this person?  You "wanted to make it work, no matter what". 

 

46 minutes ago, FF-lawyer said:

he asked if we could live in a different European city for instance, for 2-3 reasons that he laid out - that was the first time he had an idea that wasn’t mine, and that was amazing!

A 10 year old child could ask that question. What's so amazing about a grown man asking a simple question.

You are being given so much good advice here.  But, regardless of the cost, you are going to fix his destiny for him (whether he wants it or not!) and continue to mother, school, coach and control this man. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, LaHermes said:

Wrong answer FF!!  Life is passing you by, and life is very short! Wait and see is a fool's  game.  Why are you so hooked on this person?  You "wanted to make it work, no matter what". 

 

I do have to say... with watching my husband's brother and how his life has played out, it's taught me that some men really may not be able to change from being passive and unsuccessful at making big decisions or leading their own lives.  And then you may end up being like my sister in law and wasting a significant portion of your life on this person.

She even married him, probably largely due to the fact she had already wasted her entire 20's on him and waiting for him to be more career driven (he's failed constantly at numerous things... she's the main breadwinner and really resents it), and her best friend confessed it was getting to her to have to even wait on him that long for marriage and kids.

Being the driving force and constantly, "waiting," for the other person to lead, it just looks miserable long-term.  AND on top of that they also have to deal with his parents, who are nutty and love to cause drama.  He doesn't deal effectively with them either I'm sure, so she has double the trouble we have (my husband at least chose to become, "The Black Sheep," in the eyes of his parents and extended family, and chose to do things his own way years ago, which enabled him to be extremely successful... a lot of them are envious over that though, and are not happy for him but resent his success after breaking away). 

His brother hasn't been able to do that for some reason 🤷‍♀️ probably because he enjoys feeling accepted and perhaps he's seen how painful it looks to do what my husband did and just can't bring himself to go against them.

I'm sure your situation is different in some ways, but it is a real thing that some men maybe don't want to do the work to be effective leaders and in control over their own lives.  He may, at some level, enjoy being passive while you hate it.  

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

"“Praising and encouraging are very close to pushing, and when you do that you are trying again to take control of his life. Think about why you are lauding something he’s done. Is it to help raise his self-esteem? That’s manipulation. Is it so he will continue whatever behavior you’re praising? That’s manipulation. Is it so that he’ll know how proud you are of him? That can be a burden for him to carry. Let him develop his own pride from his own accomplishments.”
 Robin Norwood, Women Who Love Too Much"

Get the book, OP. First published in 1985, but very relevant. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, FF-lawyer said:

@bluecastle: honestly, as proud as I am of my own achievements, I don’t want to be with someone who is “lost”. What I would like is someone who is at least reasonably “established” and “successful”, enough to be able to contribute with ideas for a common future, who can say “what if we lived in X”, “what if we did a world tour in X years”, “what if you did X and then I could do X and we could have X project together” and who can question/criticize what I am doing instead of always saying everything I do is pure gold. I feel like I am living my life and he is living like a clone of myself, next to me, with my interests, my hobbies, my lifestyle, my future plans, and none of it is coming from him. Of course, I may have contributed to that by making all the decisions, so it’s not all on him, but it’s just terribly frustrating.

So to answer the question, I don’t need to be “challenged” by him (I give myself enough challenges already) but I want to be at least a little bit “guided”, just a few ideas here and there.

So what you're saying, in essence, is that "all" you really need is for him to basically become a completely different person than he's been and for your relationship to evolve into something it's never actually been? 

I'm being a bit flip, or blunt, but read back what you wrote there. 

My concern is that, as someone so clearly bent toward "success," you seem to think (maybe not consciously) that this relationship not working out, or him not evolving in some way, would be a personal failure of yours—a dark spot on an otherwise sparkling resume, a regret that would gnaw at you. This is just me, but I think there is a lot of freedom—and thrill, and depth, and mystery—in learning to let go of that approach to relationships, to not make the potential of future regret the main fuel of present choices. Relationships really are only ever as good and nourishing as they are in the present, not what they could be, might become, and so on. 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

The Wendy behind Peter Pan

Psychologist Dan Kiley, who defined ‘Peter Pan Syndrome’ in 1983, also used the term ‘Wendy Syndrome’ to describe women who act like mothers with their partners or people close to them. Humbelina Robles stresses that “Wendy is the woman behind Peter Pan. There must be someone who deals with the things Peter Pan doesn’t do in order for Peter Pan to exist.”

The researcher from the UGR states that Wendy “makes every decision and takes on the responsibilities of her partner, thus justifying his unreliability. We can find Wendy people even within the immediate family: the overprotecting mothers.”

The professor declares that the biggest disadvantage of both disorders (Peter Pan and Wendy Syndromes) is usually that the person who suffers from them doesn’t feel as though they are part of the problem, they are not aware of it. Robles points out that the only solution for this disease is the right psychological treatment, not only centered on the person who suffers from the disorder but also on his/her partner and family.

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

@maritalbliss86: I don’t know if he can be that asset... I only know he is not right now. That story really sounds similar to my situation, unfortunately.

@LaHermes: life IS really short and the worst thing is that this is the motto I’ve been living by my entire life, constantly chasing all my dreams, and I am not following it right now. This is very unnatural behavior from me. My friends also think this is unusual.

@bluecastle: I feel like it was the dynamic we had the first 4 years actually. But this was before he began gradually having problems, so that might not count.
Maybe the whole failure thing is at least partly accurate, but most of all, what I have trouble with is the fact that he is miserable being that way. If it was who he is and he was happy that way, I could let it go and say “well, this is not how I want to live” so that’s it. Him being miserable and seeking therapy only makes me think that he is going to change, so I don’t seem to be able to let it go.

@Wiseman2: he has definitely gone from his mom making all his decisions to me making all his decisions! 

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, FF-lawyer said:

seeking therapy only makes me think that he is going to change, so I don’t seem to be able to let it go.

You will HAVE to let it go. His misery and therapy is HIS. He has to tread his own path. And you can't twist that path.  Nor should you try. 

Malignant optimism is a terrible thing (think that he is going to change).  Don't even go there. 

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

  

2 hours ago, FF-lawyer said:

Of course, I may have contributed to that by making all the decisions, so it’s not all on him, but it’s just terribly frustrating.

 But it is all on him. He is a passive person, as you have said yourself:

4 hours ago, FF-lawyer said:

He has never made an active choice in his life, whether in the relationship, in his studies (he stayed way too long in a field he did not like but did not find the courage to leave) or in his career

This is who and what he is. He is perfect the way his mama made him. It was never your responsibility to change him.

It doesn't matter how much effort you put into it: you simply can't change other people. And you can see that yourself, in this situation: In eight years, you got him to budge once, after great effort, when he moved in with you--and then he went right back home (secretly plotting behind your back instead of speaking to you about it!!). 

Now you are back where you started, hoping again that he will move in with you. So, it is fair to say that all of your effort over the last two years has effectively accomplished nothing.

I think DancingFool really hit the nail on the head when she said this:

On 12/15/2020 at 11:14 AM, DancingFool said:

The very things that make you successful - your drive and determination - are actually detrimental qualities in relationships. Unlike in uni or in your career, working harder doesn't fix things, it just prolongs pain and toxicity. You are both stopping each other from finding someone else to be happy with.

 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

He's not "miserable".  He may appear that way to you.  He might even say he is. But the fact that he does nothing to change this alleged "misery" says it all.

He's comfortable.  He seems to like comfort and be adverse to change.  It's so easy to say you're going to do things differently but he doesn't seem to be the kind of person who is interested in actually following through.

And that's OK!  Some people are satisfied with staying in the same place, literally and/or figuratively. For example, my brother has a high-powered, well-paying career.  He views someone who makes a low wage as "not successful".  I on the other hand am satisfied with a job.  One that pays the bills and that leaves me with a bit left over for some fun spending, but I don't aspire to more than that.  I'm content with an admin type job.  He would never be.  And that's just fine!  We're both content.

Good idea to leave him be.  Let him find his happiness and you can be free to find yours.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I find this inconsistent -I think you do want to be challenged (me too! and I am !)

 

"and who can question/criticize what I am doing instead of always saying everything I do is pure gold. "

 

"I don’t need to be “challenged” by him (I give myself enough challenges already) but I want to be at least a little bit “guided”, just a few ideas here and there."

I think you do want to be challenged - in the way you described about being questioned or criticized.  You want to be with someone who makes you think, think twice, maybe even three times.  Adult to adult.  

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...