Confusion About Emotional Detachment

Ostrich

Member
I need some assistance with how I am feeling regarding my relationship with DAG.

Some background for those who haven't read my rolling blog on this site.

My spouse DAG has taken up the mantra of 'I'll do what I want'. Which means EVERYTHING is on the table. Romantic relationships, sex, kink, lasagna at midnight, actually doing laundry. You get the gist.

However, in order for me to accept his mantra, I needed to do something mentally so I do not get upset or too concerned about his extramarital activities.

I thought I did a de-escalation/partial emotional detachment of my attachment to him. We've had this conversation several times. He is obviously not happy with this arrangement. This week, we again had this conversation. He is questioning from where this is coming. If I am emotionally detaching from him, then it's a total detachment, and therefore I do not care for him (that's bullshit, but that's not my issue).

I then began to question which and where my version of 'detachment' means and sits. Did I really implement a 'detachment', or did I have a change in perspective about our relationship? Both? Is emotional detachment the same as a different perspective?

For those more in touch with their emotions, and can quickly label what they are feeling, this question may seem to be child's play. I am still trying to wrap my head about his relatively new approach to life, and how it affects me, and how I can deal with it (I know, my boundaries).

Since I've de-escalated/partially detached, I have been dealing with this in a much less emotional way. I don't get upset as much as I used to, and I am able to process things in a more rational way (I still have lots of work to do on this, but it's getting better).

So again, the question is: Did I really implement a 'detachment', or did I have a change in perspective about our relationship? Both? Is emotional detachment the same as a different perspective? Does it matter, as long as it works?

Thanks in advance for your feedback, and please ask questions to help clarify the above.
 

Magdlyn

Well-known member
"Emotional detachment" can be a useful skill. I am a mother of 3 kids, all of whom were highly emotional or physically extremely active (even destructive, as kids can be). I learned not to get upset every time they were upset, and preserve my own sanity.

Just last night, Pixi decided to cook. I detached happily. I had suggested flounder, rice and chard, and she wanted to cook those. I went downstairs to watch TV for a bit. After a while I went back up to see if she needed help. She seemed to be in a panic, making a sauce, rice cooking, oil for frying fish overheating, bowls of batter and flour everywhere. She was throwing glass measuring cups into the sink, on top of stacked glass bowls (nothing broke), ripping out cords of small appliances to get them out of her way. I don't know why she was so upset.

So, I just kinda stepped back with a zen attitude and looked at how I could de-escalate the war she was having with our kitchen. I asked if I could chop the chard. I took the appliances from her and set them out of the way. I opened a window to prevent the smoking oil from setting off the smoke alarm. I chopped the chard and got it into a pan somehow, and waited around until it was done and turned it off. Then I went back downstairs. I saw her distress, but it wasn't my distress. I didn't need to get distressed and add flames to the fire.

I don't know if that helps, but it just came to mind! We can be lovingly detached. Our zen can calm the storm.
 

Magdlyn

Well-known member
She later apologized and thanked me for my help.
 

Ostrich

Member
Mags, it helps some. Is that a temporary detachment, or more permanent?

Sorry if what I asked got muddled in my explanation, but I want to know if what I consider to be detachment is actually a shift in perspective about our relationship, or if those are two separate activities?

Your experience does kind of apply to my situation, as I see what DAG does, and then I have to adjust (how I adjust is up to debate) to keep my sanity. But my adjustment will be much more permanent, as DAG does not seem to be changing his 'I do what I want' attitude anytime soon.

We have a marriage counseling session this afternoon, where I intend to bring this up.
 

Evie

Active member
Hi Ostrich

It sounds to me like you've both detached from the cultural norm of the monogamy narrative of ownership of one's spouse.
He's stopped asking any kind of permission for anything at all, which is actually quite healthy so long as he's not trampling your feelings left, right and centre. Admittedly, it sounds from your intro and blog that there's been a bit of trampling, but you're both in the early days and the new normal hasn't settled in yet.
And you've stopped (are stopping) seeing him as a husband in the monogamous sense. You've detached from the notion of exclusivity as the defining characteristic of a relationship. It's a huge mind shift. Especially when he comes home wearing the evidence on his skin. Of course you have to detach from that.
My ex metamour was a biter. Adam would come home covered in little bruises and it irritated me when they were above his collar line. But I had no control over their heat of the moment actions (and nor would I want it) so I had to detach from caring about it. Easier said than done. But I did learn to not care about it. That doesn't mean I didn't care about him anymore, but I let go of my care about where he had hickeys. He wasn't working in a job that cared so I stopped projecting my sense of workplace dignity onto him. Now he has a job that would care and I think he'd be more careful to keep such things below his collar line.
Do either of us care less about our husbands? Hell no. We just don't let their actions negatively affect our wellbeing. Just like Mags and Pixi's kitchen adventures.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Hello Ostrich,

I would venture to say that detachment and perspective change are two separate things, but they can be related to each other, one can even cause the other, and I would speculate that you have probably done both, possibly at the same time. To be sure, I'd have to know exactly what these changes look like. What thoughts go through your mind that are different from the thoughts you had before these changes? What feelings do you feel that are different? and finally, how do these changes affect what you say and do? I'm sure it doesn't matter as long as it works, but you did say that DAG has some issues with it. This doesn't mean you need to re-attach, after all with DAG saying "I'll do what I want," you need the freedom to do what you need to do to go along with that. He can't change everything on his end, and expect you to change nothing on your end. I think detachment is the appropriate way to respond to the situation.

Such are my thoughts,
Kevin T.
 

Magdlyn

Well-known member
Detachment is tricky. It's a common theme in Buddhism. (I'm not a Buddhist, but I might take some concepts from it that work for me.)

There's a definite line between being detached from others, and even becoming detached from one's own emotions, thoughts, and highs and lows, and just turning into a sort of autistic Spock kind of person, where not much seems to matter to you at all. You don't want to become a naval gazing sociopath, after all.

I dislike the word detachment, because I find it hard to differentiate between that and feeling "unattached," alone and lonely and friendless. I like to think I am dependent on others, on community, without being co-dependent, to the point where my own self doesn't matter except in how I am seen and boosted up by others. Pixi and I are pretty independent while being extremely tight at the same time. I think our independence makes us take each other less for granted when we are together. And now that we are limited by Covid restrictions, with less ability to go out, see things, travel (and I'm not dating), we might be one of the few couples who are not fighting more.

"Kids these days" on YouTube or TikTok or whatever... the vloggers, it seems like nothing is real to them unless they post about it. Nothing is private. It seems like they aren't real to themselves unless a follower (and hopefully thousands of followers) "likes and subscribes" to them.
 

GalaGirl

Active member
I thought I did a de-escalation/partial emotional detachment of my attachment to him. We've had this conversation several times. He is obviously not happy with this arrangement. This week, we again had this conversation. He is questioning from where this is coming. If I am emotionally detaching from him, then it's a total detachment, and therefore I do not care for him (that's bullshit, but that's not my issue).

Why talk to him so much about it?

I mean, he wants to have anything on the table. And you are expected to accept it. Ok. Well... Can't you have same? Anything is on the table? Included stepping back a bit?

Why's he getting upset over that?

At least you recognize that his his upset and not yours to manage.

Since I've de-escalated/partially detached, I have been dealing with this in a much less emotional way. I don't get upset as much as I used to, and I am able to process things in a more rational way (I still have lots of work to do on this, but it's getting better).

So it's working out better for you. Good.

So again, the question is: Did I really implement a 'detachment', or did I have a change in perspective about our relationship? Both? Is emotional detachment the same as a different perspective? Does it matter, as long as it works?

Can't it be both? That you made a change in perspective about your relationship with DAG. Changed some expectations. And put in some healthy boundaries and some emotional detachment so you aren't all up in his stuff.

From your blog....

Back to our relationship issues. Obviously, DAG and I need to talk more. However, I have a solution which could alleviate the issue (maybe not solve it though). I would like to de-escalate our relationship even further. Become roommates with benefits. I think this would help me deal with DAG in a better light. It would let me allow him his space to explore whatever he wants. I still love him, and am supportive of his exploration. I want him to be happy, but his happiness is tied to my moods and feelings, and he does not deserve some of the things he gets from me regarding this aspect of his life.

If that works out better? You can suggest it.

DAG is either up for it or not up for it. And you go from there.

But you have to stop bending yourself around DAG wants and DAG stuff. You have to do what serves YOUR well being.

It sounds like you are learning to do that.

Galagirl
 

AlwaysGrowing

Active member
I think they are two different things to me, but they might be to everyone.

Emotional detachment - they don't affect my emotions. I can still care for them, but my happiness in no way depends on them being present. I had an almost partner that I had to remain emotionally detached from due to his mental health (he would have periods of mania and throw himself into various projects. People and relationships and jobs forgotten for the new, shiny whatever. When he was more even keeled or on the depressed side, he was a thoughtful, caring friends with benefits to me). I never knew when he would decide to backpack in brazil for a month or go stay with family for 2 weeks or when he would want to see me every day for 3 months because he "so very love"s me. I cared for him (still do from afar since we no longer live near one another), but my emotional well-being has never been entwined with his.

Changing perspective- I had to do this early in my relationship with Boy. He was not in a space to build a relationship that I truly wanted. He wasn't emotionally open enough to seek comfort from. But I knew he cared and would do what he could, so I stopped asking for more. If he didn't offer, I didn't ask. Did that for a year or more until I realized we'd both grown together more and I COULD depend on him and consider him "emergency contact" level involved in my life. I was able to enjoy our time together, the love offered, the sex shared, the fun random activities WITHOUT the stress of what it meant, how he/others might perceive it, etc, etc. I was still there for HIM even when I didn't ask that he do the same for me. Our actions never changed, just my approach.

Again, that's just how I see it in my life/experiences. You may feel differently. That's fine as long as you let DAG know too. ☺️
 

GalaGirl

Active member
I thought about it some more given your marriage counseling appointment this afternoon.

Sorry if what I asked got muddled in my explanation, but I want to know if what I consider to be detachment is actually a shift in perspective about our relationship, or if those are two separate activities?

Are you "putting up emotional walls" to be safe in this relationship? Because DAG does whatever he wants now? And some of what he does dings you?

Or is it having more personal boundaries and being a bit more detached about his emotions?

Like if he makes some behavior choices that lead to him feeling upset? Well, that's his upset to manage. It's not yours to fix. It doesn't mean you don't care. It does mean that you can take a step back and don't have to be the one to fix it for him. Or make the next choices so new feelings can ensue for him.

I think having personal boundaries is healthy.

But if you are putting up walls... well, that's something else. Maybe sort some of this out with the counselor.

Your experience does kind of apply to my situation, as I see what DAG does, and then I have to adjust (how I adjust is up to debate) to keep my sanity.

Is your mental health going south from staying in this relationship? That's something to tell counselor too.

You almost sound like you are trying to plain SURVIVE the relationship, rather than thriving in it.

Galagirl
 

FallenAngelina

Active member
Is emotional detachment the same as a different perspective?


Loving detachment is allowing your partner (or children or mother or...) to hold agency over how they feel and what they think. Basically, it's taking responsibility for your own feelings and thoughts without attempting to edit the feelings and thoughts of others. The opposite of loving detachment is enmeshment, when your partner's behaviors and feelings trigger you left, right and center so you get in there and try to assuage their upset or admonish them for their "bad" behavior. The extreme of enmeshment is addiction-codependent relationships, but you don't have to be in such an extreme situation to know that enmeshment feels terrible. Many people confuse enmeshment with showing you care. The partners in both monogamous and polyamorous relationships can be deeply enmeshed.

Loving detachment is necessary in every good relationship and Mags describes an example beautifully. Whether loving detachment is a change in perspective depends on whether you've been lovingly detached until now. Sounds like loving detachment would be a big change in perspective for you, but not for Mags (for example.)
 

FallenAngelina

Active member
... I see what DAG does, and then I have to adjust (how I adjust is up to debate) to keep my sanity.
There are many ways to adjust to others. Are you detaching with love or are you compromising your values? Loving detachment feels peaceful and fairly confident. Compromising your values in order to keep the peace feels a little queasy. Loving detachment fuels peace of mind and leads to deeper intimacy. Compromising your values (AKA people pleasing) fuels anxiety and leads to guardedness.
 
Last edited:

Ostrich

Member
Evie:
It sounds to me like you've both detached from the cultural norm of the monogamy narrative of ownership of one's spouse.
He's stopped asking any kind of permission for anything at all, which is actually quite healthy so long as he's not trampling your feelings left, right and centre. Admittedly, it sounds from your intro and blog that there's been a bit of trampling, but you're both in the early days and the new normal hasn't settled in yet.
And you've stopped (are stopping) seeing him as a husband in the monogamous sense. You've detached from the notion of exclusivity as the defining characteristic of a relationship. It's a huge mind shift. Especially when he comes home wearing the evidence on his skin. Of course you have to detach from that.
This has been the hardest part. I am still working to think about him as not being my husband, but a very close friend. To me, the concept of 'husband' includes the usual baggage of 'ownership'. De-escalation was my original pitch to him, and he went ballistic. An aside, your reference to the biter is definitely in keeping with my boundary regarding DAG and potential bruises from sex with Bruiser. I pitched this boundry to DAG, and again, he went ballistic. He previously told Bruiser that bruising crossed a hard line, and would not be tolerated. DAG then asked why I couldn't give him the benefit of the doubt. I told him 'Accidents happen'. He then said 'How will you know if the bruise is from sex or life in general. Am I supposed to cover up all bruises?' No, I'll try and avoid looking at them.

Galagirl:
Why talk to him so much about it?

I mean, he wants to have anything on the table. And you are expected to accept it. Ok. Well... Can't you have same? Anything is on the table? Included stepping back a bit?

Why's he getting upset over that?

At least you recognize that his his upset and not yours to manage.

I talk to him so much about it, because he needs reminding that I have done this. He seems to forget that I've had a major shift in how I approach and deal with our relationship. Weird, you'd think he'd remember something major like a seismic shift in our relationship. He seems to remember 'I do what I want' just fine.

Can't it be both? That you made a change in perspective about your relationship with DAG. Changed some expectations. And put in some healthy boundaries and some emotional detachment so you aren't all up in his stuff.

I have been round and round on this point, and I've decided that yes, it can be both. The feedback on this thread has been very helpful, in that I now know some basic differences between detachment, and changing perspectives. So I have no problem with including the two in my emotions toolbox (lol, phrasing).

If that works out better? You can suggest it.

DAG is either up for it or not up for it. And you go from there.

But you have to stop bending yourself around DAG wants and DAG stuff. You have to do what serves YOUR well being.

It sounds like you are learning to do that.

This is something else I have been working on. Should I be open, and tell DAG this is something I am proposing, or not tell him and do it anyway in my head? I am not sure if he'd notice the difference. I have read posts on here from people who are totally honest with their partners. From this lifestyle, I am learning (at least for me) that full-on honesty is the best approach. Lying by omission doesn't seem to be too healthy. I am learning to deal with what DAGs wants. I have a couple of other boundaries that deal with his obsession about decorating our house. Interestingly enough, he respects those boundaries.

Are you "putting up emotional walls" to be safe in this relationship? Because DAG does whatever he wants now? And some of what he does dings you?

Or is it having more personal boundaries and being a bit more detached about his emotions?

Like if he makes some behavior choices that lead to him feeling upset? Well, that's his upset to manage. It's not yours to fix. It doesn't mean you don't care. It does mean that you can take a step back and don't have to be the one to fix it for him. Or make the next choices so new feelings can ensue for him.

I think having personal boundaries is healthy.

But if you are putting up walls... well, that's something else. Maybe sort some of this out with the counselor.

I've had walls in the past, and have been tearing them down. I don't consider this particular effort wall building, but letting go and implementing what FallenAngelina calls 'loving detachment' (thanks! that seems to fit the bill). It's not that I don't care, I'm trying to not let it bother me. Perfect example was last night. We have a friend from out of town who is staying with us for a few days. He is interested in us individually, and we are interested in him. So last night, relaxing after dinner, Onyx, DAG and I were on the couch. DAG and Onyx started cuddling and lightly making out. I was not bothered by their behavior. Actually, I was too tired to engage with them, and went to bed instead. They went up to Onyx's bedroom, and made out for a bit (evidently no sex), before DAG came to bed and cuddled with me. Again, I was not upset. I let it roll off of me, because I was expecting that behavior, even though it wasn't spoken or acknowledged. I was...detached. It was glorious!!

Is your mental health going south from staying in this relationship? That's something to tell counselor too.

You almost sound like you are trying to plain SURVIVE the relationship, rather than thriving in it.

This is the first time in almost a year that I feel like I am in a good place with this poly lifestyle, and can thrive in it. A year ago, I was angry at myself for not fully comprehending what DAG was telling me about his wants, I was envious of the love that DAG was showing Bruiser (fucking NRE), I was confused as to how that relationship got very serious, very quickly (in just a few days). Frustrated with DAG and his matter of fact approach to our relationship (I take his demeanor as 'you need to get over it, because that's the way it is for me'. He acknowledges that demeanor can be an issue with other people. No shit, really?). Also frustrated with his lack of consideration for others in his sexual exploits (a 17 year relationship with a close friend of his was ruined because of that lack).

With loving detachment/de-escalating I have been much better equipped to deal with his wants. Also, I know this doesn't involve me, but it definitely affects me, is his relationships with Bruiser and Fisticuffs. They are strained at best. A 180 degree change from two or three months ago. Since they have distanced themselves from him, I feel like I can move forward from here, and leave the past behind. I should have been able to do that, no matter the status of their relationships. I tried, but I would pull myself back into the morass of anger, hate, envy and confusion. My thoughts toward Bruiser were really holding me back. I consider him to be a Svengali. He was singing the song of 'I do what I want', which DAG was eager to hear, and immediately pursued. I felt left behind. Also, in developing better comprehension skills (plus DAG lets me know what's going on, and asks me to repeat back what he said, so he knows I understand what's going on), I feel better equipped to deal with any future relationships DAG cultivates, especially if they head into a romantic/sexual direction, again because I know with DAG 'I do what I want' encompasses EVERYTHING he wants to do, and I am already detached from the sexual aspect of his wants.

As far as the counselor is concerned, they are working with me on my anger issues (remaining land mines from the beginning of this experience crop up when least expected, and I am still learning how to identify those, and deal with them before they explode). She's also taken DAG to task in exploring 'I do what I want' without a tether line.

I know that's a lot to read, and I really appreciate the time everyone took to respond to my questions, and provide some very thoughtful feedback. You guys are wonderful!!

Feel free to follow up, I'd love to continue this conversation. Or if you like, you can post on my rolling blog on this site.
 
Last edited:

Ostrich

Member
There are many ways to adjust to others. Are you detaching with love or are you compromising your values? Loving detachment feels peaceful and fairly confident. Compromising your values in order to keep the peace feels a little queasy. Loving detachment fuels peace of mind and leads to deeper intimacy. Compromising your values (AKA people pleasing) fuels anxiety and leads to guardedness.
I am detaching with love. I still love him, and subscribe to the idea that love is unlimited. Yes, it depends on where in the spectrum you place someone you love (brother, sister, mother-in-law, S/O, fuck buddy), but yes, my love for him is still there.
 

FallenAngelina

Active member
I am detaching with love. I still love him, and subscribe to the idea that love is unlimited. Yes, it depends on where in the spectrum you place someone you love (brother, sister, mother-in-law, S/O, fuck buddy), but yes, my love for him is still there.
Of course your love for him is there, but what I said really has nothing to do with a spectrum of love or whom you love. What I said has to do with recognizing whether you're embracing his desires joyfully or whether you're accommodating him in order to keep the relationship going. Can you feel the difference between detaching with love and compromising your values?
 

Ostrich

Member
Of course your love for him is there, but what I said really has nothing to do with a spectrum of love or whom you love. What I said has to do with recognizing whether you're embracing his desires joyfully or whether you're accommodating him in order to keep the relationship going. Can you feel the difference between detaching with love and compromising your values?
Thanks for the clarification. I am not sure if I embrace his desires joyfully, but I don't do it begrudgingly. At least not anymore. I think the joyful part will take some time to develop. I think I am in the 'OK, if that's what he wants, I'm fine with that' phase. So maybe I'm not feeling loving detachment, but just detachment.
 
Last edited:

GalaGirl

Active member
I am still working to think about him as not being my husband, but a very close friend. To me, the concept of 'husband' includes the usual baggage of 'ownership'. De-escalation was my original pitch to him, and he went ballistic.

What does "ballistic" mean here?

An aside, your reference to the biter is definitely in keeping with my boundary regarding DAG and potential bruises from sex with Bruiser. I pitched this boundry to DAG, and again, he went ballistic.

And here?

An aside, your reference to the biter is definitely in keeping with my boundary regarding DAG and potential bruises from sex with Bruiser. I pitched this boundry to DAG, and again, he went ballistic. He previously told Bruiser that bruising crossed a hard line, and would not be tolerated. DAG then asked why I couldn't give him the benefit of the doubt. I told him 'Accidents happen'. He then said 'How will you know if the bruise is from sex or life in general. Am I supposed to cover up all bruises?' No, I'll try and avoid looking at them.

You asked DAG to create a personal bounday of "no bruises" for DAG? When DAG doesn't care about that? Or you are trying to make a boundary for yourself? To me, I make a personal boundary for ME to obey. I don't have to pitch it to anyone. I make it for ME.

I talk to him so much about it, because he needs reminding that I have done this. He seems to forget that I've had a major shift in how I approach and deal with our relationship. Weird, you'd think he'd remember something major like a seismic shift in our relationship. He seems to remember 'I do what I want' just fine.

What does that mean? In your blog you mentioned you do "selective hearing" -- does DAG do it? Ignores anything you say that is inconvinient to him?

Is DAG interested in what goes on in your internal life? Or not so much?

Should I be open, and tell DAG this is something I am proposing, or not tell him and do it anyway in my head? I am not sure if he'd notice the difference.

Well, what ARE you proposing? If this is about you updating your definition of "husband" so it has less "ownership baggage" attached to it? Well, on the outside it doesn't change things much for DAG. He's the husband. You could do your internal work with counselor and just not tell him, esp if he's not interested in your inner life or if he "goes ballistic" at you. You can update your "husband" definition while DAG updates his own.

To me it sounds like DAG wants to get to do whatever while maintaining the idea that as his husband you are "his rock." And hearing you are detaching means he might not have his rock any more which upsets him. But that HIS baggage to sort out, not yours.

Like.... you do not have to delay doing your inner work just because he's not doing his. (if that is what is happening)

If you are proposing divorce and being friends, FWB, roomies, etc? Well, that does change the outsides and you have to tell him. Or not, and just go file and wait for the divorce papers to be served.

I have read posts on here from people who are totally honest with their partners. From this lifestyle, I am learning (at least for me) that full-on honesty is the best approach. Lying by omission doesn't seem to be too healthy. I am learning to deal with what DAGs wants. I have a couple of other boundaries that deal with his obsession about decorating our house. Interestingly enough, he respects those boundaries.

Are you saying he doesn't respect your boundaries in the relationship? Like what? He won't wear condoms? He won't get tested for STDs? He hits on minors? You want to be less involved in his stuff, and he wants you to be his confidante/relationship coach when his other relationship go haywire?

Frustrated with DAG and his matter of fact approach to our relationship (I take his demeanor as 'you need to get over it, because that's the way it is for me'. He acknowledges that demeanor can be an issue with other people. No shit, really?). Also frustrated with his lack of consideration for others in his sexual exploits (a 17 year relationship with a close friend of his was ruined because of that lack).

So you are mad at DAG for how he conducts himself in his sexual exploration because he does provoking behavior, and if you complain, he expects you to "get over it" rather than change his behaviors? Is that it?

Galagirl
 
Last edited:

icesong

Member
This has been the hardest part. I am still working to think about him as not being my husband, but a very close friend. To me, the concept of 'husband' includes the usual baggage of 'ownership'.
Why are those two linked together? I mean, to me "husband" is about commitment, yes, and a certain degree of life entanglement... but what Knight does that doesn't involve me *is not mine to control*. (And yes, that's been a hard lesson, but has been wildly helpful in our relationship.)

It's not that I don't care, I'm trying to not let it bother me.... I let it roll off of me, because I was expecting that behavior, even though it wasn't spoken or acknowledged. I was...detached. It was glorious!!
"Trying not to let it bother you" and "let it roll off of me" don't really speak of detachment to me. The former is "This bothers me but I know it shouldn't", the latter is "I am actively avoiding engaging with this". It's not "This actually has nothing to do with me at all"...

Also frustrated with his lack of consideration for others in his sexual exploits (a 17 year relationship with a close friend of his was ruined because of that lack).
Did that affect your relationship with the friend, or is this just that you don't like that he is a person that chose to prioritize sex over friendship?
 

Ostrich

Member
What does "ballistic" mean here?



And here?



You asked DAG to create a personal bounday of "no bruises" for DAG? When DAG doesn't care about that? Or you are trying to make a boundary for yourself? To me, I make a personal boundary for ME to obey. I don't have to pitch it to anyone. I make it for ME.



What does that mean? In your blog you mentioned you do "selective hearing" -- does DAG do it? Ignores anything you say that is inconvinient to him?

Is DAG interested in what goes on in your internal life? Or not so much?



Well, what ARE you proposing? If this is about you updating your definition of "husband" so it has less "ownership baggage" attached to it? Well, on the outside it doesn't change things much for DAG. He's the husband. You could do your internal work with counselor and just not tell him, esp if he's not interested in your inner life or if he "goes ballistic" at you. You can update your "husband" definition while DAG updates his own. To me it sounds like DAG wants to get to do whatever while maintaing the idea that as his husband you are "his rock" and hearing you are detaching means he might not have his rock any more. But that HIS baggage to sort out, not yours. Like.... you do not have to delay doing your inner work just because he's not doing his. (if that is what is happening)

If you are proposing divorce and being friends, FWB, roomies, etc? Well, that does change the outsides and you have to tell him. Or not, and just go file and wait for the divorce papers to be served.



Are you saying he doesn't respect your boundaries in the relationship? Like what? He won't wear condoms? He won't get tested for STDs? He hits on minors? You want to be less involved in his stuff, and he wants you to be his confidante/relationship coach when his other relationship go haywire?



So you are mad at DAG for how he conducts himself in his sexual exploration because he does provoking behavior, and if you complain, he expects you to "get over it" rather than change his behaviors? Is that it?

Galagirl
Ballistic means that he was visibly upset at my boundary. His voice got loud, but no yelling and no physical violence, or threats. He didn't understand why I would even consider putting in place a boundary for myself based on something which may, or may not, happen. He said he's told his partners he will not tolerate bruises on him. He kept repeating 'Why don't you give me the benefit of the doubt?' My answer was: 'accidents happen, no matter what precautions are taken'. He can get all the bruises from sex he wants, I just don't want to see them. I told him about the boundary, because I thought it would appear weird if I kept avoiding looking at him if I saw a bruise, and he didn't know why I was avoiding him. The bruising boundary was a hard one, because I kept coming up with rules instead of a boundary. The 'avoid looking' was the only thing that seemed feasible. It's still in place, although he doesn't know it.

As to my internal/inner life, are you referring the life inside my head, or how I conduct my life when he's not around?

As to the 'selective hearing', I think he does. Or at least thinks my actions towards him (asking for sex, kissing him, cooking dinner, cuddling up in bed) makes him think I'm back to before I detached from him. I think I can still do those things without being as emotionally attached as when we first got married, but he may think otherwise.

To the proposal, it about redefining the meaning of 'husband', or if not 'husband', then another word which better describes my relationship with him. 'Nesting partner', 'partner', 'significant other', might work well. We're not talking about divorce nor separation. Even the counselor sees we want to stay together.

Respecting my boundaries. The bruising one is the only one he's had an issue with. The other, which has to do with his flirting, I have not discussed with him, because of his reaction to the bruising boundary. The last boundary we talked about, which is I will not go shopping with him more than 4 hours during weekends, is still in place. He's OK with that one.

You want to be less involved in his stuff, and he wants you to be his confidante/relationship coach when his other relationship go haywire?
We have been round and round with this one. When this situation started last year, I didn't want to know anything about it, other than when he got to his destination safely, and when he was coming home. His case for wanting to talk to me about his relationship status was that he didn't have anyone else to talk to about it (yes he did, and I named names). He also felt he was living a secret life if he was unable to talk to me. He wasn't expecting advice (I'll be damned if I was going to give it to him anyway), but at least a sympathetic ear. After a few shouting matches, he withdrew his argument, and will not talk to me about his relationships with Bruiser and Fisticuffs, other than to say they are 'strained'.
So you are mad at DAG for how he conducts himself in his sexual exploration because he does provoking behavior, and if you complain, he expects you to "get over it" rather than change his behaviors? Is that it?
I didn't mean to be misleading. He cares how I 'get over it' because it will come back to haunt him we don't resolve it. I don't mean that maliciously. His POV is 'it is what it is, I did what I wanted'. He's been pretty clear that he's not going to change his behaviors regarding sex. Hence me developing boundaries, detachment, and any other positive mechanism (like talking to my friends and family about my relationship with DAG) to help me be happy in my life. It's actually worked. I feel I am in a much better place than I was a year ago. Obviously, there is a lot of work I still need to accomplish, but I'm getting there.
 

Magdlyn

Well-known member
You say you have some tough "anger issues" and DAG seems to "go ballistic" sometimes when you express your emotions and choices.

I'm not 100% sure you're all male, but men to tend to cover up various emotions with anger, or even RAGE. My dad did. Trump does. Woodward's book about Trump is even titled "Rage."

It's very helpful to dig beneath rage, just as we do with jealousy, and see what real emotion lurks beneath. Usually, it's fear. "Fear of what?" is the question for you guys to ask yourselves.
 
Top