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Shopping for Bread at the Hardware Store...

Old 06-20-2011, 01:24 PM
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Shopping for Bread at the Hardware Store...

I love that line - use it often! ; )

And today I find myself wandering around the hardware store searching for a loaf of bread. My quandary...I am separated from my RAH and suffering from the expectations of marriage. He wants nothing to do with me, continues to blame me for separating (I ruined the marriage), refuses to take part of anything having to do with working on the marriage, yet gets infuriated if I talk about a divorce. He says he "doesn't want a divorce" but he has no relationship with me. Why have no relationship with a spouse? Why not make them NOT YOUR SPOUSE then? If he doesn't want to have a relationship with me, why does he not divorce me???

Here's where I am really hung up - I showed up for this marriage. I participated as best I could. I sat, night after night, waiting for him to show up and participate in this new family we created. Instead he lived his hermit life in his office, snuggling up to Jack Daniels. Why should I have to be the one to file for divorce if I don't want a divorce? I wanted the marriage he sold me when we were dating!

So he won't have any kind of relationship with me. Yet he won't file for divorce. I would like to see if the marriage is workable, given he has been sober for over 7 months. But he won't work with me on anything. His anger is coming out sideways all over me. He's still very controlling and irresponsible for his part in all of this.

I can't move forward in my life with the marriage weighing on me like a 50lb chain around my neck. I meant my vows. I can't seem to untangle myself from them. So we are both stuck. I won't file because I don't want a divorce, I want the marriage I thought I was getting. He won't file - probably because it would make him look like the "quitter", holding the blame bag. We are firmly stuck in the oh-so-familiar power struggle.

Should I go ahead and file? I can file contested where he simply gets served papers. Is there any point in waiting...given he wants nothing to do with me? If I continue to wait, I hold myself back from living my own life, but I also feel a bit chapped that I will be giving him exactly what he wants, more ammunition to blame me with. For example, "Well YOU are the one who divorced ME" said with a sneer and dripping with contempt. I can see it now.

How do I remove myself from this power struggle as cleanly and painlessly as possible? Thoughts? Suggestions?
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Old 06-20-2011, 01:35 PM
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Hmmm... the only thing that comes to mind is to keep working your program, focus on you so that when the time comes to actually "pull the trigger" you do it because it's the right decision for you, and you are prepared to follow through no matter what he thinks, feels, or says.

Expecting him to actually pull the trigger and file for a divorce? Ain't ever going to happen. You are going to have to do it. So work on getting yourself strong enough to do it...in the event that it does have to be done.

As you know, I filed for divorce back in March. I was a big fat steamroller... gonna bust my way through this divorce and gonna get $hit taken care of! And though I was strong, I am now in a spot where I am second guessing... well, maybe not second guessing - because I KNOW divorce is the right decision... but at the very least, struggling to keep my heart in check.

As I mentioned in other posts, I was flip-flopping and confused - due in large part because I was looking to my AH for answers. Looking to see if his actions showed changed... if they did, oooh, maybe I should give him one more shot... if they didn't, oh darn it, I got sucked back in AGAIN!! I was spinning - profusely. So, I had to stick my darn marriage back in the god box... leave it be for today (and maybe tomorrow, and the day after that!)... and focus on me.

So, instead of solving my marriage problems today - I printed out Step Worksheets and am going to focus on me :-)
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Old 06-20-2011, 01:40 PM
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Certainly a tough decision.

When I started walking this path, I didn't care what my AW wanted or didn't want.

For a while, I too was hung up on my vows and I also showed up for the marriage and ensuing life. I still do.

My vows mentioned nothing about the actions I've witnessed so I'm no longer hung up on them, nor do I care what anyone else thinks of vows or the sanctity of marriage. I also recognized that with or without her, I'd always have to deal with her via our son.

You made a comment that me is the one to concentrate on the most.

Originally Posted by Tuffgirl View Post
I won't file because I don't want a divorce, I want the marriage I thought I was getting.
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Old 06-20-2011, 01:43 PM
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May I ask you a question?

Playing the waiting out game? the stuck in limbo game?
How's that working for you?

do you think even if he files he won't play out the martyr role?

I understand that you really wanted the marriage you were promised - Please accept my heartfelt sympathy that you didn't get that promise!! ((hugs)) for you - that really hurts.

I believe now that you have the opportunity to try something else - it may not be what you originally wanted or had planned for ~ but it may be something else your HP has in store for you ~

When you are ready - don't let the little detail of who filed or who won stop you ~

Remember as long as you come out with your Joy, Peace, Sanity, Serenity and ability to Live and Laugh ~ my friend YOU have WON! regardless of what he thinks or stories he tells!!

PINK HUGS!
Rita
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Old 06-20-2011, 01:45 PM
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I did go no contact - blocked him from emailing, texting, or calling me. His last response was overly mean and hostile. I don't like this man at all, and I am sick of him trying to crap on my serenity.

It just feels - well - unfair that I have to be the one to file for divorce when I was the one showing up for the marriage and I am the one, standing here waiting for an opportunity to see if its workable. Yet, it is beginning to feel unfair to "wait" for something that I see absolutely no signs of getting anytime soon...a grown up ready to be responsible.

My Al-Anon fellows try to talk me into waiting for one whole year. But really, is there any significant change in the next 5 months, considering not much has changed in the previous 7 months? Yeah, he's not drinking but I don't see much else going on.

I want to move forward into the next exciting adventure in my life. I don't feel I can do this with that darn marriage certificate in the way. I want to uphold my values, and if I am married how can I pursue new relationships and new activities? It just doesn't feel right. I feel stuck.
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Old 06-20-2011, 01:51 PM
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All I can say is...

you have the key. YOU can release that chain from your ankle.

If you want to be free and move on... then do that. You have a RIGHT to happiness. If this isn't working for you, change it. You can always change your mind later.
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Old 06-20-2011, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by MsPINKAcres View Post
May I ask you a question?

Playing the waiting out game? the stuck in limbo game?
How's that working for you?
It sucks. It makes me feel stuck in a painful, gray area full of confusion and hurt feelings. It feels very rejecting, punitive. Gamey. Power struggle. I hate it.
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Old 06-20-2011, 02:05 PM
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TuffGirl, try rereading your own sig. Little bit of irony there isn't there?

Your friend,
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Old 06-20-2011, 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Tuffgirl View Post
How do I remove myself from this power struggle as cleanly and painlessly as possible? Thoughts? Suggestions?
I believe that there were a few things that happened for me to get to this point.

1) Complete acceptance of who my husband was and of the reality of our relationship. Not the relationship I signed up for, wanted and wished for - but the one I actually had.

2) Detachment. Letting go. Letting go of wishing he was some how different. Letting go of thinking I could some how do the one magically thing that would make him different.

3) Saving myself. Giving myself permission to do what was right for me. Clearing my thinking.

Once I could do that, I could detach from the power struggle. His accusations, blame, guilt tripping, and manipulations no longer mattered. That was a process. I could leave him to his own reality without having to defend mine. I separated.

Originally Posted by Tuffgirl View Post
I want to move forward into the next exciting adventure in my life.
You can make that happen. You are the only one that can make that happen That power is right there inside you, waiting for you to be ready. It will always be there.
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Old 06-20-2011, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by m1k3 View Post
TuffGirl, try rereading your own sig. Little bit of irony there isn't there?

Your friend,
Yeah - the irony is that I did - commit to working on our marriage but living separately. I did attend counseling. I did my end of what I promised to do. I did not file for divorce. I did - everything I said I would do.

He hasn't.

That's where I am today. Why bother with this? When he opens his mouth, he quacks at me. His actions speak the real truth. He can't/won't/whatever have this relationship with me. But he won't file for divorce.

Do or do not, there is no try. He is not doing anything. I guess doing nothing is doing something.

I really think he wants me to file. That's the power struggle. If I file, he can remain forever the victim of that big mean Tuffgirl who moved out(gasp) and then proceeded to divorce him (double gasp). Ohh the drama. Blech.
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Old 06-20-2011, 02:12 PM
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Tuffgirl...

I wanted the marriage he sold me when we were dating!
Don't you think you were sold a false bill of goods?

Is he the person he held himself out to be?

I wanted to honor my marriage vows too but you can't have a 'marriage' when one of the participants places drugs or alcohol above all else. This isn't a marriage.

Please take a look at my signature line...
You have a different life waiting for you but you're the only one who can go after it.

I know its tough.
Keep working on YOU...and YOUR recovery....
Hugs............
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Old 06-20-2011, 02:14 PM
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You say that you do not like this man at all...sooooo why are holding onto this marriage?
Does not compute to me.

The only reason there is a power struggle is because you continue to waffle, sit back really decide what you want out of your life and then either stay in the marriage or move forward.

Situations are only as difficult as you make them.
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Old 06-20-2011, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Tuffgirl View Post
I won't file because I don't want a divorce, I want the marriage I thought I was getting.
Like Shellcrusher, this stood out for me. On introspection it's completely what kept me from filing for the 2 years after I'd left XAH. I wanted the dream, the could-have-been, the should-have-been.

I'm still angry that I didn't get that. I am so flipping angry with myself and my HP that it didn't turn out to be a partnership, a family, a sheltering place of love and security. D-mn it! I deserve that don't I?! It hurts like h-ll to have to let go of what we wanted, even if it turned out to only be a dream.

*Sigh*

If you're not ready to file yet, you're not ready yet. You're looking at the reasons why and that's a HUGE step, no matter which direction you decide to go when you're done examining the problem.

Hugs.
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Old 06-20-2011, 02:20 PM
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Grrr.
I've always been a black and white person.
These days, I don't think it's that easy.

I finally watched Inception this weekend. Great movie. Your situation makes me think about that movie. Why? There was a comment made regarding planting your own idea in someone elses head. It wouldn't work if the target didn't take ownership and or think they came up with the idea on their own.

What's my point? I also learned here a while ago that sometimes something happens and you feel like you have to get it all figured out right now. Naw. It doesn't need to happen right now.

Again, what's my point? Maybe the struggle is still going on over an idea you have, Tuffgirl. Maybe it will just take some time to work it out.
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Old 06-20-2011, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Tuffgirl View Post
I want to move forward into the next exciting adventure in my life. I don't feel I can do this with that darn marriage certificate in the way. I want to uphold my values, and if I am married how can I pursue new relationships and new activities? It just doesn't feel right. I feel stuck.
(Do you realize the tone of the post quoted above, seems to have already changed from your initial post? - Just an observation, really, not a question.)

Bingo. I didn't want any new relationships (still don't, no where near ready), but I do want to get on with my life. I simply could not do that tied up with XAH and his twisted problems. When I realized that I wanted my life back, I was ready to take the next step to start reclaiming it.

If I file, he can remain forever the victim of that big mean Tuffgirl who moved out(gasp) and then proceeded to divorce him (double gasp). Ohh the drama. Blech.
When I got to the point where I knew what I wanted and needed in a relationship and knew that he could not provide it or meet me part way to achieve that, I also decided that I didn't give a rat's -ss if he climbed up on the pyre and lit it himself or not. Fairly easy to say from this side; it took a lot of work to get to that point from the other side.
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Old 06-20-2011, 02:47 PM
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I think I am ready. And I am heartbroken over it, because I do not want to be divorced again. Because yes, I wanted the marriage I was promised. I wanted the man he said he was and acted like for a while there. At least until the certificate was signed.

But I think I am ready. The 50LB chain around my neck is slowly suffocating me. I can't change him, his mindset, his perspectives. But I can change me. I can remove that chain. I know this. I just feel indignant still that I have to do it. He is the one who royally f'ed up this relationship - he should be the one to do the next right thing (let me go). *Foot stomp here*
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Old 06-20-2011, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by anvilhead View Post
I wanted the marriage he sold me when we were dating!

hmmmmm......something about that statement really troubles me. sounds more like a timeshare, or a ponzi scheme. like you were somehow the consumer who got taken for a ride by the salesman. instead of two competent adults AGREEING to merge their lives together.
It kinda took me for a spin too. Timeshare, ponzi scheme or whatever. Bottom line on this stuff is it doesn't matter. The coulda, woulda, shoulda game can be nasty but I know every one of us does it.
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Old 06-20-2011, 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by anvilhead View Post
I wanted the marriage he sold me when we were dating!

hmmmmm......something about that statement really troubles me. sounds more like a timeshare, or a ponzi scheme. like you were somehow the consumer who got taken for a ride by the salesman. instead of two competent adults AGREEING to merge their lives together.

i know you believe that you showed up and lived up to your end of the bargain, but maybe....it turns out that wasn't what he wanted - maybe the REALITY didn't live up to HIS expectations either. maybe NEITHER of you got your needs met, got what you wanted.

he won't talk to you, except spitefully.
you don''t like him.
what does it really matter who files first?
He conned me - he wasn't at all the man he portrayed himself to be. And he was good. He made promise after promise and followed through with nothing. Instead, he slid quickly head first into the bottle. No, I wasn't what he wanted either. He didn't want someone to hold him accountable or responsible for his end of the bargain. He wanted someone who would let him live his life on his terms and to hell with our agreements when we got married.

Again, I just feel very indignant that I have to go do something that I didn't want to do ever again. I wanted this. I have tried to work on it. If he doesn't want me, then he should file.

But I also know this is the game. I know why he plays it. I know I don't want to anymore. I know its time. I am just upset over it all today.
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Old 06-20-2011, 02:54 PM
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TuffGirl, It seems to me you want the divorce but you don't want the drama. I feel the same way. I accept it doesn't matter who files there will be drama so I have come up with an action plan. Step 1 was move out. Step 2 is to try and get her to give up the 2 bedroom apartment and go to a 1 bedroom. This step is not a showstopper as I can handle the extra rent until a divorce happens but would be nice. Step 3 is to start separating the financials. Get my own accounts and credit cards. Just starting with this. Step 4 is see the lawyer. I have no timeline for this but it is easier if I work through the checklist. Each step leads logically to the next. I'll let you know how this works out but I intend to be done by this time next year.
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Old 06-20-2011, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Tuffgirl View Post
I am just upset over it all today.
I hear what you're saying, Tuffgirl. It does suck and there's nothing wrong with being upset about stuff.
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