Need help in seeing...watergirl18, pisceanhealer...
I am in a marriage that has gone sour. We have been together for ten years, the last two married and those eight years were the best time of our lives. But I strayed soon after marriage )and also a couple of times during our courtship days) and confessed but continued to stray until I have driven both of us to the depths of despair and confusion. He sincerely believes I can make our relationship work as they stem from self-esteem and parental issues from my childhood. I agree with him and see how I am rebelling against him and the whole institution of marriage needlessly. I am behaving like a stupid teenager being brought to book by a stern parent. My husband is the stern parent here and I am hating the way I seem to be behaving like a complete spoilt brat. This behaviour of mine has taken so much toll on us, it is unbelievable. It has stripped both of us from any semblance of sanity or balance. It has stripped our relationship of any understanding or affection and there seems to be no way forward for either of us. And worse its all upto me to do something about our situation.
As I delve deeper into my own reasons for why I do things I find myself to be living out things suppressed in my past. I find myself rebelling and not taking responsibility for my actions. Last week I had a very honest realisation of how I am blaming my husband for the hurt I have inflicted upon him and that realisation was humbling and it stripped all my falsehoods from me leaving me with a clear willingness to make our relationship work. But two days later I was back at rebelling and being frustrated. I do not know why I do this back and forth. I have been doing this for a year now and it is killing me. What am I so scared of? What am I over-looking? Am I just waiting for approval from my husband to leave or a strong enough reason or just an easy way out? I have known myself to run away from situations and shut them out when they become too hurtful to handle. This time I do not want to do that but in not doing that I am not learning what is to be done either and repeatedly torturing myself and my husband. What will quell my rebellion? Why am I reacting so violently inside to everything my husband says? Why do I keep blaming him for no fault of his? What is it that I want to achieve really? I want these feelings of rebellion to pass because they are outdated really but seem helpless with them. What do I need to do to help myself?
I sincerely request for help for helping me see what I may be blind about.
His dob - 14/07/79
My dob - 2/12/79
It is amazing how egotistical and childish I am being about this whole thing and I seem to have no way to get around these churlish reactions of mine. What is worse is I realise that my reactions are churlish (and I realised on my own havent been told) yet I cannot curb or dissipate them. They are causing me harm and I do not know what to do with them.
You're going back and forth because you are acting on "bad" habits and "rules". I say "bad" because it is a relative term. They served a purpose in your past. They protected you. Kept you safe. Now of course they are no longer serving you, but they have become so engrained into who "you" are, you literally cannot act any other way.
First of all, accept that what you are going through is all part of the process of letting go. You are on the right path. Second of all, you and your husband cannot do this by yourselves. It's great that the two of you want to work hard at salvaging the relationship, have the two of you considered relationship counselling?
As I said, you are on the right track. You realise your husband is a trigger not a source. You realise your actions/behaviour are to do with your past. You are actually growing in power, going through a healing period and as a result, given an opportunity to process events from your past that you just weren't capable of processing back then. To put it succinctly, you weren't powerful enough. Now you are.
Take it slowly Saggigirl. Don't be afraid of feeling whatever you are feeling. Seek out a counsellor or therapist. In fact, do something therapeutic for you, ideally something creative. Find something that you can do that will allow you to express yourself freely. Something you are naturally good at. Something that will bring you "peace".
This will keep your power up so you can go through this healing process.
I hope this helps. Please feel free to ask questions.
Love & light,
Thank you for your kind guidance Pisceanhealer. Your insights help...yes I can accept that all the upsurge of emotions I am feeling is a part of the healing process because I am indeed inviting healing into my life spiritually and emotionally. I have delved into my past hurts to open them up and heal them so that I can live life honestly and true to myself. I will take it slowly, yes, it is just that the roller coaster has been extremely intense since the past two years and everytime I think it is at its end a tsunami comes and shatters everything. But maybe I should see it as just another stepping stone towards my emotional healing and spiritual advancement because at the end of that upsurge is always a girl a little more stronger and little more authentic than before. But does this process have to be so difficult, I wonder some times...?
May I ask you for insights into my relationship? I do not know if a relationship counsellor will be able to help us, we are too private as people and as a couple and no one in our closest circles has a whiff of what's going on. However, I did consider it as an option today and may just share it with my husband if he likes the idea.
My vascillations are taking a huge toll on my husband. As is imaginable he is extremely hurt by my actions and continues to be so. I see and feel for all the hurt I have given him but am unable to do anything about it at this point in time. But that is almost like asking him to stay in limbo while I sort out my life and issues and come back to see how I can fix us. Its not fair. But I do not seem to have the wherewithal to deal with his hurt or do anything substantial about our relationship other than react emotionally inside of me (thankfully I am not the blow my fuse types). His hurt continues to grow by the day and to me it feels like a silent pressure to 'conform' and 'see' what he wants me to see. Our relationship has always been one of a guide-follower, never equal, never man-woman. Now I am rebelling against that very role. While he is the hurt husband wanting his wife to realise what she has done, I am constantly in the follower mode, a follower who wants to step out of the shadows of her guide and find things on her own. In this quest I find my marriage as an impediment. I have used it as an excuse to 'demand' freedom in the past and it was silly of me. I blame him for not seeing this 'student' part of me and in reaction I refuse to see the 'husband' part of him. To be fair to him, I really have not seen him as a husband or myself as a wife or us in a relationship. But we were blissfully happy for eight long years, through parental disapproval and long-distance. Everything has fallen apart so bad now I can't even see if there is anything to salvage at all anymore. We are simply holding on because both of us feel that the reasons I am doing this have nothing to do with our relationship but solely my own issues. This doesn't help really because then I start wanting to walk out of the marriage to find 'myself' but I know deep down it is merely a reaction and a past bad habit as you have so well put it.
What do I need to do recognize my old habits and get past them? I have been recognising a lot of them and have been successful in resolving them too. But there are many deep-rooted ones. I am meditating regularly too asking the Universe for help and it has helped. More importantly, how do I need to be to be fair on my husband because no alternative I come up with seems to be fair on him or help us.
In many ways Saggigirl you are further ahead than you may think. The process is indeed a difficult one, but just like everything in life, it gets easier the next time round. Which leads nicely into my next point actually, this process is a cycle.
You'll get an increase in power (the girl gets stronger).
You "process" or release past issues as sadness or grief.
The bad habits/rules associated with those issues break down/change.
You become more powerful (stronger, more authentic - a great choice of word by the way!)
The cycle begins again.
One of the best ways to describe it is to think of levels of power. As you reach the end of one cycle, you go up a level in power and the cycle begins again. This is why you can't let go of all of your bad habits at once (nor would you want to, as your life would enter a form of "crisis") - a bad habit associated with level 2 for example, can't be released if you yourself are only at level 1.
Now for the good news. As far as I understand it, the early levels seem to be forced upon us. We need to grow and to heal, the Universe drives us towards it. But at some point, going up to the next level becomes a choice. We only go up if we want to.
And by the way, if you find yourself realising that you no longer "need" something, that you can now choose whether or not you "want" that same something - then you have overcome the "bad" habit associated with that something.
With regards to your relationship; for you to be fair on your husband, you first need to be fair on yourself. For now, explore the option of counselling together. I suggest attending at least one session so that the counsellor can tell you honestly whether or not counselling would work for you.
Don't worry about anything else for now. Cross this bridge before looking for the next one.
By the way, have you spoken to your husband about your self-revelations? Have you apologised for your behaviour? Has he?
PisceanHealer you are truly a healer. Thank you for guiding a totally stranger so deeply, really...and for your kindness.
To know this is a cycle and that we only step 'up' is heartening. Yes, I do become stronger after each such phase and as I see these phases are throwing difficult questions each time and I see that as hopeful. Earlier on they simply used to be cycles of depression and normalcy but now they are much more meaningful. I am seeing a lot of faults in my system now that I was simply shoving under the carpet and I like it this way however difficult, as long as it means I am growing as a person. Being authentic is empowering yes, and I have been introduced to the concept by Captain and will be eternally grateful for being shown the right way.
I do recognise the level concept you outlined and sometimes I do try to reason with my husband to give me time because I do see the worth in what he says but feel it isn't the right time (emotional maturity-wise) for me to act on it or realise it. He doesn't see it that way unfortunately, he simply thinks I am unwilling to make the change...
We will seriously consider the counsellor option. We do need to break out of this limbo.
About being fair on myself...I do take a stand but it never helps him because then the next cycle rises and I am faced with deeper issues and he thinks I am simply taking shelter and not seeing, really realising anything. Also, he is very scared of me hurting him again because of some other issue cropping up within me which would affect him. I suggested we take a break until I come to a point when I can really see, but then that would simply mean he stays in the hurt indefinitely which is so unfair to him. Probably the counsellor option is the best for us.
Yes, I do share my realisations with him (The learnings and so-called victory only) but they do not help. I cannot seem to share my angst anymore with him because I really need to find my answers my way but he insists on helping and I can no longer take that help from him since his role in my life is no longer of the guide. However, I still trust and value his guidance completely. I have apologised genuinely too but I carry on my friendships with other men and that brings everything to a nought and he is in a complete state of mistrust for me, which is only fair. I can see it is a process for me and until I complete one aspect of it fully I cant re-build his trust in me which is what he sees as my unwillingness. That becomes the pressure on me and I lose my emotional balance and trust in myself. He is fed up with me and now refuses to consider my efforts or realisations seriously. I do not blame him, he has been hurt real bad by me to take anything I say on face value and it really seems unfair to ask him to do anything about his hurt (which unfairly I have been doing too)
I am sorry PisceanHealer, I did not quite get the 'has he?'
Well, there are two people in this relationship. His actions and behaviours towards you have affected you as much as you have affected him. In his own ways, he is not being fair on himself, you, and your marriage either.
But again, this is where counselling would come in. Neither of you can see the relationship from an objective/healthy viewpoint right now.
Your self-defeating behaviors are indeed caused by your past - childhood wounds. I am getting "daddy" issues...I feel like he abandoned you in some way either by physically leaving and/or cheating on your mother. This causes anxiety in you...you fear being abandoned or that your mate will somehow become dissatisfied with you so you act out. The irony is the way you act out turns the situation into a self-fulfilling prophecy. The good news is you have come to the place where you are tired of the drama and damage this behavior is causing to your life and relationship. You have gained enough inner wisdom to recognize the problem, but you need to go deeper in order to resolve it. Counseling is needed - spiritual or through a regular therapist/psychologist. Your inner child needs to be healed and your faith in your ability/worthiness to be loved restored. It won't be easy, but be patient and persevere through the emotional trials this will unearth in you. Don't give up! You will come through this with your issues resolved and as a much healthier, happier person who is capable of the relationship you desire.
By the way, I did my reading after only reading your initial post and I have now read through the rest of them. Between PisceanHealer's reading and mine, I think you now know the way to move forward!
Saggigirl: I have one question.....Do you still love your husband?
Saggigirl, PH and WG's wise insight is advice you can take to the bank.
One thing you said jumped out at me—"But we were blissfully happy for eight long years, through parental disapproval and long-distance." It strikes me that you were, at the time, focused on proving yourself against an external authority and external circumstances, onto which you were able to displace your issues—it sounds as if it was you and he against the world. Now that you no longer have these factors, you are focusing your antagonism on him. As PH and WG say, this is something to discuss in counseling, but although it may seem contrived, I wonder if as one of your immediate measures to ease the tension between the two of you, you might find another object on which you (or the two of you together) could focus the angst that is now directed at your husband. For instance, perhaps if you feel strong indignation at something OUTSIDE your marriage (better yet if he shares this passion)—such as, say, human-rights abuses, or mistreatment of animals, or unfair taxation, or political corruption, or ANY cause that you can throw your passion into—you could try focusing the energy of your antagonism in that direction and so provide yourself with a temporary safe outlet for letting off some of the steam heat that is now focused on your partner. If not a mental outlet, then perhaps a physical one such as kick-boxing or aikido might help. Let me emphasize that I do NOT recommend this as an alternative to therapy, but only as an adjunct to it. I personally was in a relationship that underwent sea changes when my husband switched from a job where he managed 30+ people (and diffused his steamy energy in his management tasks) to owning his own business where only I and his business partner were on the frontlines and were suddenly absorbing the brunt of his frustrations. I think if he had had some other place to vent it would have eased the situation greatly, and perhaps in the short term some of your frustrations would be relieved by that mechanism while you wait for the good effects of therapy and self-work to start making themselves felt. love & light to you, gd
Dear people, thank you so much for the kind help...
PH - I agree that neither of us are seeing the relationship from an objective/healthy viewpoint right now. I have spoken to him about the counsellor and he is open to the idea. However, since he sees this only as my problem and nothing that is wrong with our relationship he doesn't see how it might help us but that is something we will figure out on the way. Thank you so much for your guidance.
WG - Thank you for the reading. Yes, I do have father issues. After along struggle I have finally opened up that area to questioning, understanding, feeling and resolving. It is extremely painful but somehow I am feeling stronger facing them than when earlier where I was simply in denial. My father, due to his own emotional issues has always been emotionally unavailable. He had temperamental and several emotional issues due to which he has never been 'there' as a father for me. We have had severe communication issues and the hurt ensuing from all that has festered inside me for years now. It has also taken a form of severe self-image and worthiness issues in me too. I have let go of the things I held against him, recognised his pain and realised I wasn't giving him validity or space for his own battles. I have apologised to him and opened up communication with him and he has been amazingly reciprocative since he has never willingly hurt me just that he himself is so severely battered that he had no wherewithal to be the father I wanted to me. We are slowly moving towards reconnecting and it is heartening. However, that child in me is still in a lot of pain and I do not know how to heal her. Could you shed some light on what you said, 'This causes anxiety in you...you fear being abandoned or that your mate will somehow become dissatisfied with you so you act out.' Can you share what I am fearing and how I am acting out my fears? I seem to be in dark about connecting my past hurts to my present actions. Indeed, I do see this process as making me stronger, it is not easy and has thrown up emotional trials that are painful but like I said, it somehow strengthens me cause there is a feeling that it will only empower me and my own reactions to it (my past hurts) are not childish and reactionary anymore. I do deeply feel the need for counselling but I am more inclined to spiritual counselling than conventional therapy. I feel that will help me more. I am clueless about how to go about finding the right counsellor but I am sure if I have come so far I will find my way through this too. Thank you so much for your insights WG.
Scorpio112 - I feel a lot of affection, caring, friendship for my husband. I feel these are enough to keep our marriage going since as a person and as a partner he is still the person I want to spend and share my life with.
Gracefuldaisies - Thank you for sharing your experiences with me. I see what you have picked up on. Yes, indeed it was about proving myself. Those years were all about that for me. Now I do not feel the need to prove myself to anyone or myself either. Your suggestion about pitting my angst elsewhere is very well-taken. However, we don't seem to have the emotional energy or physical time for anything else. I am swamped with work since I am the only earning member of the family and he is too busy setting up his own business. But what you have brought up is something I will definitely consider, especially the physical outlet one. I have been increasingly feeling the need for it. thank you once again!
In essence, because your father wasn't there for you emotionally, you felt abandoned by him and also internalized it as something being wrong with you - this is the basis of your self-worth issues and it is the low self-worth that causes you to "step out" on your husband. But no matter how much attention (which the inner child perceives as love) you receive from other men, it will not fill up the hole you feel inside. In order to stop the behavior, you need to remember this whenever you have the urge so that it will stop you in your tracks. Awareness is the first step.
You mentioned that you forgave your father and apologized to him for not validating his feelings and his experience - have you done the same for yourself? Have you expressed the anger you feel toward him for not being there for you? Has HE validated YOUR feelings?
Your relationship with your husband is a mirror to your daddy issues. You are rebelling against your husband, but it is really the repressed rebellion toward your father, The relationship worked so well at first because it fed your rebellion - the parents did not approve and you liked that. You seem to be rebelling against the "control" your husband wants to exert over you, but since you were replacing your father that may be the foundation of your relationship - him as the father and you as the child. This may be an issue he has to work on -- the need for control. That is how you wound up together -- the law of Attraction works at this "wound" level as well. You now have a chance to heal together.
I really think you need conventional counseling to heal these issues that stem from your early relationship with your father, however there are counselors out there who have a spiritually based practice. You can do couples counseling with your husband as well, but I would not suggest it as a replacement for doing individual counseling for yourself. You can ask your regular doctor for a referral - just let them know you are looking for a counselor with a spiritually based practice. Or you can go to the APA website for referrals in your area. If no one comes through as spiritually based, then look for someone who practices Jungian theory - Carl Jung was very spiritually based.
Thanks WG, what you say resonates with me. Very recently, I did realise that because I never had a real relationship with my father I seek relationships with other men to fill up that gap. I acknowledge my self-worth issues stem from there too but just don't know how to begin dealing with it and this despite the abundance of love, support and trust I have from dear ones, friends and family included. Yes, I do see that closely now. Till now I wasn't accepting it, giving it all sorts of justifications and rebelling against the concept by calling it a diktat and so on. Its not that anymore. Thanks for helping me see. Awareness IS the first step.
About me validating my feelings for my father, I realise I haven't done that. I am yet to accept that. When we spoke he was calm and accepting, neither of us were emotional but I sensed he was approaching it a little intellectually. He kept asking me to see that I was not wrong in what I wanted of him and that his actions were unfit for me and so on but I am yet to assimilate his real feelings behind it since I was very caught up in my own pain. He is aware of my pain and expectations but not in the heart-to-heart manner. There is no anger anymore, I am way past that. There is simply a vacuum and pain. More like memory of unhealed pain because the memories in themselves don't hurt anymore. I can view them detachedly, but I cannot disassociate the pain from them and that keeps returning.
"The relationship worked so well at first because it fed your rebellion - the parents did not approve and you liked that."
That is so true. That gave me a motivation and a purpose. Something to prove my worth and individuality. But it doesn't hold true anymore, I don't have a need or reason to rebel and hence the rebellion seems like a shallow habit that I am caught up in. I have always had a problem with control, first my father and then my mother. That is being reflected in my husband now. And I myself have created this situation where he has no option but to react like this. I think it can be resolved. I simply need to not feed my own rebellion by provoking his 'need for control' if at all there is one.
This brings me to an aspect I have been struggling with for a while now. I have always idolised my husband and never seen him as a person with his regular positives and flaws. Now that I am beginning to face reality I am sensing how closed I have been and I am increasingly scared of opening up my perception of who he is to really see him as an individual, for fear that what I may see may not be pleasant and this may drive me to take a stand which may not be in the favour of our marriage. I have put him in the role of the father constantly and loved, appreciated, seen, judged and blamed him solely from there. Now I am very scared of asking myself who he really is for fear that our marriage may not last if I relate to him as anything but as an ideal...
WG, thanks for the APA ref but I am from India and psychiatry here is hardly spiritual...however, I talk from a superficial knowledge and shall search for the options available for me to move ahead.
While on this topic let me assert a realisation I had during this conversation with you and PH over yesterday. I have always had a deep fear of taking psychiatric help. For me it means I am sick and need 'help' and that's like a failure for me. My father and sister have been in therapy for decades and while I have seen it helping them I have labelled them as dysfunctional all these years and if I were to go for therapy it meant I am dysfunctional too. I recognised and accepted that fear while on the bootcamp and today while talking to you I realise that old fear has gone and I no longer see myself as dysfunctional if I take therapy. I am thankful for this growth and realisation.
Thanks so much for talking to me. I really needed to share and being guided.
Don't fear the person your husband is. Learn about his flaws and accept them. And I mean accept them, don't try to change them. Unless he wants to. In doing so you'll come to realise you love him more than you thought was possible.
PH, I don't know what I am really scared of. It's more like I am afraid to see reality because it may, just may mean I need to leave the marriage which I do not want to do. Or it is that I am scared of my own self which may take a self-damaging decision because I may not be able to assimilate the reality I see. I am not afraid of his negatives but what I see right now is pretty skewed and hence don't want to delve deeper. But guess my fears are distorting this version of reality that I see and simply need to open up this space for objective examination, like I have done with my past and take it from there. After all I have learnt that denial is far much more scary and damaging than facing the reality...
What you say about being able to accept his flaws...I am too far from accepting people's flaws really even though I am not really judgemental and allow them to be...guess it will happen once I accept myself...
Saggigirl, what you are really afraid of is what WG pointed out - abandonment, losing your husband.
The truth is, once you start facing your inner demons and accept your own flaws, you'll get yourself into a position where you will no longer "need" to stay or leave. You will choose whether or not you want to stay. All based on what is best for you (and him). Remember that word authentic. Being authentic, being "you" is empowering. When you are authentic you will know instinctively what the right thing to do is.
I hear you PH...just that right now I feel so overwhelmed and submerged with having opened all the past hurts I had forcibly shut out that it is all too much to handle. But I am aware that for deeper healing this is necessary.
Yesterday, he fell ill suddenly and while taking care of him I suddenly realised how both of us are replaying our own parents relationships where I am reacting to him like my mother does to my father and how he is reacting to me like his father does to his mother (His mother goes through the same issues my father does and has been emotionally unavailable for him and his sister all their lives too...) Our behaviour and emotional patterns fell into place at that moment but the way to work around them is still far from our grasp.
I have begun my hunt for professional help but I am wary of placing trust in wrong institutions or therapies / therapists. I am not sure how to find the right one. Will do my research and take it slowly though. Right now looking only for individual counselling and when I feel strong enough will take it to the next level of relationship counselling.