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Your post is beautiful.  I think the very fact that you are able to share this with your husband and he is supportive of you exploring this says a lot about him.  It take a hefty measure of love to su

Remember- it is the you that you used to be that your husband fell in love with. (This is a realization that helped me. )     Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

I have. Probably not to the extent you describe but there was a time, fifteen years ago, where I really lost myself. Ironically, it was homeschooling that helped me bridge the gap between my personal, career goals and our family’s needs.

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To love others well, you first have to know how to best love yourself, I think. I've never been in a position where I didn't feel authentically me, but I've been through some times where I didn't love myself very much. It took learning to let go of my own expectations for myself along with therapy and medications for me to get there. But it helped to be reminded by someone who had been through what I went through to take life a day at a time, and to be gentle and generous when it came to taking time to rest, to cry, to grieve, to just sit and be when I needed to. 

:grouphug: To you. 

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:grouphug:

 

You talk about how caring your dh is, but from your description, it sounds like he has been treating you poorly for years.

 

 

It is truly complicated.  More complicated than I could ever describe here or anywhere.  Relationships are never easy peasy, cut and dry.  They are messy.  We have over 20 years of messy history.  He is a great guy.  He shows love by doing and providing and he does well and he provides fantastically.  He hasn't a mean bone in his body.  He is not a super affectionate person. In some very rock bottom times emotionally, he has said some things that he regrets saying. 

 

His dad and older brother set him up for failure in relationships with women.  Honestly, his family dynamic is so twisted.  He has grown tons as a person and removing himself from them has been the best thing he has ever done.

Edited by Attolia
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Similar.  We referred to it as 'having lost my muchness'. I lost me for about 4 years and I struggled hard. It started with people telling me I had to fit in, with a healthy dose of shame in there for not. I slowly extricated myself from things that didn't make me happy, but had to take time to figure out what did.  Who was I?  Why didn't I speak for what I wanted?  It was a long process.  It's better now, but I think some of that just has to do with age.  At 40, I don't care anymore.  I am who I am. 

 

My most important step was carving alone time for myself each week.  I take that bit of time and do something that brings me joy or that I want to do. 

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To love others well, you first have to know how to best love yourself, I think. I've never been in a position where I didn't feel authentically me, but I've been through some times where I didn't love myself very much. It took learning to let go of my own expectations for myself along with therapy and medications for me to get there. But it helped to be reminded by someone who had been through what I went through to take life a day at a time, and to be gentle and generous when it came to taking time to rest, to cry, to grieve, to just sit and be when I needed to. 

:grouphug: To you. 

 

 

Similar.  We referred to it as 'having lost my muchness'. I lost me for about 4 years and I struggled hard. It started with people telling me I had to fit in, with a healthy dose of shame in there for not. I slowly extricated myself from things that didn't make me happy, but had to take time to figure out what did.  Who was I?  Why didn't I speak for what I wanted?  It was a long process.  It's better now, but I think some of that just has to do with age.  At 40, I don't care anymore.  I am who I am. 

 

My most important step was carving alone time for myself each week.  I take that bit of time and do something that brings me joy or that I want to do. 

 

 

 

It feels like a grieving process right?  I feel grief for so many years lost.  

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Yes, I have, but maybe not to such a degree as you have. 

 

I always have tried to make time and space for me. To learn. To grow. To exercise. To volunteer and work in the community. To have a hobby that doesn't rely on my position as a mom or wife. 

 

But sometimes you lose yourself. 

 

What did you like to do before you got married? What seems appealing to you now(even if you don't have the supplies)?

 

Someone recently said, in a group meeting, "Do something to benefit your community that isn't related to your family or your masjid [church, etc.]. Do something to show your kids (and yourself) that you have value to the outer community too." 

 

This inspired me to look into getting involved in volunteering again. It might be a good starting point for you too?

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Your post is beautiful.  I think the very fact that you are able to share this with your husband and he is supportive of you exploring this says a lot about him.  It take a hefty measure of love to support our spouse through changes, when change is challenging and often difficult for everyone.

Edited by goldberry
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:grouphug:

 

You talk about how caring your dh is, but from your description, it sounds like he has been treating you poorly for years.

It sounds that way in the past, but it sounds like he's supporting her now. And if they both married young, he wouldn't 'have necessarily known how to live or treat her any other way, being that it sounds like he's treated her the way his family treats everyone. He probably thought it was normal.

 

It sounds like now that they're both older she is learning to stand on her own, and he's had enough life experience to know better how to support that.

 

Of course, it's all hard to tell for sure that all the above is true from one post. :)

 

(ETA: I must not have refreshed my sceen, because I see now that the OP already addressed this.)

 

OP, I think I'm doing what you're doing, but in a much, much smaller way. Or else I'm just in my 40s, and it seems to be common in one's 40s to get tired of pandering to other people in general. I don't pander the way I used to as much, but that's true for every relationship I have, so my marriage is mixed up in all of that. I'm actually nicer to people than I used to be, but I don't give up and submit my opinons/wants to others as much as I used to. And I don't want others to submit to me. I want us all on equal footing, being honest about what we all think/want. I'm tired of games.

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It feels like a grieving process right?  I feel grief for so many years lost.  

 

I can't say I grieved, but I did find the process like climbing with an extra 100lbs on my back.  Sometimes I didn't even know where I was headed or where I should step next.  It was a constant fumble, and sometimes I didn't even realize what I was climbing - like, I knew something was wrong but I couldn't figure out what right was.  And that lack of muchness affected ALL areas of my life, even TeA. 

 

Life is nicer now.  I think eventually I'm going to end up as one of those Red Hat ladies. :)

 

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It feels like a grieving process right?  I feel grief for so many years lost.  

I felt grief, yes. Not just for years lost, but for years that would never be what I expected them to be in the future. 

The good thing for me is that the years that came after that were really good years. Just not what I expected.

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:grouphug:

 

You talk about how caring your dh is, but from your description, it sounds like he has been treating you poorly for years.

 

 

It sounds that way in the past, but it sounds like he's supporting her now. And if they both married young, he wouldn't 'have necessarily known how to live or treat her any other way, being that it sounds like he's treated her the way his family treats everyone. He probably thought it was normal.

 

It sounds like now that they're both older she is learning to stand on her own, and he's had enough life experience to know better how to support that.

 

Of course, it's all hard to tell for sure that all the above is true from one post. :)

 

(ETA: I must not have refreshed my sceen, because I see now that the OP already addressed this.)

 

OP, I think I'm doing what you're doing, but in a much, much smaller way. Or else I'm just in my 40s, and it seems to be common in one's 40s to get tired of pandering to other people in general. I don't pander the way I used to as much, but that's true for every relationship I have, so my marriage is mixed up in all of that. I'm actually nicer to people than I used to be, but I don't give up and submit my opinons/wants to their as much as I used to. And I don't want others to submit to me. I want us all on equal footing, being honest about what we all think/want. I'm tired of games.

 

 

 

 

I want to tie these two together and ramble off some thoughts here...

 

When you idolize someone, when you put them up on a pedestal and say "I will become whatever he wants" , especially when he is also young and doesn't even know what that is?  You are setting them up for failure as well.  Also, if your entire worth is wrapped up in that one person's opinion and thought of you, you will be hyper sensitive.  He made mistakes, yes.  So did I.

Edited by Attolia
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Your post is beautiful. I think the very fact that you are able to share this with your husband and he is supportive of you exploring this says a lot about him. It take a hefty measure of love to support our spouse through changes, when change is challenging and often difficult for everyone.

This exactly.

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I would add for the OP, that it was very helpful for me to have a therapist at the time I was really questioning my worth as a person. I didn't like it all that much at the time. I kept thinking, "This isn't fixing anything? Why can't I just be fixed?" 

But in the end, what I needed was someone to listen without "fixing" me or telling me how to "fix" me. So although I wasn't that happy with therapy at the time, I now see how useful it was for me to have a good listener to talk to.

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I would add for the OP, that it was very helpful for me to have a therapist at the time I was really questioning my worth as a person. I didn't like it all that much at the time. I kept thinking, "This isn't fixing anything? Why can't I just be fixed?" 

But in the end, what I needed was someone to listen without "fixing" me or telling me how to "fix" me. So although I wasn't that happy with therapy at the time, I now see how useful it was for me to have a good listener to talk to.

 

I have definitely considered this.

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I never lost myself. There never was a me. Ever. At 39, my youngest was 18 and had just started his second year of college, and the oldest was across the country, graduated from college, and fully financially independent. Every time my husband walked into the room I had a seizure. I was down to 91 pounds. I had no choice but to leave. It was leave or die. I left.

 

Eleven years later to the month, I'm 50 years, and just starting to become a human being. When I turned 50 last spring, I decided to live a full year with no fear and no regrets. It has been a wild ride!!! LOL. I have been reckless and gotten myself into all kinds of trouble. There are consequences to living every day with the pedal to medal. Hitting speed bumps at that speed hurts! People shame you, and judge you, and get jealous, and just all sorts of things happen with your relationships with others. You make mistakes! You run up bills. Other people get disappointed and go without things they depend on. Your health changes in good ways and bad.

 

You meet new people. Go new places. Get exposed to new things, mentally and physically. Dress differently out of necessity. Eat differently out of necessity. Say new things out of necessity. The things that have come out of my mouth. LOL. I spent 10 years in a holding pattern and then exploded out of the gate. I'm trying not to trample anyone. The thing I hate the most is the bits when the consequences of my actions didn't just fall upon me, but someone near me at the time. Living full out makes you a target, and when aim is fuzzy, others can get hit by what was meant only for you. Yes, this year has been THAT crazy! LOL. 

 

There was a week just a few weeks ago, where I was in Washington D.C. on Sunday, Boston on Tuesday and Wednesday, St Louis by late Friday Night, and Chicago by the next Sunday, and traveling in between by both trains and airplanes the other days. That was insane! And now I'm home again trying to clean up some of the messes I've made and get myself into school. First I was aiming for September, But I'm amping it up and aiming for January now, and am just going to take out loans instead of waiting for more financial assistance to come through.

 

I think I might be just starting to become a real live human being. Eleven years ago, I wasn't even in the role of appendage. I was nothing but a discardable battery to the people in my life. Really they did me a favor rejecting me that badly. When starting from that low of a place, I really needed to start over without their influence.

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Remember- it is the you that you used to be that your husband fell in love with. (This is a realization that helped me. )

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

Exactly. He fell in love with a vivacious, confident woman. Something similar happened to me because I listened to some bad teaching and thought once married I was supposed to lose all identity and interests. I became boring. He never said anything, I am not sure he realized the dynamics at play but I finally heard the right kind of advice and began to cultivate my own interests again. And dh was very supportive - even happy about it.

 

I was wondering that the "I am not enough" feeling that you described comes directly from something he said or indicated or if this feeling stems from your own perception? Sometimes we feel we are not enough yet our spouses have no clue and never felt this way.

 

Edited by Liz CA
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DH and I married young, and I treated him very poorly.  The only thing that changed was that we sought a counselor because we were at the brink of divorce (which I was sure was his fault) and happened upon a very direct and insightful counselor who was able to awaken me to just how poorly I was treating him.  If that had not happened that way, I don't know how long I would have gone on just acting in a way I thought was normal.  The saving grace was that I really did love him, and he really did love me.  When it was time to start looking at things, we were both willing. A willingness to address problems and converse about them honestly counts for an awful lot.

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I want to tie these two together and ramble off some thoughts here...

 

When you idolize someone, when you put them up on a pedestal and say "I will become whatever he wants" , especially when he is also young and doesn't even know what that is?  You are setting them up for failure as well.  Also, if your entire worth is wrapped up in that one person's opinion and thought of you, you will be hyper sensitive.  He made mistakes, yes.  So did I.

 

Okay, I'm glad that the situation is not as bad as it seemed from your other recent posts. re. your dh's attitude about your weight and attractiveness. I have always thought you seem like such a kind and wonderful person who deserves the best, so I'm happy that those posts did not paint the entire picture. 

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I have been in this process for the past year or a little better. Re-learning who I am, and what I like. Mine wasn’t so much losing myself to DH, but to his job demands (active-duty military) and also giving myself completely to my kids for so long. Meeting the needs of everyone else for so long left little time for me to be me that I forgot who I was.

 

I think motherhood, at least for myself and my friends, has a particular tendency to contribute to loss of confidence. There are so many ways we can question and second-guess our actions every day.

 

I have no huge insightful advice for you. I just wanted you to know you’re not alone. :grouphug: I’m on this journey with you.

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Your husband sounds so similar to mine. I read your posts and feel them deeply because I have thought the same things and had similar struggles.

 

I would suggest as you go through this process that you see a counselor to bounce your ideas off of and help you sort through these changes. Allow your life to speak, rather than talking to DH about it. For me I had to do this because deep down I was still seeking his validation and approval.

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Jumping in quickly to say that I spent the first 20 years of my marriage "fitting in." I've spent the last decade belonging. I love my husband more because it is clearly now my choice rather than my obligation.

 

I will say, though, when it comes to my extended family, not everyone who I "fit in" with before, now "belongs." I had to draw some boundaries and re-form those relationships. It has taken time, and come with loss, but I feel more authentic and more solid as a person.

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Okay, I'm glad that the situation is not as bad as it seemed from your other recent posts. re. your dh's attitude about your weight and attractiveness. I have always thought you seem like such a kind and wonderful person who deserves the best, so I'm happy that those posts did not paint the entire picture. 

 

 

Again, it is just complex.  He is not a horrible person by any means.  Physical attractiveness isn't the entire picture.  I know that when I said in other posts that DH struggles with attraction to me physically, it may seem that he is just a harsh person.  It is so much more complex than that.  And the things he said, he said in terrible times.  I have had a difficult time letting those things go and not letting them define me nor him. I couldn't unhear those things, no.  It caused deep struggles in me.  He is also from a family of men who value women for physical beauty that is unattainable.  My BIL is a bit older than DH and he was his role model.  BIL would talk about what he wanted in a wife "thin, sundress, pleasant, natural beauty, etc" and he would say that he didn't like women who were super fake/made up.  But, his head turned, the comments went flying, and he drooled over women who were super made-up, long painted nails, very fake created look.  You see, men like that don't even know what they want.  BIL and FIL talk negatively about women.  They are objects to them.  FIL talks to MIL like she is valueless.  BIL is fifty and never married and never had a girlfriend.  BIL exposed my DH to porn at a young age.  The whole situation is just bad.  DH doesn't want anything to do with any of it, but he still battles and struggles with the values that were placed in him as a young boy.  

 

ETA:  DH has nothing to do with any of them anymore.  Separating himself from them has been very freeing for him.

Edited by Attolia
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Again, it is just complex.  He is not a horrible person by any means.  Physical attractiveness isn't the entire picture.  I know that when I said in other posts that DH struggles with attraction to me physically, it may seem that he is just a harsh person.  It is so much more complex than that.  And the things he said, he said in terrible times.  I have had a difficult time letting those things go and not letting them define me nor him. I couldn't unhear those things, no.  It caused deep struggles in me.  He is also from a family of men who value women for physical beauty that is unattainable.  My BIL is a bit older than DH and he was his role model.  BIL would talk about what he wanted in a wife "thin, sundress, pleasant, natural beauty, etc" and he would say that he didn't like women who were super fake/made up.  But, his head turned, the comments went flying, and he drooled over women who were super made-up, long painted nails, very fake created look.  You see, men like that don't even know what they want.  BIL and FIL talk negatively about women.  They are objects to them.  FIL talks to MIL like she is valueless.  BIL is fifty and never married and never had a girlfriend.  BIL exposed my DH to porn at a young age.  The whole situation is just bad.  DH doesn't want anything to do with any of it, but he still battles and struggles with the values that were placed in him as a young boy.  

 

ETA:  DH has nothing to do with any of them anymore.  Separating himself from them has been very freeing for him.

 

This makes perfect sense and is yet another reminder of how destructive early imprinting with these images is. I recently read in a scientific peer reviewed article that the average age a boy is exposed to a pornographic image is 7. Since it's an average, some are even younger.

 

Kudos to your dh for realizing how this distorted his thinking and separating himself from the people perpetuating it.

 

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Yes, but I couldn't even start the process until my marriage was over. I'll write more when I'm not on my phone. The quote from Eowyn from LOTR about fearing life in a cage, that was me, now it's not. Still working on it all.

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Yes, but I couldn't even start the process until my marriage was over. I'll write more when I'm not on my phone. The quote from Eowyn from LOTR about fearing life in a cage, that was me, now it's not. Still working on it all.

 

 

I know that, for some, a marriage has to end for this process to begin.  I want to hear more of your experience  :grouphug:

I do not think that my marriage will need to end.  I did wonder, for a season, if that might be necessary.  Every marriage is different and I am not at the end of my story yet so I refuse to make any bold, adamant statements about my own path.

Edited by Attolia
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:grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:

 

Absolutely in that boat with you.  I love that juxtaposition of belonging and fitting in.  Lovely.  I have been saying for years "I want to know where I belong."  Most of my life has been all about fitting in somewhere (usually with the rebels).

 

Here's hoping both your DH is willing to accept, value, and work with the "new" you.  ;)

 

FWIW, when I was in a college class on organizational management and behavior, they discussed group dynamics in terms of forming, storming, norming, and performing.  I told DH just a couple of weeks ago, I refused to consider myself so much that we've been married 12 years and never really "stormed."  So now we are and it's uncomfortable for me, but it really is necessary if we're going to actually have an authentic and productive marriage.  There's a spiritual side to all of this for me, though.

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:grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:

 

Absolutely in that boat with you.  I love that juxtaposition of belonging and fitting in.  Lovely.  I have been saying for years "I want to know where I belong."  Most of my life has been all about fitting in somewhere (usually with the rebels).

 

Here's hoping both your DH is willing to accept, value, and work with the "new" you.  ;)

 

FWIW, when I was in a college class on organizational management and behavior, they discussed group dynamics in terms of forming, storming, norming, and performing.  I told DH just a couple of weeks ago, I refused to consider myself so much that we've been married 12 years and never really "stormed."  So now we are and it's uncomfortable for me, but it really is necessary if we're going to actually have an authentic and productive marriage.  There's a spiritual side to all of this for me, though.

 

 

Dh and I went 18 years and never fought.  Never, not once.  If that tells you where I am.  I completely understand what you are saying.

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Sounds like maybe your husband hasn't had his own identity either, he's been living to please his family of origin. Maybe now that he has separated from them you can each find yourselves and then each other again. 

Again, it is just complex.  He is not a horrible person by any means.  Physical attractiveness isn't the entire picture.  I know that when I said in other posts that DH struggles with attraction to me physically, it may seem that he is just a harsh person.  It is so much more complex than that.  And the things he said, he said in terrible times.  I have had a difficult time letting those things go and not letting them define me nor him. I couldn't unhear those things, no.  It caused deep struggles in me.  He is also from a family of men who value women for physical beauty that is unattainable.  My BIL is a bit older than DH and he was his role model.  BIL would talk about what he wanted in a wife "thin, sundress, pleasant, natural beauty, etc" and he would say that he didn't like women who were super fake/made up.  But, his head turned, the comments went flying, and he drooled over women who were super made-up, long painted nails, very fake created look.  You see, men like that don't even know what they want.  BIL and FIL talk negatively about women.  They are objects to them.  FIL talks to MIL like she is valueless.  BIL is fifty and never married and never had a girlfriend.  BIL exposed my DH to porn at a young age.  The whole situation is just bad.  DH doesn't want anything to do with any of it, but he still battles and struggles with the values that were placed in him as a young boy.  

 

ETA:  DH has nothing to do with any of them anymore.  Separating himself from them has been very freeing for him.

 

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I know that, for some, a marriage has to end for this process to begin.  I want to hear more of your experience  :grouphug:

I do not think that my marriage will need to end.  I did wonder, for a season, if that might be necessary.  Every marriage is different and I am not at the end of my story yet so I refuse to make any bold, adamant statements about my own path.

 

I was never again in a relationship with someone as blatantly dangerous as my husband, but... there are different kinds of danger. Seriously. You can get hurt kinda sorta by accident with people that are just very narcissist and unaware, but still get grievously hurt.

 

Some of my later relationships, although less blatantly dangerous, probably gave me less room to develop a sense of self. There were things about later relationships that were WORSE. And when I realized that, I was pretty horrified that I had sacrificed so much to leave, to not be in an all-over better situation. I had to ask myself what had been the point of leaving, if I was going to settle for what I was settling for. Staying is sometimes the best choice!

 

I know this sounds unbelievably slutty, but at this point of my path, I cannot be committed and monogamous and continue developing a sense of self. I was committed and monogamous for like 3 weeks since my birthday, and...it didn't work out. Like at all. Not going into the details of what happened. I'm still picking up the pieces.

 

And part of picking up the pieces was best done with the assistance of a friends-with-benefits person I had shut down to enter monogamy. Yes, I guess I am supposed to be ashamed. I could do that. I choose not to. Not this year. Not THIS year. I know who and what propels me forward and keeps me in a healthier state. And I know who and what do the opposite. Being chained to a person – it seems I'm still too damaged and incomplete to survive that. And being alone doesn't work so well this year either, for reasons that are significant, but that I'm not going to share. So for now, casual interactions, on my terms, and living entirely and recklessly in the moment only, with no commitments or promises to anyone about anything, is how I choose to do it.

 

Life is messy for some of us. It doesn't fit in a box with a pretty pink bow on the top. And that might be okay depending on your worldview and religious beliefs. Sometimes we need to reevaluate our moral code and examine where those ideas came from and if we still want to be ruled by them. Part of finding ourselves is evaluating our moral code. I'm not a "good girl" anymore! Nope, I'm not. LOL. But I intend to mucking survive till 51, however I have to do it.

 

A couple months into this year of no fear and no regrets landed me in the emergency room, where my chances of survival were discussed. I could have reacted one way, but chose another way. That day is what set me on fire to amp it up and REALLY start living. Living so recklessly brought more danger. Which amped me up more instead of shutting me down. I would not be where I am now if I hadn't experienced every second of danger that I have experienced. I am thankful for the danger I have been in, and willing to risk more, if that is what it takes for ME to become human. I'll be a "slut" if that keeps me alive. I tried the boxed and "right" way for many years. Done with that. Just DONE.

 

TMI, maybe, but I feel like any BTDT stories are context and part of the discussion, and I'm a bit older than some of you, and...all I can say is 50 is NOTHING like I expected. NOTHING. LOL.

 

The past week I have been mostly behaving myself and study, study, studying. I ran into a friend who was terribly disappointed there were no new installments to the drama story of my 50th year, that I was willing to share. She says I'm better than any reality TV she ever saw.

 

We have a lot more choices that we realize. A lot more. The binds come off like layers of an onion, once you start busting out. Some Christians would describe this as falling into complete depravity. Yes, it is complete abandonment of their value system, but...I'm not sure what it is in actuality or if it is anything at all. I need to take intro to Philosophy 101, I guess. LOL.

 

No matter what you choose, you don't need to explain yourself, and you can change your mind at any time. A good phrase I have used is, "I'm not looking for your validation," when I am confronted about my "behavior".

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Dh and I went 18 years and never fought.  Never, not once.  If that tells you where I am.  I completely understand what you are saying.

 

Over 2 years together, a boyfriend and I never had a single fight, before I broke up with him.

 

ExH and I never had a "fight" until the boys needed me to protect them. Before that, he yelled and I cried and I said I was sorry and would try harder. After the boys, what was called a "fight" was NOT a fight! Not even close. It was me stating our needs or defending what I had done or needed to do to keep the family afloat, instead of saying I was sorry and doing what he said no matter the consequences to the boys.

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I know that, for some, a marriage has to end for this process to begin.  I want to hear more of your experience  :grouphug:

I do not think that my marriage will need to end.  I did wonder, for a season, if that might be necessary.  Every marriage is different and I am not at the end of my story yet so I refuse to make any bold, adamant statements about my own path.

 

Well I couldn't even begin to craft my own identity within my marriage because ex dh sucked all the resources I had away, money, time, emotional energy. We were so busy putting out crisis fires for a few years, it took me a while to realize he created many of them himself. He could not/would not listen to my need to be independent, he saw it as threatening as a husband and supporter. He wasn't very good at either, but often thought he was. 

 

So post separation, I had to think about who I wanted to become. I could have went to work retail (about the only thing available where I lived as most of my job experience was outdated) or go to school to better my position for a job. At 46, with 20 years of marriage out the window, I chose to start college. I've been fortunate to have a great advisor who has become my mentor. He has helped me craft my identity as a historian and I'm currently applying to graduate schools. 

 

Ex once asked me why I didn't pursue school while we married. I laughed in his face (so many reasons, things better left not typed out). He would have never tolerated the time, energy, and investment it has taken for me to get this far in the last 4 1/2 years. He would have given it lip service, but never supported because he would still expect dinner, a clean house, and a plethora of other gendered-wife responsibilities to be done regardless of whether I was at campus for 10 hours a day or not. Most men aren't like that, I hope. 

 

I have not been in a relationship since my separation, partially because I don't have time, partially because I am still in the process of finishing this identity and I don't want to be sidetracked. I am finally getting to the place where I feel secure in this person I am creating and someday soon I hope to start dating. The expectations on my end are going to be totally different. I refuse to lose myself again. 

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I have not been in a relationship since my separation, partially because I don't have time, partially because I am still in the process of finishing this identity and I don't want to be sidetracked. I am finally getting to the place where I feel secure in this person I am creating and someday soon I hope to start dating. The expectations on my end are going to be totally different. I refuse to lose myself again.

 

Mine isn't lose myself AGAIN, but just lose myself for the first time. When even contemplating monogamy, never mind trying it, I feel like my new identity is being stolen from me. It feels like an act of violence. I think I might tend to overreact a teeny bit. LOL. Tough! I'm giving myself permission. If anyone earned it, I did.

 

Even when non-monogamous, I find I do better with younger partners, now. The power play is different. Before this year, everyone was older than me. Now that I have tried younger, that may be a trend. One that I never ever considered before. Yes, person on this forum who spent a year trying to coax me into the idea – you were right! I bow to your great wisdom!

 

I don't look my age. I don't act my age. The power play is more in my favor. I'm not interacting with people with any thoughts of the future, so the idea that I MIGHT start aging suddenly faster and look too old doesn't matter. And when dating men, they die sooner than women anyway, so...

 

I once met two sisters in their 90s that looked like they were in the their 50's. At some point, instead of age catching up wth them, they must have started looking exponentially younger. What a waste of potential partners if they had kept expecting to suddenly age faster, instead of exponentially slower. They would have been best matched with much younger men. Instead they were alone and had been for quite some time.

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A lot of this resonates with me, although not to the severity you allude to.

 

This is already the third time I have mentioned this book on these forums, but the book, “It Takes One to Tango†by Winifred Reilly, has really opened my eyes about some things with my marriage. The basic gist comes down to deciding what *you* will be and do in your marriage, instead of continuously playing out the roles you invisibly agreed to in the beginning. So, for me, a couple of things so far in my marriage have looked like this:

 

a) if I don’t like that he turns on a certain news channel I hate, I leave. I’m not going to sit there stewing that he watches it and I’m not interested in having the inevitable argument when I disagree with something they say on that show. The other day, he got equally mad that I leave the room. Well, too bad. I am not watching that show; I hate it. So if he chooses to turn it on, he can watch it alone in his little echo chamber. 😠I’m choosing my own behavior. If he wants my company, he can turn on a cooking show.

 

B) for twenty years, I would make a dinner that was larger than necessary because he came from a big-farm dinner family, but then I would be annoyed that I made too much food and spent too much time on it. So I stopped. Or, I should say, unless we have guests and/or all the kids are home and/or my MIL is here, I’m making something more minimalistic. We don’t need so much food and it just makes us fat. I still make good homemade dinners, but they are more portion-controlleable and I’m not making several sides just because that gives him some warm fuzzies from childhood.

 

C) there’s more to this, but nothing I wish to share on a public internet board. But I highly recommend that book.

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:grouphug:

 

You talk about how caring your dh is, but from your description, it sounds like he has been treating you poorly for years.

 

I want to speak to this:  this subsuming of oneself into another person's identity/life is not necessarily the result of poor treatment by another.  It can be completely willing, especially when one marries young and has not fully formed an identity.  And it is easily invisible to the other person; how is s/he supposed to know this is going on, when half the time the person her/himself is not aware of the fact.  

 

That her dh is encouraging her process of self-discovery speaks volumes about respect and love.  

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I never lost myself. There never was a me. Ever. At 39, my youngest was 18 and had just started his second year of college, and the oldest was across the country, graduated from college, and fully financially independent. Every time my husband walked into the room I had a seizure. I was down to 91 pounds. I had no choice but to leave. It was leave or die. I left.

 

Eleven years later to the month, I'm 50 years, and just starting to become a human being. When I turned 50 last spring, I decided to live a full year with no fear and no regrets. It has been a wild ride!!! LOL. I have been reckless and gotten myself into all kinds of trouble. There are consequences to living every day with the pedal to medal. Hitting speed bumps at that speed hurts! People shame you, and judge you, and get jealous, and just all sorts of things happen with your relationships with others. You make mistakes! You run up bills. Other people get disappointed and go without things they depend on. Your health changes in good ways and bad.

 

You meet new people. Go new places. Get exposed to new things, mentally and physically. Dress differently out of necessity. Eat differently out of necessity. Say new things out of necessity. The things that have come out of my mouth. LOL. I spent 10 years in a holding pattern and then exploded out of the gate. I'm trying not to trample anyone. The thing I hate the most is the bits when the consequences of my actions didn't just fall upon me, but someone near me at the time. Living full out makes you a target, and when aim is fuzzy, others can get hit by what was meant only for you. Yes, this year has been THAT crazy! LOL.

 

There was a week just a few weeks ago, where I was in Washington D.C. on Sunday, Boston on Tuesday and Wednesday, St Louis by late Friday Night, and Chicago by the next Sunday, and traveling in between by both trains and airplanes the other days. That was insane! And now I'm home again trying to clean up some of the messes I've made and get myself into school. First I was aiming for September, But I'm amping it up and aiming for January now, and am just going to take out loans instead of waiting for more financial assistance to come through.

 

I think I might be just starting to become a real live human being. Eleven years ago, I wasn't even in the role of appendage. I was nothing but a discardable battery to the people in my life. Really they did me a favor rejecting me that badly. When starting from that low of a place, I really needed to start over without their influence.

Wow, that was really powerful even without any details. Thanks for sharing that. A lot of food for thought in your post.

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I want to speak to this:  this subsuming of oneself into another person's identity/life is not necessarily the result of poor treatment by another.  It can be completely willing, especially when one marries young and has not fully formed an identity.  And it is easily invisible to the other person; how is s/he supposed to know this is going on, when half the time the person her/himself is not aware of the fact.  

 

That her dh is encouraging her process of self-discovery speaks volumes about respect and love.  

 

I agree, but I wasn't only referring to this post. I was also thinking of other posts Attolia has made recently in which she said that her dh said she has never been attractive to him and never been thin enough, even when she was a size 4 (if I remember correctly). Those posts were what led me to being concerned that she was being treated poorly.

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We have a lot more choices that we realize. A lot more. The binds come off like layers of an onion, once you start busting out. Some Christians would describe this as falling into complete depravity. Yes, it is complete abandonment of their value system, but...I'm not sure what it is in actuality or if it is anything at all. I need to take intro to Philosophy 101, I guess. LOL.

I can’t relate to much of your post, Hunter, lol, but I think this is a really salient point. This is part of what the author of the book I just rec’d is saying even within a marriage. Choosing to remain in a marriage is just that - a choice. So do I want to keep moving my knight the same way and ending at the same Checkmate or do I want to choose a different response? I choose a different response. If he chooses to not like it, well, that’s too bad; nobody is forcing him to stay married to me, either. If he can’t adapt to a new program, he can choose to end the marriage. I don’t actively desire that outcome at present, but if that happens, I will adapt. It is possible I would actually thrive.

 

Eta: fix tag

Edited by Quill
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I agree, but I wasn't only referring to this post. I was also thinking of other posts Attolia has made recently in which she said that her dh said she has never been attractive to him and never been thin enough, even when she was a size 4 (if I remember correctly). Those posts were what led me to being concerned that she was being treated poorly.

 

 

Size 6, at least that is what I meant to say  :lol:  

 

You are right, with only that part of the story, you came to a fair conclusion.  I didn't want to expound on my relationship with my DH too much in another person's post.  In the physical attraction post, I was attempting to say that it is painful when you are told you aren't attractive.  I don't think you can take those words back, even if you try. 

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I agree, but I wasn't only referring to this post. I was also thinking of other posts Attolia has made recently in which she said that her dh said she has never been attractive to him and never been thin enough, even when she was a size 4 (if I remember correctly). Those posts were what led me to being concerned that she was being treated poorly.

 

Ah.  

 

I'm not very good at tracking, so thank you for clarifying.

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Wow...what you have said sounds a lot like my life. I married just after turning 20 and have spent the last 22 years trying to measure up and always failing. Which I have failed in everything that I have set out to do since but I’m not sure if that is completely me or if some of it is the fear sabotaging me. I’m 42 and just now learning what is my responsibility and how I want to accomplish it. If that makes sense.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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My physical appearance has changed drastically at times over the years. And my appearance has been judged differently in different environments. Context is a huge part of how attractiveness is evaluated. It is weird to have people relate to me in this area so differently at different times.

 

I don't identify with my appearance much. I am aware of whether my current appearance is a tool or a barrier to receiving certain things, but don't identify with it as part of who I am, any more than my current access to a set of clothing or hair style that might be valued by my current audience.

 

I owned a very very expensive wardrobe for a couple weeks. I don't have current access to about a thousand dollars of items, that are legally mine, but I may never get them back. I still have the trench coat, and the dress loafers, and all the things I needed for the college open houses I have been attending. I don't currently need the heels and little black dresses and such. I think the whole thing is just funny. I have had what I needed when I needed it. "Mine" and what other people think about all this just amuses me. Today I ran around looking a total fright in faded old sweats with holes and hiking boots and didn't see me as being any different than I was in those $400.00 sandals. I'm really confused how they were made in Italy and were a French brand. And those open-toe patent leather heels really HURT. Whatever. I don't care about nonsense like that. I was running around a block from the White House in my bare feet when I got entirely sick of this stupidity. Bare feet got me in trouble with the Mennonites, too, and is a big part of why I left, but that is a whole other story. LOL.

 

We cannot change how other people view and react to THEIR beliefs about attractiveness. But we can rise above it all and reject their beliefs and have our own beliefs. Our weight, our hair, the current condition of our skin, how much exercise we got recently – those things all temporarily change our appearance, but are not us any more than clothing and a haircut. What we have now isn't what we will always have. It isn't us. Only shallow people react strongly to things that are so transient.

 

 

 

 

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I can’t relate to much of your post, Hunter, lol, but I think this is a really salient point. This is part of what the author of the book I just rec’d is saying even within a marriage. Choosing to remain in a marriage is just that - a choice. So do I want to keep moving my knight the same way and ending at the same Checkmate or do I want to choose a different response? I choose a different response. If he chooses to not like it, well, that’s too bad; nobody is forcing him to stay married to me, either. If he can’t adapt to a new program, he can choose to end the marriage. I don’t actively desire that outcome at present, but if that happens, I will adapt. It is possible I would actually thrive.

 

Eta: fix tag

 

Until the seizures started, I really did not know I had a choice. It is hard to explain.

 

When a family member was upset with me for leaving, I said to her, "If I had stayed, I would have died."

 

She said, "That is no excuse."

 

Just in case anyone needs these.

 

A Christian site on domestic abuse in the church. Parts of this are applicable to any conservative worldview that is not even Christian.

http://www.abigails.org

 

Teen dating abuse pamphlet. It is sometimes easier to first identify what is wrong for a teen boy to do things to a teen girl, before we realize it is also just as wrong for a husband to do to his wife.

https://www.nieonline.com/tbtimes/downloads/supplements/2012_teen_dating_abuse.pdf

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