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Cross roads

Riri
Community Member

I have been married for two years and known my husband for five. Im quiet independent with a secure attachment style his is more insecure and a little co dependent. My parents never approved and still don't.  I have always had my own things in life and been happy with work and family around me. I have lived in the big smoke my entire life and had strong connections and proximity to family. My partner does not have strong family connections and does not like city living especially as we are living in my mother's rental and due to that situation, my partner pushed for us to buy own own house, in a reginal town as a compromise, so an hours drive from my family. We have renovated our house for the last three years.  Our stuff is in there, well half of it. I'm no longer feeling comfortable with the move due to how we have been lately. There is no intimacy or emotional connection between us and I don't feel I can be vulnerable around him most of the time. He does not validate my emotions or opinions and becomes upset at me. I have been seeing a counselor for 2 years. And we have tried couples counseling. I get upset quite a bit as I persist on my boundaries and at times this has ment leaving the house Renos and driving back in storms, pitch black and in tears. I'm worried that if I move there the behaviours may continue or become worse. He has depression and is not dealing with it but promises he will. He also suffers PTSD after a near death experience. His not a controlling person in actions but words seem it and often leave me confused and doubting my own feelings and perception. He says I need to change my perception and think of him in a generous way...when I try to explain that this leads to lack of intimacy he will deny any responsibility. He simply says I need to man up and move forward with my life. He tells me it's not healthy to be under my parents thumb and living in their place(rental). I'm feeling hurt and lonely. We don't have kids. I'm not sure if there is any point continuing with the marriage. He is a nice person but I feel we clash alot. I could leave now and move on with my old life quiet easily but if I move from where I am I feel it will be to hard to move back. He says he will try his hardest, but I'm not sure how when he can't hear what I'm saying. I can't simply flick a switch. I don't know if there is any hope.

17 Replies 17

therising
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi Riri

 

Crossroads can definitely be a tough place to be. Which way to go? Hard to get an accurate feel for at times, that's for sure. On one hand there's intuition, that inner compass that's all about getting a feel for or sense of the right direction, on the other hand there can be people in our ear guiding us in a whole different direction.

 

Sounds like your inner compass is dictating 'If you do take this direction (moving an hour away), things have got to change big time, in order for the move and relationship to really work'. While he wants to make things work from his perspective, with him perhaps believing things will improve once you both gain more independence from your family, what would make things work from your perspective? If it's about having your feelings acknowledged and you both working through them together as you gain a better understanding of them, that's something which is incredibly important in my opinion. I think a healthy relationship is one where partners help raise each other's consciousness, not just their own. While he's leading you to evolve a little outside your comfort zone (regarding the move), he needs to also be willing to evolve and develop in certain ways.

 

If you find you're having to suppress a lot of what you feel, it's definitely a red flag. It's far more liberating to have our partner say 'Do you know why you feel the way you do? Do you know why you're feeling sadness/disappointment/confusion/resentment/fear/stress?' rather than say 'You're being ridiculous' or 'You're wrong in how you feel' or 'You're too sensitive'. Feelings are always telling. So important to work out exactly what they're trying to tell us. While my husband doesn't like to face the more challenging feelings in our marriage, technically that's about one partner trying to work things out alone. Definitely can create a sense of disconnection at times, when you're left alone to work things out for yourself. Also, if trying to express feelings leads to fights, it's always worth wondering about what each other is fighting for. If one is fighting for the opportunity to be heard and the other is fighting for the opportunity to avoid discussing the tough stuff (the kind of stuff that's going to end up developing the relationship), that's also a problem.

 

If what you want is a commitment from him when it comes to addressing the depression and PTSD before you move, having him take steps to put that into place (by making an appointment or set of appointments) might offer you some reassurance.

 

 

Riri
Community Member

Wow thanks the rising. That's some great advice. Yes he thinks that been away from my family will make me lessed stress and constantly reminds me of how good it will be for me. I personally find it very isolating but I comited to it when we brought.  Yes my inner voice tells me to not go, and also that I have tried all different ways to feel healthy in the relationship but we all ways end up in the same dance again. I tend to feel like I'm walking on eggshells alot of the time he would say his doing the same for me, but I don't believe that as I'm a very relaxed person.  I find him hyper sensitive and at times erational reactions- this intensifyed after he came out of ICU where he had been suffering ICU delusion. His upbringing has also played a big roll and when he sense threat or perceived threat( me talking about how I feel) he will start deregulating and the ability to really listen seems to disappear as he moves into defense. I  sound like I'm making excuses for, but it's more that I understand. I understand so much that I can see that at his age 45 it will take a long time to maybe start to fix. Meantime I'm worried my self confidence which is low not only to my feelings, differing opinions, but also due to been rushed through my processes to get to the end goal, for example carpet colours, curtains. I feel like I'm never confident in desions as I'm rushed through to make them and to be honest sometimes that's necessary especially in renovating. But it's also happened prior to the Renos. I would often lie about seeing family as he would de value it stating I should be doing other things with my time like responsibility stuff, I was just doing a bit of self presentations..or even stuff like going to the gym I would get back and he would say things like " did you really go to the gym that entire time, sure you did not seen ypur parents?" I explain those serious to him and he will say " why cant I think generous of him, his only asking coz he cares" and I explain that perhaps coming in a bit softer would help. He will then deny and say your perception of me is all wrong you need to objectively looks at things. I'm so confused. My family tell me assess the consequences of my choice. They tell me my whole personality has changed and I'm the most unhappiest they have ever seen me. I'm not the happy go lucky girl I once was. I do feel it and I have caught myself a few times been really nasty and horrible and acted in a way I never have before and am truly shameful for. I know that I was under enormous pressure at the time with my husband telling me " to sort things out or go legal"  I no that's not fully on him and that I'm responsible for my own self. But does my family's insight offer me answers. My partner tells me it's bias because " they want there babysitter back for your sister's and brothers" he stands. He has told me he knows what he needs to do for himself regarding the depression and states he will be going a local sports group, walks in nature and projects in the shed and I add to it don't forget the monthly therapy to which he states he will. 

My therapist told me that there is little hope. I look at him and feel deeply sorry for him but is that love. We have had no intimacy on any level for years... A friend told me to seek it from outside the relationship from people like friends and that. I find it hard to make friends tbh and I'm more solo self assured most of the time. Do I put a time limit on making a decision

? I can't put him through it any longer as his heart has only just been fixed.  Thank you for your kind Insights it's good to hear another's point of view other then those im currently getting. 

 

therising
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi Riri

 

I agree, it's not about making excuses for people, it's more so about gaining a better understanding of their behaviour. People tend to say 'You're making excuses' but it's not like that. I get where you're coming from.

 

When it comes to 'love', I found that being able to define it for myself is what made all the difference to me. Of course, love will mean different things to different people but I think it's important to define what it means to us as individuals. While trying to work out what love means to me, I can recall wondering 'Why do I love my 2 kids far more deeply and intensely compared to how I love everyone else in my life?'. I realised how deeply and intensely invested I am in their evolution, how invested I am in them developing while moving forward on their paths in life. I realised how invested I am in them being able to move through upsetting challenges while leading them to skill development and greater self understanding. Then it hit me. For me, love is found in evolution, in more ways than one. If I love another, I will actively invest in how they move and grow through challenge. If I love myself, I'll invest in my own growth. So, if someone is leading or leaving me to feel depressed, they're not loving me. I can feel them not loving me, from my perspective. I don't believe love is meant to feel depressing. Even with a tough love approach, we can feel a person caring enough to push us beyond our comfort zone.

 

It was my daughter who put me on to the concept of different love languages, which helped me make sense of a lot. While my love language is 'acts of service', my husband's is 'physical touch' and 'words of affirmation' (he's an obsessive hugger while often proclaiming his love). While he's more inclined to shut down conversations that involve emotional challenges that we need to get through, he'll simply hug me while telling me how much he loves me in that challenge. It doesn't serve me or the relationship, therefor I just don't feel the love. I'm more inclined to feel him serving himself. If he openly discussed things that led us to evolve, I could not help but hug him while feeling close to him. While he simply tells me that I'm not an affectionate person, my advice to him is 'If you act in ways that lead me to hug you, I will feel no choice but to hug you'. The reason I write this is to offer an example of how love can be complex and it's not always obvious at times why we don't feel love/d or why we can feel love so intensely. For example, if your family often leads you to feel like you're evolving in some way, it's understandable why you'd feel the compulsion to gravitate toward where such love can be felt.💕

Riri
Community Member

Very interesting especially the part about feeling loved whilst pushing beyond the comfort zone. Your right it's the feeling you have when a parent pushes you to developed during uncomfortable situations...you kind of know they have your best interests at heart and you whole heartedly trust them with out secounds guessing.  But they are people that know us at such a deep level deeper than that of a husband that's known you only a short time, but your right you get the feeling and therefore stop to think. I'm currently on a break, well more like squatting to have some time to compartmentalise my thoughts. But I go around in circles leave and join or stay and rebirth myself.  I love your idea of evolution and think that's truly something that rings deep in me. Your husband sounds like mine who's love language is also touch and words of affirmation...and I never challenge it because like you I have read the book and get it...He has written a list of the things his planning to do to help himself in the obvious areas, and has booked a first session supposibly. I feel like he pushes me to evolve and rather my family pushes me back into comfort zone. my mother reminded me of that the other day as she said " you can't hold down a job, you flip flop and cant commit...all lies as I have proven in renovating a house, running an air bnb and also my husband's business admin. Prior to that I had had a  successful career but I suppose that's all about values... They value working for the man. It's hard to stay positive about all I have accomplished when the people who mean the most will not give it any air. It all points that in their eyes I'm making the wrong choices and I should be sitting in entitlement and comfort with no risk at all and then maybe they would be proud...how sad it is that I'm we are so trained to lust for acknowledgement from the ones we love....at the end of the day I think everyone would love theor parents to be proud of them in some way. After all there is no right way to do life but when you challenge society norms and that of past generations " how dare you"... It's confusing to navigate family when the culture makes you question everything you know and thought of, I sometimes think gee it woukd be better to sit in ignorance. I then wonder if like me we are educatored to question, inquire and wonder why even educate are children to then get upset at them when they question with merit what's in front of them and blatantly obvious. 

therising
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi Riri

 

Ignorance definitely feels blissful at times, that's for sure. I remember when I was in my 20s thinking 'I wish I was more conscious', somewhere around the level of a zen monk 😄. Someone should have warned 'Be careful what you wish for'. Becoming more conscious is not easy, as you'd know yourself. While some of the revelations that come with greater consciousness can feel liberating and inspiring, graduating to each new level of consciousness can be tough.

 

I wish someone had told me 'Through each depressing or potentially depressing challenge, toward higher levels of consciousness, you're to work out what the challenge is about. Once you've worked it out, you'll graduate to a new level of awareness. If you can't work things out at the level you're on, find someone who can help you work them out. As you go along, you'll find there are some levels you won't be able to manage alone'. Took me a good few decades to reach that conclusion.

 

Yourself, you've found a truth that exists on a new level of awareness. It's not necessarily about working for the man (a belief held by others), it's partly about working with a sense of joy, satisfaction, risk, adventure (adding ventures, not repeating the same ones) and more. It's about discovering more about yourself in the work that you do. It can be about bringing our self to life bit by bit, whether we meet with the entrepreneur in us or a joyful sense of self or a part of us that seeks a sense of satisfaction, such as the achiever in us that thrives on dopamine. It can sometimes involve bringing the risk taker in us to life or the adventurer, the philosopher, the sage or the visionary/seer etc. Perhaps there are parts of you waiting to come to life in your new home town.

 

I agree wholeheartedly about the importance of questioning. The type and amount of questioning can be an indicator of the kind of quest we're on. All significant quests hold a lot of questions, it's in their nature. To develop and maintain a sense of wonder is what makes us wonderful and curious travelers on our quest where, occasionally, our paths meet at crossroads. It can be nice to stop for a chat and even compare notes on our travels. There's a sense of relief when you find someone else who's struggling with a particular part of their path. It's kinda like 'Oh, thank goodness. I thought it was just me who struggles with that'. 😊❤️

Riri
Community Member

Hi, I did look into the levels of consciousness and I believe I would sit in between 2-3... I found the point about how people tend to get stuck in two and appears "controlling like the man controlling his wife or religious control, as a way of not moving forward into the next stage, very inlighting. I can see myself as prior to this enlightening resisting perhaps life, but now trying to create the life as well as my partner(coming across as controlling ) rather then not been the life. Can we continue as a couple if one of us is slowly understating the and moving from conscious level 2-3?? Can we exist in a shared life?? Where would I even turn to find someone to help guide me through these areas of consciousness ? What would that help be called? Haha Monk level...amazing how they have trained hard to listen and be at Monk level. I wish the world was more accepting or knowing of these levels that you have now pointed me to, as maybe it would make the guest a little more enjoyable. But it is my own inner quest. Sometimes I feel like maybe I should just trust the process, the quest.  I try to work hard on shifting my old skin and vision of myself risk averse scared worried and highly anxious person, I try to think of myself as the power the director but I fal into the habit of listening and letting the outside world. Perhaps I need to meditate or journal more. I don't know of anyone who is where I'm at. People I know are all in their own happiness and world and I love to see it a pine for me. 

You are very wise Thesing ☺️

therising
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi Riri

 

While following the path of least resistance is said to be a part of human nature, it becomes more understandable how we can tend to choose the easy path at times. Falling back into old habits, which can create a sense of ease, makes sense. Breaking these habits can be tough to say the least. Some of these habits may have been with us our whole life. So, it can become a matter of breaking the habit/s of a lifetime. How to choose what's hard or how to choose what can feel fearful can be far from easy. I think sometimes it can be about redefining certain emotions.

 

It's amazing how fear and courage can feel the same at times. What if it's about the thoughts we have that go on to convince us of what it is we're feeling. For example, before starting a new job we could be fearing meeting people in that job for the first time, fearing whether we're capable of filling the role to meet expectations and fearing the possibility of sleeping through the morning alarm for a 6am start on our first day. Plenty of so-called 'butterflies in the stomach' to be felt the day before our start. But what if it's really about feeling the courage that comes with meeting new people, feeling the courage that's needed to instill more faith in our self while discovering what we're capable of and feeling the courage and conviction to say 'I will make it to work on time (by setting 5 alarms on my phone for the morning)'. Doesn't it then make those butterflies 'Butterflies of courage'? If those so-called butterflies are ones of fear, we can feel them working against us. If they're felt as being that which help work us up to courage, we can feel them working for us. While exercising a bit of imagination, when becoming too worked up, we could say to those imagined butterflies 'Hey guys, there are just too many of you and you're getting way too worked up. I need to breathe some of you out'. This is where strategic breathing comes into play while gradually calming the nervous system.

 

As far as a couple becoming more conscious together goes, I once asked someone 'How do I manage becoming more conscious with my husband?'. Her advice was along the lines of 'While it's natural to both become more conscious in different ways and at different rates, you can still be traveling the same path together. When one flat out refuses to become more conscious (refusing to wake up to what needs to change), you'll feel the paths begin to separate. You'll naturally grow apart. You need to accept their choice to not change, as you continue on your path'.

Riri
Community Member

Thank you. So I suppose what your saying is it's perceptive...a mind shift perhaps. Definitely will try the strategic breathing. I think our paths maybe are  naturally starting to separate. I think there is a lot of work that needs to be occured to just understanding we are two people not one brain cells let alone to the  point of considering continuous states (on his half). So I suppose that means it won't work?? Maybe this chapter is done and I bow out and acknowledge the work and self growth I have archived. It's hard because marriage to me is a life long commitment and does not always serve us at times and (I'm sure I'm not innocent in the matter)...is that strong enough reason to quit...just because something is not self serving. We have been through alot even prior to the marriage, praying for him to pull through using my faith to help guide me in decisions that needed to be made( knowing that he prob would have not liked me making decisions based on my beliefs in God). I think in totally 2years of working on myself in the marriage.

 

I was out today and watched all the mums who move about carrying everything, bags, kids bikes ect...struggling, it gave me the iek to see  as I thought, why do we never see the men doing these traditional  woman type roles? in today's age you would think things would be different...Its fine that's just a culture I suppose and one that I observed within my own family and often question, to their discust,when I see the men been waited on needing to be explicitly told to attend to a child destroying  the room. People fall into these rolls that are tried and tested( path of least resistance) because it works and is known and poses no threat. And it grinda my gears and I wounded why it upsets me so and think that perhaps I'm just jealous and would love to be where they are. And k hate that I feel this iek and wish I didn't.  It's all sounds a bit horrible when I read that back. 

therising
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi Riri

 

Being open and honest while trying to make sense of a lot of stuff is nothing to feel bad about. There are times where I've thought myself, 'That sounds terrible, how I feel about this/what I think about that'. At the end of the day, it's honesty and I think we can gain more from being honest with our self about how we feel or what we think, rather than trying to feel or think in all the ways that are expected of us.

 

With the parent primary carer role, in less traditional cultures I think it's become more about opportunity to some degree. Which parent has the opportunity to bring in more income, while the other is the stay at home parent? Is it the mother or the father? Sometimes neither can afford to be a stay at home parent, which sees the grandparents staying with the kids during working hours. Which parent has the opportunity to provide more full time emotional support and personal growth for a child? The mother or the father? Perhaps it's the one with the most patience. Which parent wants the opportunity to be a stay at home parent more than the other? The mother or the father? I agree, leading the non stay at home parent to become more conscious can be a challenge at times. While the parent who goes out to work may tend to say 'I'm going out with friends tonight', the primary carer of the kids is more likely to ask 'Can you watch the kids while I go out tonight?'. Both parents need to be conscious of their roles in supporting the kids and their partner. Either parent should be able to say to the other on occasion 'You should think about taking some time out, to go and meet with friends. I'll watch our kids'.

 

Can be hard to say when a relationship has run its course. Over the years, I've found it's the toughest of times in my marriage that have developed me the most. If I had left at those times, I wouldn't be the person I am today. The toughest of times tend to push for a lot of questioning (self questioning included), soul searching, reflection, open mindedness, the development of patience and tolerance etc. While the toughest of times can lead us to find the best in our self, perhaps the ultimate question should be 'Am I completely losing myself in all the wrong ways, ways that I feel leading me to depression or high anxiety or something else?'. ❤️