KM, Kat, SusanOR, MM-IL, juliemam, EllenA, GailCT, Pink D, jkl (m)

KM, Kat, SusanOR, MM-IL, juliemam, EllenA, GailCT, Pink D, jkl (m)

cy2
Joined: February 16th, 2006, 6:45 pm

May 25th, 2012, 12:22 pm #1

First of all, thank you so much for taking time to write such helpful info, advice, support, and concern below. You ladies are better than any rescue responders, retail therapy, crisis intervention hotline, multiple shots of alcoholic beverages (I like bourbon and gin, but not mixed together), or bottles of red wine. In fact, you are some of the best friends in the universe.

I have started unpacking my bags (a series of small fabric slings that I put clothers, cosmetics, medication, etc. into when I left). I kept them by the door to our carport until just a few days ago. I think DH got the message that I'm not planning on going anywhere right now, but leaving them out in plain sight for a few weeks was a good reminder to everyone that I was ready to go on a moments notice. I'm not sure if he noticed that I took full size everything (lotion, fish oil bottles, toothpaste tube, an entire roll of cotton pads for removing make up. etc.) so I could have been gone for months before needing refills. Hopefully he was super observant and thought, "holy crap, she's planning on leaving for a LONG time if she's taking the 400 count bottle of fish oil capsules!"

I need to work on other things in communication with DH, but at least the crisis has abated for now and I'm not camping in my car and using the Starbucks and McD's wi-fi.

SusanOR - I can't thank you enough for sharing your experience and thoughts about therapy, especially since you are in the same field and still learned a lot! Your candor and clear explanations are priceless. Your post gave me real hope and appreciation for what can be gained through good and healthy therapy. Thank you again and again. I hope that you gain whatever you desire from your therapy sessions and that you continue to share your wisdom and advice with your patients! They are very lucky people to have you help them.

KM - I appreciate your comments regarding DH needed to have another guy tell him in order for him to "get it". Actually, I'm lucky that him hearing me spell things out for DS seemed to have done the trick in terms of not having DH contradict me or scold me when DS misbehaves. In fact, DH has been really good about playing the role of enforcer without my even having to ask him. DS was a bit surprised yesterday when I was mapping out a conflict that we had (I like to spell things out and ask DS if he can identify when things went wrong or what he could have done differently) and DH scolded DS.

My girlfriend had suggested that we get one of her psychologists (a nice man who has helped with my girlfriends 7 children, even though he is officially supposed to be working with only 2) to come to the house and observe the dynamics and then comment to all of us how the interactions become poisonous. My problem with that is that DH resents the fact that I talk with my girlfriend about her 7 children and all their issues and doesn't like it when I listen to her advice more than DH's opinions. Given the fact that she is getting excellent expert advice (psychologists, psychiatrists, skills trainers, behavioral counselors, etc.) particular to children who have issues similar to DS, instead of DH's opinions that he understands DS because they share a male chromosome, my friends advice has been infinitely more helpful. This is another issue that bothers DH, similar to my closeness with my brother, I am extremely close to my friend and discuss many things with her.

I'm hoping that DH will keep supporting me vis-a-vis DS and that we can keep improving our lines of communication.

I will check out your book recommendation after I get through my client updates and 4 straight days of seminars in June.

MM-IL - Thank you for your kind words. I appreciate your perspective on marital therapy. I might be the one who ends up going in thinking that everything that needs changing is DH and comes out needing a complete overhaul myself. I know I tend to be really logical and want to talk things over so that there isn't any misunderstanding of what I mean and said. I think DH gets frustrated because he used to always accuse me of justifying everything. I think the major difference is that it seems like he is more focused on the conflict between us and somehow "winning" as opposed to really understanding what I think and feel. To me, the "justifying" should help DH see why I do/say what I do/say.

juliemam - I loved what you wrote. Your words about dealing with someone who is less mature are so true. I hate to say it, but if you look at how DH and DS handle frustration, you see the same picture. Getting angry, blowing up, inappropriate throwing/breaking/slamming/etc., irrational comments and yelling. In fact, the sad part is, since I don't let DS get away with horrible behavior, in some instances I think that DS handles conflict with me after he loses it and partially cools down in a bit more mature way than DH. At least with DS I force him to discuss what went wrong and where he could have said or done something different to avert the conflict.

I guess we all marry people who in reality are different than what we thought. Afterall, when they're trying to get you to marry them, they put on their best behavior. I married DH 8 months after I met him. Prior to that I had dated people for years without getting engaged.

The most confounding part about the DS disrespect and the DH lack of support for me is that DH is modeling the very behavior that we are trying to get rid of in DSes. It would be much easier for everyone if DH just stepped in as the enforcer, saying, "What did your Mom say? Do it!" and then slam things around to scare DS into action, instead of letting DS drive a wedge further between DH and me. Plus, that's how I want DS treating his wife in the future.

Thank you for the book recommendations. I will keep the list and hopefully have time to check them out later.

EllenA - Thank you for the concern and support. I appreciate your message and kind words. You're in a similar situation with KM and me. Only male children with strong personality moms make for interesting triangles. Just like with children, groups of 3 have tough dynamics, unless one of the three is a saint or the Dalai Lama. Thank you for being such a great friend over all these years.

GailCT - Thank you for reaching out when you are also at a breaking point in your life. Sometimes I wonder how you manage to cope with all that's on your plate at home and still take time out to comfort a friend like me. This group is truly a gift and I appreciate that part you play to make it special. I love your comment that DH is like a second child in maturity. In that case, I need to get less emotional and start modeling better behavior for him to emulate, right? I could also probably get better results if I only recognize and reward positive behavior from DH and ignore the negative behavior until it extinguishes itself. (Do you think I could clicker train DH without him realizing it????) I need to think about that. . . Hugs to you!

Pink Dandelion - Thank you for chiming in. If only DH was as mature and wise as you! I wish he had better skills for handling his anger. I think he does a lot of holding things in, so when he loses it, the actions and effects are not appropriate. Our psychologist told us long ago that men tend to "see red" and cease to function mentally when they are really angry. I like to resolve things and agree to disagree if I can't see things DH's way. Of course, trying to deal with someone who is seeing red is like trying to herd sick cats. I know that DS' tendencies will lead him to try to get his way, even if it means causing uproar between DH and me. Hopefully as he gets older and starts figuring things out, he'll see the problems and quit. Now that DH is backing me up, DS is improving. He doesn't escalate bad behavior. There isn't a need because DH is shutting him down by telling him to listen to me.

jkl - You are a genius! Yes, I think a lot of the problems with DH come because he feels like he lacks power. He doesn't like the fact that I am close to my best friend and my brother and that I spend time talking to them on a regular basis, giving advice and comments and getting back the same. I try not to let him know I get comments related to him, but I'm sure he knows I share things with my brother and friend. He's probably paranoid that I tell them negative things about him.

He also doesn't like the fact that I control all our finances. I am the financial person by profession. With 2 self employed people in a bad economy with DS' school expenses and DH's full time employee, there is a lot of juggling that goes on. In the past I've told him where I putting money and how I'm moving things, but he is irrational when it comes to debt. Ironically, a lot of the expenses that necessitate the debt are related to his business. I've invited him to learn more about investments and trading. He is irrational about his attitude toward options, even when I've told him that I've taken tens of thousands of dollars out of our investment account to pay household expenses thanks to option investing.

I am more computer/network/software experienced. When I can't solve my own problems, I consult with my brother who graciously drops things and tries to help me, even though he doesn't get along with DH. DB even interrupts his schedule to help me fix DH's computer problems! (But that also deepens the problems regarding my relationship with my brother and DH's resentment)

Finally, I was and still am a geeky person and DH was an average student. I read voraciously when I have time. I'm constantly learning new things (thaks to DS it's been about behavior, ADHD, child development, growth hormone deficiencies, teaching techniques for struggling writers, parenting, etc.). When I was younger I was valedictorian, received a full college scholarship to Vanderbilt based on merit, and am also a Truman scholar. Being a good student and learning tons of things about an eclectic amount of subjects comes naturally. I try to correct or add different perspectives gently when DH brings up ideas, but I'm sure in his mind I'm always telling him that he's wrong. For example, he'll say something about the Facebook IPO and since I'm in the securities business and have been through more commercial litigation than any normal non-attorney should experience, I'll say something like, "What are the damages and how do you think they'll be able to put a dollar amount on the claim?" or "Actually, the SEC regulations are silent on that issue" and he gets huffy. I don't say things to try to argue or prove him wrong. I just want him to be aware of stuff so that he doesn't make comments to others that may make him look like he doesn't know what he's talking about.

Anyway, thank you for pointing out that DH's behavior indicates that he feels powerless. In reality, he doesn't see the machinations I go through because I try to do things to conform to his desires. There are a lot of things that I have "let go" and they might come back to bite us big time, but DH's angry responses to issues (replacing a portion of the AC because of mold concerns for example) make it impossible to deal with him rationally.

Since DH doesn't talk to work out issues, nothing gets resolved. Granted, I should take him up on his request to go to therapy, but I guess I'm hesitating, because maybe this will end up being the fatal flaw. Also, I am so exhausted, thinking about explaining stuff to a 3rd party feels like it would drain the life out of me right now.

Anyway, thank you for your insightful observation and support.

Kat - how can I thank you for all the supportive messages and care that you've shown me? I think you understand the issues with having only children and the power struggles that ensue. You're so wonderfully articulate. I love how you express ideas and open my eyes to different possibilities. Thank you for starting this discussion. Just responding to everyone has helped me sort things out. Writing them puts structure and limits subjects so that I can organize and deal with things. Thank you for being a dear and caring friend and helping buoy me up when I'm struggling. Your caring is like a treasure. Thank you for being generous in sharing.

If anyone's read this far, thank you and bless you.

KM, thank you especially for keeping this group together. You've helped many women and their families. You must have incredible karma for bringing us together.

cy

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Joined: August 30th, 2006, 9:39 pm

May 25th, 2012, 5:01 pm #2

Hi Cy,

Aw, you made me cry! Thank you for your sweet words (to me & to the rest of the gang).
I have some other thoughts but unfortunately, need to get off the d#@% computer & get work done so I can rush home to pack for tonight's trip. I hope to post to you again next week when I can sort through the thoughts & put them to words.

Have a wonderful week.
Susan
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

May 26th, 2012, 9:19 am #3

First of all, thank you so much for taking time to write such helpful info, advice, support, and concern below. You ladies are better than any rescue responders, retail therapy, crisis intervention hotline, multiple shots of alcoholic beverages (I like bourbon and gin, but not mixed together), or bottles of red wine. In fact, you are some of the best friends in the universe.

I have started unpacking my bags (a series of small fabric slings that I put clothers, cosmetics, medication, etc. into when I left). I kept them by the door to our carport until just a few days ago. I think DH got the message that I'm not planning on going anywhere right now, but leaving them out in plain sight for a few weeks was a good reminder to everyone that I was ready to go on a moments notice. I'm not sure if he noticed that I took full size everything (lotion, fish oil bottles, toothpaste tube, an entire roll of cotton pads for removing make up. etc.) so I could have been gone for months before needing refills. Hopefully he was super observant and thought, "holy crap, she's planning on leaving for a LONG time if she's taking the 400 count bottle of fish oil capsules!"

I need to work on other things in communication with DH, but at least the crisis has abated for now and I'm not camping in my car and using the Starbucks and McD's wi-fi.

SusanOR - I can't thank you enough for sharing your experience and thoughts about therapy, especially since you are in the same field and still learned a lot! Your candor and clear explanations are priceless. Your post gave me real hope and appreciation for what can be gained through good and healthy therapy. Thank you again and again. I hope that you gain whatever you desire from your therapy sessions and that you continue to share your wisdom and advice with your patients! They are very lucky people to have you help them.

KM - I appreciate your comments regarding DH needed to have another guy tell him in order for him to "get it". Actually, I'm lucky that him hearing me spell things out for DS seemed to have done the trick in terms of not having DH contradict me or scold me when DS misbehaves. In fact, DH has been really good about playing the role of enforcer without my even having to ask him. DS was a bit surprised yesterday when I was mapping out a conflict that we had (I like to spell things out and ask DS if he can identify when things went wrong or what he could have done differently) and DH scolded DS.

My girlfriend had suggested that we get one of her psychologists (a nice man who has helped with my girlfriends 7 children, even though he is officially supposed to be working with only 2) to come to the house and observe the dynamics and then comment to all of us how the interactions become poisonous. My problem with that is that DH resents the fact that I talk with my girlfriend about her 7 children and all their issues and doesn't like it when I listen to her advice more than DH's opinions. Given the fact that she is getting excellent expert advice (psychologists, psychiatrists, skills trainers, behavioral counselors, etc.) particular to children who have issues similar to DS, instead of DH's opinions that he understands DS because they share a male chromosome, my friends advice has been infinitely more helpful. This is another issue that bothers DH, similar to my closeness with my brother, I am extremely close to my friend and discuss many things with her.

I'm hoping that DH will keep supporting me vis-a-vis DS and that we can keep improving our lines of communication.

I will check out your book recommendation after I get through my client updates and 4 straight days of seminars in June.

MM-IL - Thank you for your kind words. I appreciate your perspective on marital therapy. I might be the one who ends up going in thinking that everything that needs changing is DH and comes out needing a complete overhaul myself. I know I tend to be really logical and want to talk things over so that there isn't any misunderstanding of what I mean and said. I think DH gets frustrated because he used to always accuse me of justifying everything. I think the major difference is that it seems like he is more focused on the conflict between us and somehow "winning" as opposed to really understanding what I think and feel. To me, the "justifying" should help DH see why I do/say what I do/say.

juliemam - I loved what you wrote. Your words about dealing with someone who is less mature are so true. I hate to say it, but if you look at how DH and DS handle frustration, you see the same picture. Getting angry, blowing up, inappropriate throwing/breaking/slamming/etc., irrational comments and yelling. In fact, the sad part is, since I don't let DS get away with horrible behavior, in some instances I think that DS handles conflict with me after he loses it and partially cools down in a bit more mature way than DH. At least with DS I force him to discuss what went wrong and where he could have said or done something different to avert the conflict.

I guess we all marry people who in reality are different than what we thought. Afterall, when they're trying to get you to marry them, they put on their best behavior. I married DH 8 months after I met him. Prior to that I had dated people for years without getting engaged.

The most confounding part about the DS disrespect and the DH lack of support for me is that DH is modeling the very behavior that we are trying to get rid of in DSes. It would be much easier for everyone if DH just stepped in as the enforcer, saying, "What did your Mom say? Do it!" and then slam things around to scare DS into action, instead of letting DS drive a wedge further between DH and me. Plus, that's how I want DS treating his wife in the future.

Thank you for the book recommendations. I will keep the list and hopefully have time to check them out later.

EllenA - Thank you for the concern and support. I appreciate your message and kind words. You're in a similar situation with KM and me. Only male children with strong personality moms make for interesting triangles. Just like with children, groups of 3 have tough dynamics, unless one of the three is a saint or the Dalai Lama. Thank you for being such a great friend over all these years.

GailCT - Thank you for reaching out when you are also at a breaking point in your life. Sometimes I wonder how you manage to cope with all that's on your plate at home and still take time out to comfort a friend like me. This group is truly a gift and I appreciate that part you play to make it special. I love your comment that DH is like a second child in maturity. In that case, I need to get less emotional and start modeling better behavior for him to emulate, right? I could also probably get better results if I only recognize and reward positive behavior from DH and ignore the negative behavior until it extinguishes itself. (Do you think I could clicker train DH without him realizing it????) I need to think about that. . . Hugs to you!

Pink Dandelion - Thank you for chiming in. If only DH was as mature and wise as you! I wish he had better skills for handling his anger. I think he does a lot of holding things in, so when he loses it, the actions and effects are not appropriate. Our psychologist told us long ago that men tend to "see red" and cease to function mentally when they are really angry. I like to resolve things and agree to disagree if I can't see things DH's way. Of course, trying to deal with someone who is seeing red is like trying to herd sick cats. I know that DS' tendencies will lead him to try to get his way, even if it means causing uproar between DH and me. Hopefully as he gets older and starts figuring things out, he'll see the problems and quit. Now that DH is backing me up, DS is improving. He doesn't escalate bad behavior. There isn't a need because DH is shutting him down by telling him to listen to me.

jkl - You are a genius! Yes, I think a lot of the problems with DH come because he feels like he lacks power. He doesn't like the fact that I am close to my best friend and my brother and that I spend time talking to them on a regular basis, giving advice and comments and getting back the same. I try not to let him know I get comments related to him, but I'm sure he knows I share things with my brother and friend. He's probably paranoid that I tell them negative things about him.

He also doesn't like the fact that I control all our finances. I am the financial person by profession. With 2 self employed people in a bad economy with DS' school expenses and DH's full time employee, there is a lot of juggling that goes on. In the past I've told him where I putting money and how I'm moving things, but he is irrational when it comes to debt. Ironically, a lot of the expenses that necessitate the debt are related to his business. I've invited him to learn more about investments and trading. He is irrational about his attitude toward options, even when I've told him that I've taken tens of thousands of dollars out of our investment account to pay household expenses thanks to option investing.

I am more computer/network/software experienced. When I can't solve my own problems, I consult with my brother who graciously drops things and tries to help me, even though he doesn't get along with DH. DB even interrupts his schedule to help me fix DH's computer problems! (But that also deepens the problems regarding my relationship with my brother and DH's resentment)

Finally, I was and still am a geeky person and DH was an average student. I read voraciously when I have time. I'm constantly learning new things (thaks to DS it's been about behavior, ADHD, child development, growth hormone deficiencies, teaching techniques for struggling writers, parenting, etc.). When I was younger I was valedictorian, received a full college scholarship to Vanderbilt based on merit, and am also a Truman scholar. Being a good student and learning tons of things about an eclectic amount of subjects comes naturally. I try to correct or add different perspectives gently when DH brings up ideas, but I'm sure in his mind I'm always telling him that he's wrong. For example, he'll say something about the Facebook IPO and since I'm in the securities business and have been through more commercial litigation than any normal non-attorney should experience, I'll say something like, "What are the damages and how do you think they'll be able to put a dollar amount on the claim?" or "Actually, the SEC regulations are silent on that issue" and he gets huffy. I don't say things to try to argue or prove him wrong. I just want him to be aware of stuff so that he doesn't make comments to others that may make him look like he doesn't know what he's talking about.

Anyway, thank you for pointing out that DH's behavior indicates that he feels powerless. In reality, he doesn't see the machinations I go through because I try to do things to conform to his desires. There are a lot of things that I have "let go" and they might come back to bite us big time, but DH's angry responses to issues (replacing a portion of the AC because of mold concerns for example) make it impossible to deal with him rationally.

Since DH doesn't talk to work out issues, nothing gets resolved. Granted, I should take him up on his request to go to therapy, but I guess I'm hesitating, because maybe this will end up being the fatal flaw. Also, I am so exhausted, thinking about explaining stuff to a 3rd party feels like it would drain the life out of me right now.

Anyway, thank you for your insightful observation and support.

Kat - how can I thank you for all the supportive messages and care that you've shown me? I think you understand the issues with having only children and the power struggles that ensue. You're so wonderfully articulate. I love how you express ideas and open my eyes to different possibilities. Thank you for starting this discussion. Just responding to everyone has helped me sort things out. Writing them puts structure and limits subjects so that I can organize and deal with things. Thank you for being a dear and caring friend and helping buoy me up when I'm struggling. Your caring is like a treasure. Thank you for being generous in sharing.

If anyone's read this far, thank you and bless you.

KM, thank you especially for keeping this group together. You've helped many women and their families. You must have incredible karma for bringing us together.

cy
I'm glad that you've found something that works. The discipline through eavesdropping is a L&L technique, although generally it's aimed at the kids, not the spouse, LOL.




Keiki's Makuahine (Keiki's Mom) 51, dh 52
Keiki: b. 2002 after 3 months bedrest
Natural conception following ZIFT/chem. pg

Olivia: b. 1999 d. 1999
28-week preemie, ptl cause unknown
Natural conception after 1 mc

ttc since 1998
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Joined: June 20th, 2006, 2:07 am

May 26th, 2012, 2:08 pm #4

First of all, thank you so much for taking time to write such helpful info, advice, support, and concern below. You ladies are better than any rescue responders, retail therapy, crisis intervention hotline, multiple shots of alcoholic beverages (I like bourbon and gin, but not mixed together), or bottles of red wine. In fact, you are some of the best friends in the universe.

I have started unpacking my bags (a series of small fabric slings that I put clothers, cosmetics, medication, etc. into when I left). I kept them by the door to our carport until just a few days ago. I think DH got the message that I'm not planning on going anywhere right now, but leaving them out in plain sight for a few weeks was a good reminder to everyone that I was ready to go on a moments notice. I'm not sure if he noticed that I took full size everything (lotion, fish oil bottles, toothpaste tube, an entire roll of cotton pads for removing make up. etc.) so I could have been gone for months before needing refills. Hopefully he was super observant and thought, "holy crap, she's planning on leaving for a LONG time if she's taking the 400 count bottle of fish oil capsules!"

I need to work on other things in communication with DH, but at least the crisis has abated for now and I'm not camping in my car and using the Starbucks and McD's wi-fi.

SusanOR - I can't thank you enough for sharing your experience and thoughts about therapy, especially since you are in the same field and still learned a lot! Your candor and clear explanations are priceless. Your post gave me real hope and appreciation for what can be gained through good and healthy therapy. Thank you again and again. I hope that you gain whatever you desire from your therapy sessions and that you continue to share your wisdom and advice with your patients! They are very lucky people to have you help them.

KM - I appreciate your comments regarding DH needed to have another guy tell him in order for him to "get it". Actually, I'm lucky that him hearing me spell things out for DS seemed to have done the trick in terms of not having DH contradict me or scold me when DS misbehaves. In fact, DH has been really good about playing the role of enforcer without my even having to ask him. DS was a bit surprised yesterday when I was mapping out a conflict that we had (I like to spell things out and ask DS if he can identify when things went wrong or what he could have done differently) and DH scolded DS.

My girlfriend had suggested that we get one of her psychologists (a nice man who has helped with my girlfriends 7 children, even though he is officially supposed to be working with only 2) to come to the house and observe the dynamics and then comment to all of us how the interactions become poisonous. My problem with that is that DH resents the fact that I talk with my girlfriend about her 7 children and all their issues and doesn't like it when I listen to her advice more than DH's opinions. Given the fact that she is getting excellent expert advice (psychologists, psychiatrists, skills trainers, behavioral counselors, etc.) particular to children who have issues similar to DS, instead of DH's opinions that he understands DS because they share a male chromosome, my friends advice has been infinitely more helpful. This is another issue that bothers DH, similar to my closeness with my brother, I am extremely close to my friend and discuss many things with her.

I'm hoping that DH will keep supporting me vis-a-vis DS and that we can keep improving our lines of communication.

I will check out your book recommendation after I get through my client updates and 4 straight days of seminars in June.

MM-IL - Thank you for your kind words. I appreciate your perspective on marital therapy. I might be the one who ends up going in thinking that everything that needs changing is DH and comes out needing a complete overhaul myself. I know I tend to be really logical and want to talk things over so that there isn't any misunderstanding of what I mean and said. I think DH gets frustrated because he used to always accuse me of justifying everything. I think the major difference is that it seems like he is more focused on the conflict between us and somehow "winning" as opposed to really understanding what I think and feel. To me, the "justifying" should help DH see why I do/say what I do/say.

juliemam - I loved what you wrote. Your words about dealing with someone who is less mature are so true. I hate to say it, but if you look at how DH and DS handle frustration, you see the same picture. Getting angry, blowing up, inappropriate throwing/breaking/slamming/etc., irrational comments and yelling. In fact, the sad part is, since I don't let DS get away with horrible behavior, in some instances I think that DS handles conflict with me after he loses it and partially cools down in a bit more mature way than DH. At least with DS I force him to discuss what went wrong and where he could have said or done something different to avert the conflict.

I guess we all marry people who in reality are different than what we thought. Afterall, when they're trying to get you to marry them, they put on their best behavior. I married DH 8 months after I met him. Prior to that I had dated people for years without getting engaged.

The most confounding part about the DS disrespect and the DH lack of support for me is that DH is modeling the very behavior that we are trying to get rid of in DSes. It would be much easier for everyone if DH just stepped in as the enforcer, saying, "What did your Mom say? Do it!" and then slam things around to scare DS into action, instead of letting DS drive a wedge further between DH and me. Plus, that's how I want DS treating his wife in the future.

Thank you for the book recommendations. I will keep the list and hopefully have time to check them out later.

EllenA - Thank you for the concern and support. I appreciate your message and kind words. You're in a similar situation with KM and me. Only male children with strong personality moms make for interesting triangles. Just like with children, groups of 3 have tough dynamics, unless one of the three is a saint or the Dalai Lama. Thank you for being such a great friend over all these years.

GailCT - Thank you for reaching out when you are also at a breaking point in your life. Sometimes I wonder how you manage to cope with all that's on your plate at home and still take time out to comfort a friend like me. This group is truly a gift and I appreciate that part you play to make it special. I love your comment that DH is like a second child in maturity. In that case, I need to get less emotional and start modeling better behavior for him to emulate, right? I could also probably get better results if I only recognize and reward positive behavior from DH and ignore the negative behavior until it extinguishes itself. (Do you think I could clicker train DH without him realizing it????) I need to think about that. . . Hugs to you!

Pink Dandelion - Thank you for chiming in. If only DH was as mature and wise as you! I wish he had better skills for handling his anger. I think he does a lot of holding things in, so when he loses it, the actions and effects are not appropriate. Our psychologist told us long ago that men tend to "see red" and cease to function mentally when they are really angry. I like to resolve things and agree to disagree if I can't see things DH's way. Of course, trying to deal with someone who is seeing red is like trying to herd sick cats. I know that DS' tendencies will lead him to try to get his way, even if it means causing uproar between DH and me. Hopefully as he gets older and starts figuring things out, he'll see the problems and quit. Now that DH is backing me up, DS is improving. He doesn't escalate bad behavior. There isn't a need because DH is shutting him down by telling him to listen to me.

jkl - You are a genius! Yes, I think a lot of the problems with DH come because he feels like he lacks power. He doesn't like the fact that I am close to my best friend and my brother and that I spend time talking to them on a regular basis, giving advice and comments and getting back the same. I try not to let him know I get comments related to him, but I'm sure he knows I share things with my brother and friend. He's probably paranoid that I tell them negative things about him.

He also doesn't like the fact that I control all our finances. I am the financial person by profession. With 2 self employed people in a bad economy with DS' school expenses and DH's full time employee, there is a lot of juggling that goes on. In the past I've told him where I putting money and how I'm moving things, but he is irrational when it comes to debt. Ironically, a lot of the expenses that necessitate the debt are related to his business. I've invited him to learn more about investments and trading. He is irrational about his attitude toward options, even when I've told him that I've taken tens of thousands of dollars out of our investment account to pay household expenses thanks to option investing.

I am more computer/network/software experienced. When I can't solve my own problems, I consult with my brother who graciously drops things and tries to help me, even though he doesn't get along with DH. DB even interrupts his schedule to help me fix DH's computer problems! (But that also deepens the problems regarding my relationship with my brother and DH's resentment)

Finally, I was and still am a geeky person and DH was an average student. I read voraciously when I have time. I'm constantly learning new things (thaks to DS it's been about behavior, ADHD, child development, growth hormone deficiencies, teaching techniques for struggling writers, parenting, etc.). When I was younger I was valedictorian, received a full college scholarship to Vanderbilt based on merit, and am also a Truman scholar. Being a good student and learning tons of things about an eclectic amount of subjects comes naturally. I try to correct or add different perspectives gently when DH brings up ideas, but I'm sure in his mind I'm always telling him that he's wrong. For example, he'll say something about the Facebook IPO and since I'm in the securities business and have been through more commercial litigation than any normal non-attorney should experience, I'll say something like, "What are the damages and how do you think they'll be able to put a dollar amount on the claim?" or "Actually, the SEC regulations are silent on that issue" and he gets huffy. I don't say things to try to argue or prove him wrong. I just want him to be aware of stuff so that he doesn't make comments to others that may make him look like he doesn't know what he's talking about.

Anyway, thank you for pointing out that DH's behavior indicates that he feels powerless. In reality, he doesn't see the machinations I go through because I try to do things to conform to his desires. There are a lot of things that I have "let go" and they might come back to bite us big time, but DH's angry responses to issues (replacing a portion of the AC because of mold concerns for example) make it impossible to deal with him rationally.

Since DH doesn't talk to work out issues, nothing gets resolved. Granted, I should take him up on his request to go to therapy, but I guess I'm hesitating, because maybe this will end up being the fatal flaw. Also, I am so exhausted, thinking about explaining stuff to a 3rd party feels like it would drain the life out of me right now.

Anyway, thank you for your insightful observation and support.

Kat - how can I thank you for all the supportive messages and care that you've shown me? I think you understand the issues with having only children and the power struggles that ensue. You're so wonderfully articulate. I love how you express ideas and open my eyes to different possibilities. Thank you for starting this discussion. Just responding to everyone has helped me sort things out. Writing them puts structure and limits subjects so that I can organize and deal with things. Thank you for being a dear and caring friend and helping buoy me up when I'm struggling. Your caring is like a treasure. Thank you for being generous in sharing.

If anyone's read this far, thank you and bless you.

KM, thank you especially for keeping this group together. You've helped many women and their families. You must have incredible karma for bringing us together.

cy
oh girl, you have soooo much going on. Don't you wish you could go somewhere deserted for some peace and quiet?? I sure do where no one has demands on you?


It's hard to stay on top of everything but we are only human. It's a shame your DH is the way he is. men. (roll eyes)

Wishing you the best and I love what you said about the women on this BB and I whole heartedly agree. Aren't we all the best??
I fantasize that one day we'll all gather at some resort and spend some sanity-restoring time together, soaking in the sun and the friendship.
a girlfriend can dream. lol

hang in there. A very zen friend often reminds me: it is what it is.

hugs and love,
Julie


me:43, DH 44
FSH 26
DS: born by c-sec Apr15'03, 9lbs5oz 41wks gest. (after 4 years of ttc, starting in 1998)
DD born by c-sec Oct 13 2007, 8lbs13oz 39wk gest. (after just under 3 years of ttc)
~~DS was conceived naturally the cycle following a cancelled DE IVF, using my good friend's eggs. She was on the verge of hyperstimming.
~~DD's nat conception I attribute to using OPKs like a crazy nut, eating grapefruit daily and using preseed. also 5 cycles of TCM ending 2 cycles before that lucky cycle.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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Joined: February 10th, 2009, 9:24 pm

May 27th, 2012, 7:15 am #5

First of all, thank you so much for taking time to write such helpful info, advice, support, and concern below. You ladies are better than any rescue responders, retail therapy, crisis intervention hotline, multiple shots of alcoholic beverages (I like bourbon and gin, but not mixed together), or bottles of red wine. In fact, you are some of the best friends in the universe.

I have started unpacking my bags (a series of small fabric slings that I put clothers, cosmetics, medication, etc. into when I left). I kept them by the door to our carport until just a few days ago. I think DH got the message that I'm not planning on going anywhere right now, but leaving them out in plain sight for a few weeks was a good reminder to everyone that I was ready to go on a moments notice. I'm not sure if he noticed that I took full size everything (lotion, fish oil bottles, toothpaste tube, an entire roll of cotton pads for removing make up. etc.) so I could have been gone for months before needing refills. Hopefully he was super observant and thought, "holy crap, she's planning on leaving for a LONG time if she's taking the 400 count bottle of fish oil capsules!"

I need to work on other things in communication with DH, but at least the crisis has abated for now and I'm not camping in my car and using the Starbucks and McD's wi-fi.

SusanOR - I can't thank you enough for sharing your experience and thoughts about therapy, especially since you are in the same field and still learned a lot! Your candor and clear explanations are priceless. Your post gave me real hope and appreciation for what can be gained through good and healthy therapy. Thank you again and again. I hope that you gain whatever you desire from your therapy sessions and that you continue to share your wisdom and advice with your patients! They are very lucky people to have you help them.

KM - I appreciate your comments regarding DH needed to have another guy tell him in order for him to "get it". Actually, I'm lucky that him hearing me spell things out for DS seemed to have done the trick in terms of not having DH contradict me or scold me when DS misbehaves. In fact, DH has been really good about playing the role of enforcer without my even having to ask him. DS was a bit surprised yesterday when I was mapping out a conflict that we had (I like to spell things out and ask DS if he can identify when things went wrong or what he could have done differently) and DH scolded DS.

My girlfriend had suggested that we get one of her psychologists (a nice man who has helped with my girlfriends 7 children, even though he is officially supposed to be working with only 2) to come to the house and observe the dynamics and then comment to all of us how the interactions become poisonous. My problem with that is that DH resents the fact that I talk with my girlfriend about her 7 children and all their issues and doesn't like it when I listen to her advice more than DH's opinions. Given the fact that she is getting excellent expert advice (psychologists, psychiatrists, skills trainers, behavioral counselors, etc.) particular to children who have issues similar to DS, instead of DH's opinions that he understands DS because they share a male chromosome, my friends advice has been infinitely more helpful. This is another issue that bothers DH, similar to my closeness with my brother, I am extremely close to my friend and discuss many things with her.

I'm hoping that DH will keep supporting me vis-a-vis DS and that we can keep improving our lines of communication.

I will check out your book recommendation after I get through my client updates and 4 straight days of seminars in June.

MM-IL - Thank you for your kind words. I appreciate your perspective on marital therapy. I might be the one who ends up going in thinking that everything that needs changing is DH and comes out needing a complete overhaul myself. I know I tend to be really logical and want to talk things over so that there isn't any misunderstanding of what I mean and said. I think DH gets frustrated because he used to always accuse me of justifying everything. I think the major difference is that it seems like he is more focused on the conflict between us and somehow "winning" as opposed to really understanding what I think and feel. To me, the "justifying" should help DH see why I do/say what I do/say.

juliemam - I loved what you wrote. Your words about dealing with someone who is less mature are so true. I hate to say it, but if you look at how DH and DS handle frustration, you see the same picture. Getting angry, blowing up, inappropriate throwing/breaking/slamming/etc., irrational comments and yelling. In fact, the sad part is, since I don't let DS get away with horrible behavior, in some instances I think that DS handles conflict with me after he loses it and partially cools down in a bit more mature way than DH. At least with DS I force him to discuss what went wrong and where he could have said or done something different to avert the conflict.

I guess we all marry people who in reality are different than what we thought. Afterall, when they're trying to get you to marry them, they put on their best behavior. I married DH 8 months after I met him. Prior to that I had dated people for years without getting engaged.

The most confounding part about the DS disrespect and the DH lack of support for me is that DH is modeling the very behavior that we are trying to get rid of in DSes. It would be much easier for everyone if DH just stepped in as the enforcer, saying, "What did your Mom say? Do it!" and then slam things around to scare DS into action, instead of letting DS drive a wedge further between DH and me. Plus, that's how I want DS treating his wife in the future.

Thank you for the book recommendations. I will keep the list and hopefully have time to check them out later.

EllenA - Thank you for the concern and support. I appreciate your message and kind words. You're in a similar situation with KM and me. Only male children with strong personality moms make for interesting triangles. Just like with children, groups of 3 have tough dynamics, unless one of the three is a saint or the Dalai Lama. Thank you for being such a great friend over all these years.

GailCT - Thank you for reaching out when you are also at a breaking point in your life. Sometimes I wonder how you manage to cope with all that's on your plate at home and still take time out to comfort a friend like me. This group is truly a gift and I appreciate that part you play to make it special. I love your comment that DH is like a second child in maturity. In that case, I need to get less emotional and start modeling better behavior for him to emulate, right? I could also probably get better results if I only recognize and reward positive behavior from DH and ignore the negative behavior until it extinguishes itself. (Do you think I could clicker train DH without him realizing it????) I need to think about that. . . Hugs to you!

Pink Dandelion - Thank you for chiming in. If only DH was as mature and wise as you! I wish he had better skills for handling his anger. I think he does a lot of holding things in, so when he loses it, the actions and effects are not appropriate. Our psychologist told us long ago that men tend to "see red" and cease to function mentally when they are really angry. I like to resolve things and agree to disagree if I can't see things DH's way. Of course, trying to deal with someone who is seeing red is like trying to herd sick cats. I know that DS' tendencies will lead him to try to get his way, even if it means causing uproar between DH and me. Hopefully as he gets older and starts figuring things out, he'll see the problems and quit. Now that DH is backing me up, DS is improving. He doesn't escalate bad behavior. There isn't a need because DH is shutting him down by telling him to listen to me.

jkl - You are a genius! Yes, I think a lot of the problems with DH come because he feels like he lacks power. He doesn't like the fact that I am close to my best friend and my brother and that I spend time talking to them on a regular basis, giving advice and comments and getting back the same. I try not to let him know I get comments related to him, but I'm sure he knows I share things with my brother and friend. He's probably paranoid that I tell them negative things about him.

He also doesn't like the fact that I control all our finances. I am the financial person by profession. With 2 self employed people in a bad economy with DS' school expenses and DH's full time employee, there is a lot of juggling that goes on. In the past I've told him where I putting money and how I'm moving things, but he is irrational when it comes to debt. Ironically, a lot of the expenses that necessitate the debt are related to his business. I've invited him to learn more about investments and trading. He is irrational about his attitude toward options, even when I've told him that I've taken tens of thousands of dollars out of our investment account to pay household expenses thanks to option investing.

I am more computer/network/software experienced. When I can't solve my own problems, I consult with my brother who graciously drops things and tries to help me, even though he doesn't get along with DH. DB even interrupts his schedule to help me fix DH's computer problems! (But that also deepens the problems regarding my relationship with my brother and DH's resentment)

Finally, I was and still am a geeky person and DH was an average student. I read voraciously when I have time. I'm constantly learning new things (thaks to DS it's been about behavior, ADHD, child development, growth hormone deficiencies, teaching techniques for struggling writers, parenting, etc.). When I was younger I was valedictorian, received a full college scholarship to Vanderbilt based on merit, and am also a Truman scholar. Being a good student and learning tons of things about an eclectic amount of subjects comes naturally. I try to correct or add different perspectives gently when DH brings up ideas, but I'm sure in his mind I'm always telling him that he's wrong. For example, he'll say something about the Facebook IPO and since I'm in the securities business and have been through more commercial litigation than any normal non-attorney should experience, I'll say something like, "What are the damages and how do you think they'll be able to put a dollar amount on the claim?" or "Actually, the SEC regulations are silent on that issue" and he gets huffy. I don't say things to try to argue or prove him wrong. I just want him to be aware of stuff so that he doesn't make comments to others that may make him look like he doesn't know what he's talking about.

Anyway, thank you for pointing out that DH's behavior indicates that he feels powerless. In reality, he doesn't see the machinations I go through because I try to do things to conform to his desires. There are a lot of things that I have "let go" and they might come back to bite us big time, but DH's angry responses to issues (replacing a portion of the AC because of mold concerns for example) make it impossible to deal with him rationally.

Since DH doesn't talk to work out issues, nothing gets resolved. Granted, I should take him up on his request to go to therapy, but I guess I'm hesitating, because maybe this will end up being the fatal flaw. Also, I am so exhausted, thinking about explaining stuff to a 3rd party feels like it would drain the life out of me right now.

Anyway, thank you for your insightful observation and support.

Kat - how can I thank you for all the supportive messages and care that you've shown me? I think you understand the issues with having only children and the power struggles that ensue. You're so wonderfully articulate. I love how you express ideas and open my eyes to different possibilities. Thank you for starting this discussion. Just responding to everyone has helped me sort things out. Writing them puts structure and limits subjects so that I can organize and deal with things. Thank you for being a dear and caring friend and helping buoy me up when I'm struggling. Your caring is like a treasure. Thank you for being generous in sharing.

If anyone's read this far, thank you and bless you.

KM, thank you especially for keeping this group together. You've helped many women and their families. You must have incredible karma for bringing us together.

cy
that DH is backing you up, and insisting upon DS listening to you. That is HUGE!!! May this be the start of something wonderful.

Take care, Cy...

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Joined: January 27th, 2003, 11:09 pm

May 27th, 2012, 2:30 pm #6

First of all, thank you so much for taking time to write such helpful info, advice, support, and concern below. You ladies are better than any rescue responders, retail therapy, crisis intervention hotline, multiple shots of alcoholic beverages (I like bourbon and gin, but not mixed together), or bottles of red wine. In fact, you are some of the best friends in the universe.

I have started unpacking my bags (a series of small fabric slings that I put clothers, cosmetics, medication, etc. into when I left). I kept them by the door to our carport until just a few days ago. I think DH got the message that I'm not planning on going anywhere right now, but leaving them out in plain sight for a few weeks was a good reminder to everyone that I was ready to go on a moments notice. I'm not sure if he noticed that I took full size everything (lotion, fish oil bottles, toothpaste tube, an entire roll of cotton pads for removing make up. etc.) so I could have been gone for months before needing refills. Hopefully he was super observant and thought, "holy crap, she's planning on leaving for a LONG time if she's taking the 400 count bottle of fish oil capsules!"

I need to work on other things in communication with DH, but at least the crisis has abated for now and I'm not camping in my car and using the Starbucks and McD's wi-fi.

SusanOR - I can't thank you enough for sharing your experience and thoughts about therapy, especially since you are in the same field and still learned a lot! Your candor and clear explanations are priceless. Your post gave me real hope and appreciation for what can be gained through good and healthy therapy. Thank you again and again. I hope that you gain whatever you desire from your therapy sessions and that you continue to share your wisdom and advice with your patients! They are very lucky people to have you help them.

KM - I appreciate your comments regarding DH needed to have another guy tell him in order for him to "get it". Actually, I'm lucky that him hearing me spell things out for DS seemed to have done the trick in terms of not having DH contradict me or scold me when DS misbehaves. In fact, DH has been really good about playing the role of enforcer without my even having to ask him. DS was a bit surprised yesterday when I was mapping out a conflict that we had (I like to spell things out and ask DS if he can identify when things went wrong or what he could have done differently) and DH scolded DS.

My girlfriend had suggested that we get one of her psychologists (a nice man who has helped with my girlfriends 7 children, even though he is officially supposed to be working with only 2) to come to the house and observe the dynamics and then comment to all of us how the interactions become poisonous. My problem with that is that DH resents the fact that I talk with my girlfriend about her 7 children and all their issues and doesn't like it when I listen to her advice more than DH's opinions. Given the fact that she is getting excellent expert advice (psychologists, psychiatrists, skills trainers, behavioral counselors, etc.) particular to children who have issues similar to DS, instead of DH's opinions that he understands DS because they share a male chromosome, my friends advice has been infinitely more helpful. This is another issue that bothers DH, similar to my closeness with my brother, I am extremely close to my friend and discuss many things with her.

I'm hoping that DH will keep supporting me vis-a-vis DS and that we can keep improving our lines of communication.

I will check out your book recommendation after I get through my client updates and 4 straight days of seminars in June.

MM-IL - Thank you for your kind words. I appreciate your perspective on marital therapy. I might be the one who ends up going in thinking that everything that needs changing is DH and comes out needing a complete overhaul myself. I know I tend to be really logical and want to talk things over so that there isn't any misunderstanding of what I mean and said. I think DH gets frustrated because he used to always accuse me of justifying everything. I think the major difference is that it seems like he is more focused on the conflict between us and somehow "winning" as opposed to really understanding what I think and feel. To me, the "justifying" should help DH see why I do/say what I do/say.

juliemam - I loved what you wrote. Your words about dealing with someone who is less mature are so true. I hate to say it, but if you look at how DH and DS handle frustration, you see the same picture. Getting angry, blowing up, inappropriate throwing/breaking/slamming/etc., irrational comments and yelling. In fact, the sad part is, since I don't let DS get away with horrible behavior, in some instances I think that DS handles conflict with me after he loses it and partially cools down in a bit more mature way than DH. At least with DS I force him to discuss what went wrong and where he could have said or done something different to avert the conflict.

I guess we all marry people who in reality are different than what we thought. Afterall, when they're trying to get you to marry them, they put on their best behavior. I married DH 8 months after I met him. Prior to that I had dated people for years without getting engaged.

The most confounding part about the DS disrespect and the DH lack of support for me is that DH is modeling the very behavior that we are trying to get rid of in DSes. It would be much easier for everyone if DH just stepped in as the enforcer, saying, "What did your Mom say? Do it!" and then slam things around to scare DS into action, instead of letting DS drive a wedge further between DH and me. Plus, that's how I want DS treating his wife in the future.

Thank you for the book recommendations. I will keep the list and hopefully have time to check them out later.

EllenA - Thank you for the concern and support. I appreciate your message and kind words. You're in a similar situation with KM and me. Only male children with strong personality moms make for interesting triangles. Just like with children, groups of 3 have tough dynamics, unless one of the three is a saint or the Dalai Lama. Thank you for being such a great friend over all these years.

GailCT - Thank you for reaching out when you are also at a breaking point in your life. Sometimes I wonder how you manage to cope with all that's on your plate at home and still take time out to comfort a friend like me. This group is truly a gift and I appreciate that part you play to make it special. I love your comment that DH is like a second child in maturity. In that case, I need to get less emotional and start modeling better behavior for him to emulate, right? I could also probably get better results if I only recognize and reward positive behavior from DH and ignore the negative behavior until it extinguishes itself. (Do you think I could clicker train DH without him realizing it????) I need to think about that. . . Hugs to you!

Pink Dandelion - Thank you for chiming in. If only DH was as mature and wise as you! I wish he had better skills for handling his anger. I think he does a lot of holding things in, so when he loses it, the actions and effects are not appropriate. Our psychologist told us long ago that men tend to "see red" and cease to function mentally when they are really angry. I like to resolve things and agree to disagree if I can't see things DH's way. Of course, trying to deal with someone who is seeing red is like trying to herd sick cats. I know that DS' tendencies will lead him to try to get his way, even if it means causing uproar between DH and me. Hopefully as he gets older and starts figuring things out, he'll see the problems and quit. Now that DH is backing me up, DS is improving. He doesn't escalate bad behavior. There isn't a need because DH is shutting him down by telling him to listen to me.

jkl - You are a genius! Yes, I think a lot of the problems with DH come because he feels like he lacks power. He doesn't like the fact that I am close to my best friend and my brother and that I spend time talking to them on a regular basis, giving advice and comments and getting back the same. I try not to let him know I get comments related to him, but I'm sure he knows I share things with my brother and friend. He's probably paranoid that I tell them negative things about him.

He also doesn't like the fact that I control all our finances. I am the financial person by profession. With 2 self employed people in a bad economy with DS' school expenses and DH's full time employee, there is a lot of juggling that goes on. In the past I've told him where I putting money and how I'm moving things, but he is irrational when it comes to debt. Ironically, a lot of the expenses that necessitate the debt are related to his business. I've invited him to learn more about investments and trading. He is irrational about his attitude toward options, even when I've told him that I've taken tens of thousands of dollars out of our investment account to pay household expenses thanks to option investing.

I am more computer/network/software experienced. When I can't solve my own problems, I consult with my brother who graciously drops things and tries to help me, even though he doesn't get along with DH. DB even interrupts his schedule to help me fix DH's computer problems! (But that also deepens the problems regarding my relationship with my brother and DH's resentment)

Finally, I was and still am a geeky person and DH was an average student. I read voraciously when I have time. I'm constantly learning new things (thaks to DS it's been about behavior, ADHD, child development, growth hormone deficiencies, teaching techniques for struggling writers, parenting, etc.). When I was younger I was valedictorian, received a full college scholarship to Vanderbilt based on merit, and am also a Truman scholar. Being a good student and learning tons of things about an eclectic amount of subjects comes naturally. I try to correct or add different perspectives gently when DH brings up ideas, but I'm sure in his mind I'm always telling him that he's wrong. For example, he'll say something about the Facebook IPO and since I'm in the securities business and have been through more commercial litigation than any normal non-attorney should experience, I'll say something like, "What are the damages and how do you think they'll be able to put a dollar amount on the claim?" or "Actually, the SEC regulations are silent on that issue" and he gets huffy. I don't say things to try to argue or prove him wrong. I just want him to be aware of stuff so that he doesn't make comments to others that may make him look like he doesn't know what he's talking about.

Anyway, thank you for pointing out that DH's behavior indicates that he feels powerless. In reality, he doesn't see the machinations I go through because I try to do things to conform to his desires. There are a lot of things that I have "let go" and they might come back to bite us big time, but DH's angry responses to issues (replacing a portion of the AC because of mold concerns for example) make it impossible to deal with him rationally.

Since DH doesn't talk to work out issues, nothing gets resolved. Granted, I should take him up on his request to go to therapy, but I guess I'm hesitating, because maybe this will end up being the fatal flaw. Also, I am so exhausted, thinking about explaining stuff to a 3rd party feels like it would drain the life out of me right now.

Anyway, thank you for your insightful observation and support.

Kat - how can I thank you for all the supportive messages and care that you've shown me? I think you understand the issues with having only children and the power struggles that ensue. You're so wonderfully articulate. I love how you express ideas and open my eyes to different possibilities. Thank you for starting this discussion. Just responding to everyone has helped me sort things out. Writing them puts structure and limits subjects so that I can organize and deal with things. Thank you for being a dear and caring friend and helping buoy me up when I'm struggling. Your caring is like a treasure. Thank you for being generous in sharing.

If anyone's read this far, thank you and bless you.

KM, thank you especially for keeping this group together. You've helped many women and their families. You must have incredible karma for bringing us together.

cy
You've always been so generous with all of us here on the board. I'm sorry that you are going through such turmoil with your DH, but glad that you can share it with us and hear different perspectives from your friends here. I hope the coming months continue to bring positive changes in your relationship and family life!

xoxoxoox
MM
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Joined: March 12th, 2008, 1:22 pm

May 30th, 2012, 1:13 pm #7

First of all, thank you so much for taking time to write such helpful info, advice, support, and concern below. You ladies are better than any rescue responders, retail therapy, crisis intervention hotline, multiple shots of alcoholic beverages (I like bourbon and gin, but not mixed together), or bottles of red wine. In fact, you are some of the best friends in the universe.

I have started unpacking my bags (a series of small fabric slings that I put clothers, cosmetics, medication, etc. into when I left). I kept them by the door to our carport until just a few days ago. I think DH got the message that I'm not planning on going anywhere right now, but leaving them out in plain sight for a few weeks was a good reminder to everyone that I was ready to go on a moments notice. I'm not sure if he noticed that I took full size everything (lotion, fish oil bottles, toothpaste tube, an entire roll of cotton pads for removing make up. etc.) so I could have been gone for months before needing refills. Hopefully he was super observant and thought, "holy crap, she's planning on leaving for a LONG time if she's taking the 400 count bottle of fish oil capsules!"

I need to work on other things in communication with DH, but at least the crisis has abated for now and I'm not camping in my car and using the Starbucks and McD's wi-fi.

SusanOR - I can't thank you enough for sharing your experience and thoughts about therapy, especially since you are in the same field and still learned a lot! Your candor and clear explanations are priceless. Your post gave me real hope and appreciation for what can be gained through good and healthy therapy. Thank you again and again. I hope that you gain whatever you desire from your therapy sessions and that you continue to share your wisdom and advice with your patients! They are very lucky people to have you help them.

KM - I appreciate your comments regarding DH needed to have another guy tell him in order for him to "get it". Actually, I'm lucky that him hearing me spell things out for DS seemed to have done the trick in terms of not having DH contradict me or scold me when DS misbehaves. In fact, DH has been really good about playing the role of enforcer without my even having to ask him. DS was a bit surprised yesterday when I was mapping out a conflict that we had (I like to spell things out and ask DS if he can identify when things went wrong or what he could have done differently) and DH scolded DS.

My girlfriend had suggested that we get one of her psychologists (a nice man who has helped with my girlfriends 7 children, even though he is officially supposed to be working with only 2) to come to the house and observe the dynamics and then comment to all of us how the interactions become poisonous. My problem with that is that DH resents the fact that I talk with my girlfriend about her 7 children and all their issues and doesn't like it when I listen to her advice more than DH's opinions. Given the fact that she is getting excellent expert advice (psychologists, psychiatrists, skills trainers, behavioral counselors, etc.) particular to children who have issues similar to DS, instead of DH's opinions that he understands DS because they share a male chromosome, my friends advice has been infinitely more helpful. This is another issue that bothers DH, similar to my closeness with my brother, I am extremely close to my friend and discuss many things with her.

I'm hoping that DH will keep supporting me vis-a-vis DS and that we can keep improving our lines of communication.

I will check out your book recommendation after I get through my client updates and 4 straight days of seminars in June.

MM-IL - Thank you for your kind words. I appreciate your perspective on marital therapy. I might be the one who ends up going in thinking that everything that needs changing is DH and comes out needing a complete overhaul myself. I know I tend to be really logical and want to talk things over so that there isn't any misunderstanding of what I mean and said. I think DH gets frustrated because he used to always accuse me of justifying everything. I think the major difference is that it seems like he is more focused on the conflict between us and somehow "winning" as opposed to really understanding what I think and feel. To me, the "justifying" should help DH see why I do/say what I do/say.

juliemam - I loved what you wrote. Your words about dealing with someone who is less mature are so true. I hate to say it, but if you look at how DH and DS handle frustration, you see the same picture. Getting angry, blowing up, inappropriate throwing/breaking/slamming/etc., irrational comments and yelling. In fact, the sad part is, since I don't let DS get away with horrible behavior, in some instances I think that DS handles conflict with me after he loses it and partially cools down in a bit more mature way than DH. At least with DS I force him to discuss what went wrong and where he could have said or done something different to avert the conflict.

I guess we all marry people who in reality are different than what we thought. Afterall, when they're trying to get you to marry them, they put on their best behavior. I married DH 8 months after I met him. Prior to that I had dated people for years without getting engaged.

The most confounding part about the DS disrespect and the DH lack of support for me is that DH is modeling the very behavior that we are trying to get rid of in DSes. It would be much easier for everyone if DH just stepped in as the enforcer, saying, "What did your Mom say? Do it!" and then slam things around to scare DS into action, instead of letting DS drive a wedge further between DH and me. Plus, that's how I want DS treating his wife in the future.

Thank you for the book recommendations. I will keep the list and hopefully have time to check them out later.

EllenA - Thank you for the concern and support. I appreciate your message and kind words. You're in a similar situation with KM and me. Only male children with strong personality moms make for interesting triangles. Just like with children, groups of 3 have tough dynamics, unless one of the three is a saint or the Dalai Lama. Thank you for being such a great friend over all these years.

GailCT - Thank you for reaching out when you are also at a breaking point in your life. Sometimes I wonder how you manage to cope with all that's on your plate at home and still take time out to comfort a friend like me. This group is truly a gift and I appreciate that part you play to make it special. I love your comment that DH is like a second child in maturity. In that case, I need to get less emotional and start modeling better behavior for him to emulate, right? I could also probably get better results if I only recognize and reward positive behavior from DH and ignore the negative behavior until it extinguishes itself. (Do you think I could clicker train DH without him realizing it????) I need to think about that. . . Hugs to you!

Pink Dandelion - Thank you for chiming in. If only DH was as mature and wise as you! I wish he had better skills for handling his anger. I think he does a lot of holding things in, so when he loses it, the actions and effects are not appropriate. Our psychologist told us long ago that men tend to "see red" and cease to function mentally when they are really angry. I like to resolve things and agree to disagree if I can't see things DH's way. Of course, trying to deal with someone who is seeing red is like trying to herd sick cats. I know that DS' tendencies will lead him to try to get his way, even if it means causing uproar between DH and me. Hopefully as he gets older and starts figuring things out, he'll see the problems and quit. Now that DH is backing me up, DS is improving. He doesn't escalate bad behavior. There isn't a need because DH is shutting him down by telling him to listen to me.

jkl - You are a genius! Yes, I think a lot of the problems with DH come because he feels like he lacks power. He doesn't like the fact that I am close to my best friend and my brother and that I spend time talking to them on a regular basis, giving advice and comments and getting back the same. I try not to let him know I get comments related to him, but I'm sure he knows I share things with my brother and friend. He's probably paranoid that I tell them negative things about him.

He also doesn't like the fact that I control all our finances. I am the financial person by profession. With 2 self employed people in a bad economy with DS' school expenses and DH's full time employee, there is a lot of juggling that goes on. In the past I've told him where I putting money and how I'm moving things, but he is irrational when it comes to debt. Ironically, a lot of the expenses that necessitate the debt are related to his business. I've invited him to learn more about investments and trading. He is irrational about his attitude toward options, even when I've told him that I've taken tens of thousands of dollars out of our investment account to pay household expenses thanks to option investing.

I am more computer/network/software experienced. When I can't solve my own problems, I consult with my brother who graciously drops things and tries to help me, even though he doesn't get along with DH. DB even interrupts his schedule to help me fix DH's computer problems! (But that also deepens the problems regarding my relationship with my brother and DH's resentment)

Finally, I was and still am a geeky person and DH was an average student. I read voraciously when I have time. I'm constantly learning new things (thaks to DS it's been about behavior, ADHD, child development, growth hormone deficiencies, teaching techniques for struggling writers, parenting, etc.). When I was younger I was valedictorian, received a full college scholarship to Vanderbilt based on merit, and am also a Truman scholar. Being a good student and learning tons of things about an eclectic amount of subjects comes naturally. I try to correct or add different perspectives gently when DH brings up ideas, but I'm sure in his mind I'm always telling him that he's wrong. For example, he'll say something about the Facebook IPO and since I'm in the securities business and have been through more commercial litigation than any normal non-attorney should experience, I'll say something like, "What are the damages and how do you think they'll be able to put a dollar amount on the claim?" or "Actually, the SEC regulations are silent on that issue" and he gets huffy. I don't say things to try to argue or prove him wrong. I just want him to be aware of stuff so that he doesn't make comments to others that may make him look like he doesn't know what he's talking about.

Anyway, thank you for pointing out that DH's behavior indicates that he feels powerless. In reality, he doesn't see the machinations I go through because I try to do things to conform to his desires. There are a lot of things that I have "let go" and they might come back to bite us big time, but DH's angry responses to issues (replacing a portion of the AC because of mold concerns for example) make it impossible to deal with him rationally.

Since DH doesn't talk to work out issues, nothing gets resolved. Granted, I should take him up on his request to go to therapy, but I guess I'm hesitating, because maybe this will end up being the fatal flaw. Also, I am so exhausted, thinking about explaining stuff to a 3rd party feels like it would drain the life out of me right now.

Anyway, thank you for your insightful observation and support.

Kat - how can I thank you for all the supportive messages and care that you've shown me? I think you understand the issues with having only children and the power struggles that ensue. You're so wonderfully articulate. I love how you express ideas and open my eyes to different possibilities. Thank you for starting this discussion. Just responding to everyone has helped me sort things out. Writing them puts structure and limits subjects so that I can organize and deal with things. Thank you for being a dear and caring friend and helping buoy me up when I'm struggling. Your caring is like a treasure. Thank you for being generous in sharing.

If anyone's read this far, thank you and bless you.

KM, thank you especially for keeping this group together. You've helped many women and their families. You must have incredible karma for bringing us together.

cy
....whatever support and good I've been able to offer you is but a fraction of what you've extended to me and all of us over the years. You are an absolute gem...your friends and family are so lucky to have you in their midst. I'm happy to hear that DH has turned over a new leaf; it sounds like backing him up like that was indeed the key, and now he's responding in kind. Probably didn't hurt that he realized you really meant business, too.

I'm so happy to hear you're all in a good period. May it continue for a long, long, LONG time, and may any rough patches be rectified quickly and less stressfully.

Big, big hugs to all of you!!

xoxoxox,
k.
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Joined: February 16th, 2006, 1:10 am

May 30th, 2012, 4:41 pm #8

First of all, thank you so much for taking time to write such helpful info, advice, support, and concern below. You ladies are better than any rescue responders, retail therapy, crisis intervention hotline, multiple shots of alcoholic beverages (I like bourbon and gin, but not mixed together), or bottles of red wine. In fact, you are some of the best friends in the universe.

I have started unpacking my bags (a series of small fabric slings that I put clothers, cosmetics, medication, etc. into when I left). I kept them by the door to our carport until just a few days ago. I think DH got the message that I'm not planning on going anywhere right now, but leaving them out in plain sight for a few weeks was a good reminder to everyone that I was ready to go on a moments notice. I'm not sure if he noticed that I took full size everything (lotion, fish oil bottles, toothpaste tube, an entire roll of cotton pads for removing make up. etc.) so I could have been gone for months before needing refills. Hopefully he was super observant and thought, "holy crap, she's planning on leaving for a LONG time if she's taking the 400 count bottle of fish oil capsules!"

I need to work on other things in communication with DH, but at least the crisis has abated for now and I'm not camping in my car and using the Starbucks and McD's wi-fi.

SusanOR - I can't thank you enough for sharing your experience and thoughts about therapy, especially since you are in the same field and still learned a lot! Your candor and clear explanations are priceless. Your post gave me real hope and appreciation for what can be gained through good and healthy therapy. Thank you again and again. I hope that you gain whatever you desire from your therapy sessions and that you continue to share your wisdom and advice with your patients! They are very lucky people to have you help them.

KM - I appreciate your comments regarding DH needed to have another guy tell him in order for him to "get it". Actually, I'm lucky that him hearing me spell things out for DS seemed to have done the trick in terms of not having DH contradict me or scold me when DS misbehaves. In fact, DH has been really good about playing the role of enforcer without my even having to ask him. DS was a bit surprised yesterday when I was mapping out a conflict that we had (I like to spell things out and ask DS if he can identify when things went wrong or what he could have done differently) and DH scolded DS.

My girlfriend had suggested that we get one of her psychologists (a nice man who has helped with my girlfriends 7 children, even though he is officially supposed to be working with only 2) to come to the house and observe the dynamics and then comment to all of us how the interactions become poisonous. My problem with that is that DH resents the fact that I talk with my girlfriend about her 7 children and all their issues and doesn't like it when I listen to her advice more than DH's opinions. Given the fact that she is getting excellent expert advice (psychologists, psychiatrists, skills trainers, behavioral counselors, etc.) particular to children who have issues similar to DS, instead of DH's opinions that he understands DS because they share a male chromosome, my friends advice has been infinitely more helpful. This is another issue that bothers DH, similar to my closeness with my brother, I am extremely close to my friend and discuss many things with her.

I'm hoping that DH will keep supporting me vis-a-vis DS and that we can keep improving our lines of communication.

I will check out your book recommendation after I get through my client updates and 4 straight days of seminars in June.

MM-IL - Thank you for your kind words. I appreciate your perspective on marital therapy. I might be the one who ends up going in thinking that everything that needs changing is DH and comes out needing a complete overhaul myself. I know I tend to be really logical and want to talk things over so that there isn't any misunderstanding of what I mean and said. I think DH gets frustrated because he used to always accuse me of justifying everything. I think the major difference is that it seems like he is more focused on the conflict between us and somehow "winning" as opposed to really understanding what I think and feel. To me, the "justifying" should help DH see why I do/say what I do/say.

juliemam - I loved what you wrote. Your words about dealing with someone who is less mature are so true. I hate to say it, but if you look at how DH and DS handle frustration, you see the same picture. Getting angry, blowing up, inappropriate throwing/breaking/slamming/etc., irrational comments and yelling. In fact, the sad part is, since I don't let DS get away with horrible behavior, in some instances I think that DS handles conflict with me after he loses it and partially cools down in a bit more mature way than DH. At least with DS I force him to discuss what went wrong and where he could have said or done something different to avert the conflict.

I guess we all marry people who in reality are different than what we thought. Afterall, when they're trying to get you to marry them, they put on their best behavior. I married DH 8 months after I met him. Prior to that I had dated people for years without getting engaged.

The most confounding part about the DS disrespect and the DH lack of support for me is that DH is modeling the very behavior that we are trying to get rid of in DSes. It would be much easier for everyone if DH just stepped in as the enforcer, saying, "What did your Mom say? Do it!" and then slam things around to scare DS into action, instead of letting DS drive a wedge further between DH and me. Plus, that's how I want DS treating his wife in the future.

Thank you for the book recommendations. I will keep the list and hopefully have time to check them out later.

EllenA - Thank you for the concern and support. I appreciate your message and kind words. You're in a similar situation with KM and me. Only male children with strong personality moms make for interesting triangles. Just like with children, groups of 3 have tough dynamics, unless one of the three is a saint or the Dalai Lama. Thank you for being such a great friend over all these years.

GailCT - Thank you for reaching out when you are also at a breaking point in your life. Sometimes I wonder how you manage to cope with all that's on your plate at home and still take time out to comfort a friend like me. This group is truly a gift and I appreciate that part you play to make it special. I love your comment that DH is like a second child in maturity. In that case, I need to get less emotional and start modeling better behavior for him to emulate, right? I could also probably get better results if I only recognize and reward positive behavior from DH and ignore the negative behavior until it extinguishes itself. (Do you think I could clicker train DH without him realizing it????) I need to think about that. . . Hugs to you!

Pink Dandelion - Thank you for chiming in. If only DH was as mature and wise as you! I wish he had better skills for handling his anger. I think he does a lot of holding things in, so when he loses it, the actions and effects are not appropriate. Our psychologist told us long ago that men tend to "see red" and cease to function mentally when they are really angry. I like to resolve things and agree to disagree if I can't see things DH's way. Of course, trying to deal with someone who is seeing red is like trying to herd sick cats. I know that DS' tendencies will lead him to try to get his way, even if it means causing uproar between DH and me. Hopefully as he gets older and starts figuring things out, he'll see the problems and quit. Now that DH is backing me up, DS is improving. He doesn't escalate bad behavior. There isn't a need because DH is shutting him down by telling him to listen to me.

jkl - You are a genius! Yes, I think a lot of the problems with DH come because he feels like he lacks power. He doesn't like the fact that I am close to my best friend and my brother and that I spend time talking to them on a regular basis, giving advice and comments and getting back the same. I try not to let him know I get comments related to him, but I'm sure he knows I share things with my brother and friend. He's probably paranoid that I tell them negative things about him.

He also doesn't like the fact that I control all our finances. I am the financial person by profession. With 2 self employed people in a bad economy with DS' school expenses and DH's full time employee, there is a lot of juggling that goes on. In the past I've told him where I putting money and how I'm moving things, but he is irrational when it comes to debt. Ironically, a lot of the expenses that necessitate the debt are related to his business. I've invited him to learn more about investments and trading. He is irrational about his attitude toward options, even when I've told him that I've taken tens of thousands of dollars out of our investment account to pay household expenses thanks to option investing.

I am more computer/network/software experienced. When I can't solve my own problems, I consult with my brother who graciously drops things and tries to help me, even though he doesn't get along with DH. DB even interrupts his schedule to help me fix DH's computer problems! (But that also deepens the problems regarding my relationship with my brother and DH's resentment)

Finally, I was and still am a geeky person and DH was an average student. I read voraciously when I have time. I'm constantly learning new things (thaks to DS it's been about behavior, ADHD, child development, growth hormone deficiencies, teaching techniques for struggling writers, parenting, etc.). When I was younger I was valedictorian, received a full college scholarship to Vanderbilt based on merit, and am also a Truman scholar. Being a good student and learning tons of things about an eclectic amount of subjects comes naturally. I try to correct or add different perspectives gently when DH brings up ideas, but I'm sure in his mind I'm always telling him that he's wrong. For example, he'll say something about the Facebook IPO and since I'm in the securities business and have been through more commercial litigation than any normal non-attorney should experience, I'll say something like, "What are the damages and how do you think they'll be able to put a dollar amount on the claim?" or "Actually, the SEC regulations are silent on that issue" and he gets huffy. I don't say things to try to argue or prove him wrong. I just want him to be aware of stuff so that he doesn't make comments to others that may make him look like he doesn't know what he's talking about.

Anyway, thank you for pointing out that DH's behavior indicates that he feels powerless. In reality, he doesn't see the machinations I go through because I try to do things to conform to his desires. There are a lot of things that I have "let go" and they might come back to bite us big time, but DH's angry responses to issues (replacing a portion of the AC because of mold concerns for example) make it impossible to deal with him rationally.

Since DH doesn't talk to work out issues, nothing gets resolved. Granted, I should take him up on his request to go to therapy, but I guess I'm hesitating, because maybe this will end up being the fatal flaw. Also, I am so exhausted, thinking about explaining stuff to a 3rd party feels like it would drain the life out of me right now.

Anyway, thank you for your insightful observation and support.

Kat - how can I thank you for all the supportive messages and care that you've shown me? I think you understand the issues with having only children and the power struggles that ensue. You're so wonderfully articulate. I love how you express ideas and open my eyes to different possibilities. Thank you for starting this discussion. Just responding to everyone has helped me sort things out. Writing them puts structure and limits subjects so that I can organize and deal with things. Thank you for being a dear and caring friend and helping buoy me up when I'm struggling. Your caring is like a treasure. Thank you for being generous in sharing.

If anyone's read this far, thank you and bless you.

KM, thank you especially for keeping this group together. You've helped many women and their families. You must have incredible karma for bringing us together.

cy
I'm sorry I didn't see a lot of the posts about your recent heartaches. I've been fairly MIA due to simple stuff. Now that I've had a chance to read through all of them I just wanted to let you know that I'm thinking of you.

If I may, I want to share that I have a very dear friend who's husband has a lot of angry outburst and I have seen how his actions change the whole way her family communicates. Her only way to fight back is just remain silent and/or get a little passive-aggressive. It seems to be the only way to get him to stop behaving like a toddler. Unfortunately, she never really gets to get heard. I don't know that her situation is anything like yours, but if it is, sorry. I understand why you leave I wish she would just leave sometimes. On the other hand she has 2 boys 14 and 10 and they get really upset when she checks out. They always blame themselves because a lot of the fights seem to initiate with issues concerning them. That is the way they see it anyway, but the truth is there were just as many issues before they were born. She just gave in to all of those previous issues to pacify him. He managed to frame her over the years. Now he is attempting to do it with the boys and my bff is not ready to allow it. Her dh has a certain image to reach and the boys need to follow, too.

I've been searching for good advice for my girlfriend for many years and I just can't seem to come up with the right answer. She is not a person that is a good fighter with words. If he were my dh (well he would never be my husband nor would he have me) he would tread more lightly or not have many pleasant times. She just tries to have peace and never puts any demands on him specifically. I worry about her because she makes constant sacrifices of her own happiness in order to keep him calm enough to tolerate. She also gets a little over-controlling in the home and schedule and oddly, can be sort of a tyrant with the kids about very shallow things. She often mentions that she simply can't handle anything unorganized because it makes her physically upset. It seems like the organizing has become a medication for her upset with dh.

Anyway, I'm not saying your dh is this dh. It's just that when you spoke about him getting the message from the past weeks events, I sort of thought of her. There have been many times in the past 20 years that she thought he was making changes and he has only gotten worse. My friend's dh is a bully. Bullies test people and he tested me very early on. He figured out not to bully me pretty quickly, but even though I can handle him, like most bullies, I feel sorry for him. Something went off track for him way, way back and he never learned how to naturally be the guy he really wants to be... so he takes what he wants aggressively. I think what her dh needs, most men like this need, first is to be heard and given compassion for their weaknesses, secondly to be told even though you understand these weaknesses, you can't accept it because it is wrong and lastly have very specific rules/consequences established if they continue to wrong you. Actually, all men need things spelled out anyway. I would also add that I heard this a few years back and it has helped me with my dh in these difficult new-parent years. Ask yourself "what does he hate about me?" and if valid, change it. The most important advice I can offer it to let ds know to never ever fear at any time and for any reason that he will be without you. If you go, it is not about him. Mom's don't ever leave their kids and if you leave him with dh you will be back for him no matter what happens with dh... no matter how disrespectful he is or how much he misbehaves you will be back for him and teach him how to continue to be the good boy he is.

You deserve to be happy and so does dh. You may not be able to make him happy and also be happy. If you can't, it's ok to move your life in a different direction with ds. I hope that you can stay together and be happy though. More big hugs... omissy




Last edited by loggings on May 30th, 2012, 5:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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cy2
Joined: February 16th, 2006, 6:45 pm

May 31st, 2012, 12:09 am #9

I really appreciate your wise words and take on a similar situation. Unike your friend's DH, I don't think my DH is a bully. He just loses it in an inappropriate manner and then doesn't know how to make amends or talk about what went wrong, so that we don't keep repeating the same mistakes. The vast majority of the time, DH is considerate, helpful around the house, and recently, very supportive when I'm struggling to have DS listen to me.

I really appreciate your wisdom and description of your friend's situation. In some ways, I find that not reacting, but not giving in is the way to go. For example, if DS or DH throws something or dumps a stack of papers, magazines, whatever in frustration, I do not pick them up. In one case, I calmly stepped over a stack of magazines for a couple days before DH picked them up. It's allowing them to fix their own damage. To me, that should be the natural consequence of impulsive, destructive actions.

It's hard to find the right balance. I don't want to fight, but also don't want to be perceived as the person who will fix things and bend in order to keep the peace at all costs.

I think the basic difference in how DH and I were brought up goes a long way in making our conflict worse. We need to work on communicating to solve problems. DH's view is that you walk away from conflict. While that's ok to do initially when tempers are flaring, DH doesn't believe in discussing the issues and trying to understand what caused the problem. If he's not upset, bringing the situation up for discussion is likely to re-upset him and start the whole problem all over. Not very mature, but that's the reality I'm living with right now.

Luckily, I think the L&L technique of teaching through eavesdropping might be more effective with DH. I can directly discuss conflict with DS and let him know the bad effects of losing his temper and disrespecting me. Now that I have DH's ear (indirectly) I think I'll see if I can do more of that with DS. Before I'd take DS out of DH's earshot since DS' escalation and increased level of volume would cause DH to fume at me. Now that DH isn't fuming at me, DS has improved and I think DH is absorbing some of the messages.

Thank you for being a supportive friend over the years here. It means a lot to me.
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cy2
Joined: February 16th, 2006, 6:45 pm

May 31st, 2012, 12:13 am #10

First of all, thank you so much for taking time to write such helpful info, advice, support, and concern below. You ladies are better than any rescue responders, retail therapy, crisis intervention hotline, multiple shots of alcoholic beverages (I like bourbon and gin, but not mixed together), or bottles of red wine. In fact, you are some of the best friends in the universe.

I have started unpacking my bags (a series of small fabric slings that I put clothers, cosmetics, medication, etc. into when I left). I kept them by the door to our carport until just a few days ago. I think DH got the message that I'm not planning on going anywhere right now, but leaving them out in plain sight for a few weeks was a good reminder to everyone that I was ready to go on a moments notice. I'm not sure if he noticed that I took full size everything (lotion, fish oil bottles, toothpaste tube, an entire roll of cotton pads for removing make up. etc.) so I could have been gone for months before needing refills. Hopefully he was super observant and thought, "holy crap, she's planning on leaving for a LONG time if she's taking the 400 count bottle of fish oil capsules!"

I need to work on other things in communication with DH, but at least the crisis has abated for now and I'm not camping in my car and using the Starbucks and McD's wi-fi.

SusanOR - I can't thank you enough for sharing your experience and thoughts about therapy, especially since you are in the same field and still learned a lot! Your candor and clear explanations are priceless. Your post gave me real hope and appreciation for what can be gained through good and healthy therapy. Thank you again and again. I hope that you gain whatever you desire from your therapy sessions and that you continue to share your wisdom and advice with your patients! They are very lucky people to have you help them.

KM - I appreciate your comments regarding DH needed to have another guy tell him in order for him to "get it". Actually, I'm lucky that him hearing me spell things out for DS seemed to have done the trick in terms of not having DH contradict me or scold me when DS misbehaves. In fact, DH has been really good about playing the role of enforcer without my even having to ask him. DS was a bit surprised yesterday when I was mapping out a conflict that we had (I like to spell things out and ask DS if he can identify when things went wrong or what he could have done differently) and DH scolded DS.

My girlfriend had suggested that we get one of her psychologists (a nice man who has helped with my girlfriends 7 children, even though he is officially supposed to be working with only 2) to come to the house and observe the dynamics and then comment to all of us how the interactions become poisonous. My problem with that is that DH resents the fact that I talk with my girlfriend about her 7 children and all their issues and doesn't like it when I listen to her advice more than DH's opinions. Given the fact that she is getting excellent expert advice (psychologists, psychiatrists, skills trainers, behavioral counselors, etc.) particular to children who have issues similar to DS, instead of DH's opinions that he understands DS because they share a male chromosome, my friends advice has been infinitely more helpful. This is another issue that bothers DH, similar to my closeness with my brother, I am extremely close to my friend and discuss many things with her.

I'm hoping that DH will keep supporting me vis-a-vis DS and that we can keep improving our lines of communication.

I will check out your book recommendation after I get through my client updates and 4 straight days of seminars in June.

MM-IL - Thank you for your kind words. I appreciate your perspective on marital therapy. I might be the one who ends up going in thinking that everything that needs changing is DH and comes out needing a complete overhaul myself. I know I tend to be really logical and want to talk things over so that there isn't any misunderstanding of what I mean and said. I think DH gets frustrated because he used to always accuse me of justifying everything. I think the major difference is that it seems like he is more focused on the conflict between us and somehow "winning" as opposed to really understanding what I think and feel. To me, the "justifying" should help DH see why I do/say what I do/say.

juliemam - I loved what you wrote. Your words about dealing with someone who is less mature are so true. I hate to say it, but if you look at how DH and DS handle frustration, you see the same picture. Getting angry, blowing up, inappropriate throwing/breaking/slamming/etc., irrational comments and yelling. In fact, the sad part is, since I don't let DS get away with horrible behavior, in some instances I think that DS handles conflict with me after he loses it and partially cools down in a bit more mature way than DH. At least with DS I force him to discuss what went wrong and where he could have said or done something different to avert the conflict.

I guess we all marry people who in reality are different than what we thought. Afterall, when they're trying to get you to marry them, they put on their best behavior. I married DH 8 months after I met him. Prior to that I had dated people for years without getting engaged.

The most confounding part about the DS disrespect and the DH lack of support for me is that DH is modeling the very behavior that we are trying to get rid of in DSes. It would be much easier for everyone if DH just stepped in as the enforcer, saying, "What did your Mom say? Do it!" and then slam things around to scare DS into action, instead of letting DS drive a wedge further between DH and me. Plus, that's how I want DS treating his wife in the future.

Thank you for the book recommendations. I will keep the list and hopefully have time to check them out later.

EllenA - Thank you for the concern and support. I appreciate your message and kind words. You're in a similar situation with KM and me. Only male children with strong personality moms make for interesting triangles. Just like with children, groups of 3 have tough dynamics, unless one of the three is a saint or the Dalai Lama. Thank you for being such a great friend over all these years.

GailCT - Thank you for reaching out when you are also at a breaking point in your life. Sometimes I wonder how you manage to cope with all that's on your plate at home and still take time out to comfort a friend like me. This group is truly a gift and I appreciate that part you play to make it special. I love your comment that DH is like a second child in maturity. In that case, I need to get less emotional and start modeling better behavior for him to emulate, right? I could also probably get better results if I only recognize and reward positive behavior from DH and ignore the negative behavior until it extinguishes itself. (Do you think I could clicker train DH without him realizing it????) I need to think about that. . . Hugs to you!

Pink Dandelion - Thank you for chiming in. If only DH was as mature and wise as you! I wish he had better skills for handling his anger. I think he does a lot of holding things in, so when he loses it, the actions and effects are not appropriate. Our psychologist told us long ago that men tend to "see red" and cease to function mentally when they are really angry. I like to resolve things and agree to disagree if I can't see things DH's way. Of course, trying to deal with someone who is seeing red is like trying to herd sick cats. I know that DS' tendencies will lead him to try to get his way, even if it means causing uproar between DH and me. Hopefully as he gets older and starts figuring things out, he'll see the problems and quit. Now that DH is backing me up, DS is improving. He doesn't escalate bad behavior. There isn't a need because DH is shutting him down by telling him to listen to me.

jkl - You are a genius! Yes, I think a lot of the problems with DH come because he feels like he lacks power. He doesn't like the fact that I am close to my best friend and my brother and that I spend time talking to them on a regular basis, giving advice and comments and getting back the same. I try not to let him know I get comments related to him, but I'm sure he knows I share things with my brother and friend. He's probably paranoid that I tell them negative things about him.

He also doesn't like the fact that I control all our finances. I am the financial person by profession. With 2 self employed people in a bad economy with DS' school expenses and DH's full time employee, there is a lot of juggling that goes on. In the past I've told him where I putting money and how I'm moving things, but he is irrational when it comes to debt. Ironically, a lot of the expenses that necessitate the debt are related to his business. I've invited him to learn more about investments and trading. He is irrational about his attitude toward options, even when I've told him that I've taken tens of thousands of dollars out of our investment account to pay household expenses thanks to option investing.

I am more computer/network/software experienced. When I can't solve my own problems, I consult with my brother who graciously drops things and tries to help me, even though he doesn't get along with DH. DB even interrupts his schedule to help me fix DH's computer problems! (But that also deepens the problems regarding my relationship with my brother and DH's resentment)

Finally, I was and still am a geeky person and DH was an average student. I read voraciously when I have time. I'm constantly learning new things (thaks to DS it's been about behavior, ADHD, child development, growth hormone deficiencies, teaching techniques for struggling writers, parenting, etc.). When I was younger I was valedictorian, received a full college scholarship to Vanderbilt based on merit, and am also a Truman scholar. Being a good student and learning tons of things about an eclectic amount of subjects comes naturally. I try to correct or add different perspectives gently when DH brings up ideas, but I'm sure in his mind I'm always telling him that he's wrong. For example, he'll say something about the Facebook IPO and since I'm in the securities business and have been through more commercial litigation than any normal non-attorney should experience, I'll say something like, "What are the damages and how do you think they'll be able to put a dollar amount on the claim?" or "Actually, the SEC regulations are silent on that issue" and he gets huffy. I don't say things to try to argue or prove him wrong. I just want him to be aware of stuff so that he doesn't make comments to others that may make him look like he doesn't know what he's talking about.

Anyway, thank you for pointing out that DH's behavior indicates that he feels powerless. In reality, he doesn't see the machinations I go through because I try to do things to conform to his desires. There are a lot of things that I have "let go" and they might come back to bite us big time, but DH's angry responses to issues (replacing a portion of the AC because of mold concerns for example) make it impossible to deal with him rationally.

Since DH doesn't talk to work out issues, nothing gets resolved. Granted, I should take him up on his request to go to therapy, but I guess I'm hesitating, because maybe this will end up being the fatal flaw. Also, I am so exhausted, thinking about explaining stuff to a 3rd party feels like it would drain the life out of me right now.

Anyway, thank you for your insightful observation and support.

Kat - how can I thank you for all the supportive messages and care that you've shown me? I think you understand the issues with having only children and the power struggles that ensue. You're so wonderfully articulate. I love how you express ideas and open my eyes to different possibilities. Thank you for starting this discussion. Just responding to everyone has helped me sort things out. Writing them puts structure and limits subjects so that I can organize and deal with things. Thank you for being a dear and caring friend and helping buoy me up when I'm struggling. Your caring is like a treasure. Thank you for being generous in sharing.

If anyone's read this far, thank you and bless you.

KM, thank you especially for keeping this group together. You've helped many women and their families. You must have incredible karma for bringing us together.

cy
I really appreciate your wishes for a better situation going forward. I think KM pointed out that L&L can be a powerful tool, even in dealing with "big boys".

I'm super swamped with work, getting ready for 4 days of seminars, DS' end of school activities, and sending DS and DH to visit DH's family next week! Nice to have that amount of work to fill time and space and let things gradually return to normal again.

We changed DS' medication about a month ago, and the difference has helped our home environment a lot.

Thank you again for lifting my spirits when I was low! You're all very precious to me!

cy
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