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H is now considered STBX


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#1 MomfromMN

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 02:54 PM

Hi all,

I met with my therapist this past week and I finally made the decision to leave h (aka stbx)! So...now what? We have a beautiful house, great nieghbors and his insurance is phenominal. I am scared and nervous, apprehensive etc., but I know that it is over. It's pretty much been over for a year when I stopped having sex with him. I just need to tell him in the next week or so. Tomorrow is our 17th anniversary and I told him I did not want to do anything.

We had a long talk a couple nights ago. He complained that he's unhappy and that we should have couples therapy. When I explained to him that it is best for him to work on his va he said, well I read that va book by patricia evans and I see that I do some of that stuff but you do some of it too. I asked him, how did you expect me to respond after all the ways you mistreated me? I've yelled back, walked away and avoided him-nothing I've done works.

His therapist recommended a book called "gentle verbal communication" (i think) and that was 3 weeks ago. He hasn't even bought the book to read. And today everything was going good UNTIL it was time to eat. God knows how many times he's done this but he got crabby AGAIN because he was hungry. Oh how I just want to smack him upside the head! He gets real short and impatient with the girls and I. My oldest didn't want to talk to him because he snapped at her. Can anyone tell me, does your h do this??? It's not a blood sugar problem is it? His dad does the same thing so I figured it was just a learned behavior and I've told him SO many times that it is not okay to act like this when you're hungry.

Sorry for venting and thank you for letting me share!
I just want to add that his crabby behavior he exhibits when he's hungry has been going on for as long as I can remember. I've also told him more than once that he needs to see a doctor because it is getting old and has been going on way too long. He won't do anything about it, not surprising...

Edited by MomfromMN, 05 May 2012 - 08:17 PM.


#2 PrudenceB

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 03:37 PM

I see that I do some of that stuff but you do some of it too.



I asked him, how did you expect me to respond after all the ways you mistreated me?

Because abuse back is still abuseive. Responging in kind is on us. But more importantly, how is this working for you?

he says something, you say something, then you say "you are mistreating me! he says "you just did the same thing! You are mistreating me!" NO! You mistraeated me first! SO what? You do the same! does that make it better because you did it second?"

How is this working? Someone hs to stop and break this cycle. You seem to feel he is abusive. Then it is inherant that he CAN NOT break the cycle. It is up to YOU. So learn how.

That does not mean he will stop being who he is. It means, you will see who he is, versus the escalated fight version of both of you. You will both get stress releif and hopefully, in the best of worlds, better communication through less fighting.


I've yelled back, walked away and avoided him-nothing I've done works.

None of these three will work because they are dysfunctional and possibly abusive. Try something new and try reading the gentle communication book. Try hearing his concerns about you without justifying your behavior. Appologize for things you did that were wrong, even if it was reacting to a wrong thing he did. own your stuff and forget about making him see his stuff.




His therapist recommended a book called "gentle verbal communication" (i think) and that was 3 weeks ago. He hasn't even bought the book to read. And today everything was going good UNTIL it was time to eat. God knows how many times he's done this but he got crabby AGAIN because he was hungry.


Many people do. It can be subclinical hypoglycemia. You say he has OCD and possibly bi polatr? It is very likely he has this condition which can alter his mood dramatically. I have hypoglygemia. I have the behavioral controls not to act out, but there are times when I don't. After 6 hours of skiing, I once had to pull over into a drugstore because I could feel my mood getting insane - so I ran in for some chocoalte. I watched myself almost knock over a woman with a walker because she was blocking th chocolate. It was an ut of body experience almost. I stopped myself, but I had no idea what I was doing for a second there.

I become distracted and soley focused on food when I am low in BG. I am irritable, have almost no ptince and can not be talked to if it is bad enough. I persoanlly know this and I shut down and shut up and eat.


If that's the case with your h. He might need to be mindful to eat at regular intrvals and never let his glucose drop.


Oh how I just want to smack him upside the head! He gets real short and impatient with the girls and I. My oldest didn't want to talk to him because he snapped at her. Can anyone tell me, does your h do this??? It's not a blood sugar problem is it? His dad does the same thing so I figured it was just a learned behavior and I've told him SO many times that it is not okay to act like this when you're hungry.

Sorry for venting but I guess it's a valid reason to call him STBX! Ugh!


I am pointing this stuff out only because you were originally saying you want to save your marriage.

If that's true- then you have to learn tools to change yourself.

I KNOW what it is to live with a damaged person. I KNOW what it is to have "normal bad stuff" and ABnormal bad stuff. There is a big difference.

We have to understand what those differences are and learn to tolerate the flaws of our partners, as they tolerate us, and to ADDRESS (maybe by leaving) the things which inherantly make a relationship impossible. Low BG and a grump when hungry is not a make or break. I don;t say that because I am hypoglycemic, I say it because beofre I was, I dated a hypoglycemic...and it is irrelevant because it is so obvious the person is having a physcial problem - like a broken leg...that gets cured with a cheeseburger!

This is all up to you. I am not there. You know the man. But, if you Do want to salavage your marriage - take his concerns seriously. If there are things which are totally from outer space (like accusing you of cheating when you are home all day baking cookies) - then put those back onto him. If there are things like "yelling back" - then take stock and change you.



Best "advice" I can give right now.

#3 DawnC

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 06:17 PM

Does it matter if it is a blood sugar problem? A child who behaves crankily when he is hungry has an excuse because he is not in control of his meals and when he has access to food.

An adult, a grown man, who has been told repeatedly how obnoxious he becomes when hungry knows what to do and has the power to do it and has no excuse. You are not his mommy and he has the responsibility for monitoring himself. Health issue, maybe, but HIS health is his job. How he treats you and the kids? You get to choose whether it is something you want to be around or not, regardless of what may or may not trigger the behavior.

It is too easy and a cop-out for him to act out and for you or him or both of you to explain away the behavior as "daddy's just hungry". No better than "daddy's just drunk" or "daddy's just a raging a-hole, don't mind him"...you and the kids deserve better. My kids and I deserve better, too. I have hypoglycemia and have STILL manage to be courteous and patient (most of the time) even when very hungry. It isn't easy but it can be done! Plus i carry around glucose tablets. Very easy to do and did I mention i am an adult? I think hunger is a convenient excuse, (but not a real reason) to use when he's feeling irritated and impatient and doesn't want to make the effort self-control requires. My opinion. It's childish without a child's excuse.

Why do you need to tell him anything in the next week or so? If I were you, I would not be in a hurry to tell him it is over, anniversary or no anniversary. You knowing is enough. Get through that day as best you can and start putting your exit plan together. Don't give him fair warning because he may jump the gun before you are ready financially, emotionally, and every other way.

The decision is yours. Make the timing yours, too. Take the time to consult a lawyer and be ready and have your papers and plans for custody and support in order before you start the process of divorce. Sometimes spousal support can include insurance.

I'm glad you're getting some emotional support from a therapist. It does not surprise me AT ALL that he's throwing that book back at you. Don't take the bait and try to justify yourself. You wil never convince him of anything he doesn't want to hear.

Good luck.
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#4 Kris

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 10:14 PM

I think a mature adult can find ways to deal with their own crabbiness or bad feelings that don't involve verbally abusing another person. So yes, it's possible there is a physical reason underlying his crabbiness. But how he chooses to respond to the physical problem is his choice, and he is responsible for the choices he makes.

Just like yes, it is true that you are responsible for the choices that you make. And maybe his being verbally abusive creates just too much stress on you so that you snap and react abusively back. But at least you are recognizing what is happening and choosing to remove yourself from the situation that causes you to behave in ways that you know are not appropriate. Obviously that is not something your stbx is willing to try to work on.

Pru is right: if you want to try to get the marriage to work out, there might be strategies your therapist could work with you on to not end up feeling so cornered and helpless that you have to respond in ways that aren't authentic to you. But the really critical thing is to also learn strategies to defuse the abuse or to take yourself out of the abusive situation so you don't get provoked that way. It is only "self-caring" to protect yourself from abuse that way. When I was still "in", I don't know why but whenever my stbx started on an abusive ranting or raging, I would feel like I would have to just sit and take it until it was over. That's not good for me, and not something that a healthy person would allow. So becoming aware of when these abusive episodes are just starting and then what to do so you don't get pushed beyond the limits of your endurance would be a good skill to have. So I'd definitely talk to your therapist about that, even if you are determined now to not try to work things out with your stbx. Because who knows? One day you might find yourself in another relationship (or even a similar situation could develop with coworkers or bosses at work, etc.), and it sure would be good to have mastered those skills!

I'm sending you all my good vibrations that things go ok when you tell him... I know that can be a very difficult time. :wub:
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#5 Rachel

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 10:34 PM

My ex would act the same way when he was hungry. I mean, he always acted that way but he also acted that way when he was hungry, as if that was an excuse...I don't think it's low blood sugar, I've had low blood sugar and I didn't abuse someone because I didn't feel good. He's an adult, if he's hungry he should eat when he's hungry and not blame everyone around him because of his failure to feed himself in a timely manner.
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#6 MomfromMN

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 11:30 PM

Thank you all for all the input so far :) Just to clarify, no I don't want to work on the relationship. The reason I wanted to try to work on it before was because of all the pressure I was feeling from friends and family. It was what THEY wanted me to do. The guilt was unbearable at times and I thought I was going to go crazy. I don't feel this way now.

Regarding what I mentioned about me yelling back, walking away or avoiding him, these are all things I have done in the past. Now if he bickers about the dishes not getting done I walk away. My therapist said there are 3 ways that a person can make you feel. Like a child, an adult or a professional. If he makes me feel like a child she said I should remove myself or disengage from the situation.

His abuse is covert abuse and we don't yell or argue like we did in the past. When he yelled and threw a dish (couple months ago) because the girls were being loud I just let him have his tantrum. Today when he was crabby due to hunger I was driving and I wasn't doing it fast enough or efficiently-that made me feel like a child. I need to work on this because I just went where he said he wanted me to go to keep him happy I guess.

DawnC, I agree, you're right I don't need to tell him until I'm ready.

Thank you!

#7 Kris

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 07:59 AM

Sounds like you've already figured out the strategies to not get pulled into behaviors and situations that don't agree with you... so that is great! One hopes to not need them ever, but the reality is you probably are going to run into inconsiderate or abusive people. So it's good to have that in your toolkit.

I think with spouses, sometimes we wait longer to pull ourselves out of the situation than is really good for us because it is a lot tougher to set boundaries in ways that really do have a possibility of going to a complete separation final outcome. But yeah, then we can end up abusing ourselves, in a way, but letting ourselves be exposed to that for so long.

I'm glad you are so certain in your thinking... that is the one advantage of not having acted on it as soon as you were starting to feel ending the relationship was a real possibility. It's pretty common to have moments of doubt, especially at the beginning, which can make the hard process of separating/divorcing even harder. So it will help you a lot in what you will need to do now to have such a strong sense of confidence that this is what you need to do!

You know, about your comment that you just drove where he wanted and then felt "like a child"... I don't know if I would be as hard on myself, if I were you. Any confrontation takes some energy and especially in that case, you were stuck in a car with him without an option to remove yourself from the situation. So I don't think it necessarily was a bad thing to just placate him at times when it doesn't really matter. But yes, for sure, this is a great opportunity to be very observant about how you are feeling and reacting to the triggers he will undoubtedly keep presenting to you. Because you can think about it like a great "training opportunity" where you can explore different ways of responding, you can become aware of things that trigger you, and you can learn a lot about yourself that will help you see what you would benefit by working on. And if you make mistakes in how you respond... so what? You're not going to be staying anyway!! But you can note the "mistake" and then think of better reactions or strategies that you might try to do the next time. So in many ways you are in a perfect situation for working on your own reactions and behaviors... so just take advantage of the opportunity!!
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#8 MomfromMN

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 09:44 PM

Kris,
I'm feeling all sorts of emotions lately and in my last post I think it showed that I was defensive, insecure, nervous, etc. Yes, I know what strategies to use with my stbx sometimes, but not always. And I have no idea how to use what tools I know of with my dad and brothers. My dad gets under my skin without saying a word to me and he doesn't even have to be in the same room with me. His abuse is more overt and he can do more damage to me than anyone else I know. I hate that man and my therapist wants to do some role playing or something like that to help me get some closure. I am not keen on this but I suppose I have to try it. My brothers are like big teddy bears but at times they can sound just like my dad. It's hard for me to stand my ground or let my boundaries be known. They all think I'm too sensitive and that I over react about things.

You're right about staying too long. I probably stayed years longer than I wanted. All last year my stbx was stressed out about his job and plus he wasn't getting any sex. I told myself, how could I leave him when his job isn't going well, that's cruel of me I thought. I used to post stuff in another forum. My question was, is it normal for a guy to take out his anger on me and the kids because he's not getting sex? The majority of the responses that I got was yes! They even told me that it was my fault that stbx was abusing my oldest. I don't use that forum hardly ever now.

I don't believe I am certain of anything sometimes when it comes to stbx! But when he slips up or shows his true colors like he did yesterday it makes me feel like I'm doing the right thing. When I was trying to salvage the marriage I asked him to read the Boundaries book by Townsend and Cloud. I showed it to him and told him it was a really good book, it could help our marriage. It sat on the table for almost a month and I finally stopped asking him to read it. He kept saying he would but I guess with the stress of his job last year he just didn't have time. And now that his therapist is suggesting a different book for him to read and he's not doing it I don't know what that means. It makes me feel like he has time to complain but doesn't take action to help himself.

Am I supposed to help him get better? I've been reading books, doing research online, going to therapy etc., shouldn't he know to do the same thing that I'm doing? Or am I supposed to lead him in the right direction? Maybe I shouldn't be frustrated with him because I'm not doing my part....even if he is my stbx. I still want him to be a good dad even though I don't want him for a husband anymore.

Thanks for letting me ramble and for all your support!

#9 DawnC

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 12:00 AM

Don't be afraid to yet role play in therapy. They say the subconscious can't tell the difference between an imagined experience and a real one, so acting out standing up for yourself or finally telling your dad something important can make an impact on how you feel and react next time you are actually in a scene like the one you acted out. It might help you, even if it feels weird to do. People rehearse for speeches and job interviews and performances, so this makes sense, in theory. :)
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#10 imawwife

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 06:47 AM

MomfromMN: Just how much more help does a grown man need from you than you've already provided? Ditch the guilt that says you haven't done enough. You have. Absolutely.

He's a grown man making his own decisions. His inaction in this area is on him. Not on you!
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