I am so irritated today.

Polycurious_Adam

Active member
She's gotten better about making time to just be together. When I get home, she gets off the phone, and also sometimes for dinner. Unfortunately, she seems to be using those concessions as a way to make me feel guilty for asking for it. She's asking me why I'm not concerned about making concessions for Pete. The way I see it, I'm not asking Pete for Ms Fisher's time, I'm asking Ms Fisher. Pete can ask for her time too, and that has nothing to do with me.

As for the phone, it is strictly her work phone. Ne service, wifi only. It would be an expensive hassle to replace, and she would have a hard time working on her career without it. This was also the first time she's worked in a week, since we had the whole house to clean last week, so it was certainly a serious issue. That's why I stopped what I was doing to help.

I didn't become upset until she tried to insist that I was hurtful to her by considering finding a way to see my friends on one of her work nights. I'll be waiting for an apology for that one. I still think she was way out of line there.
 

MeeraReed

Active member
So, the stress about her phone was because there was a high chance that one of the kids might have taken it and destroyed it?

I can see how that would be stressful, but...has Ms. Fisher ever tried therapy for her moods/anger?
 

Polycurious_Adam

Active member
No therapy that I am aware of. The suggestion for such is in my pocket now. She knows she has issues, but it would seem that she thinks acknowledging it is the same as working on it. She just uses it as an excuse to keep behaving the same way. I'm starting to think she might actually be bipolar, but I don't know how she will react if I suggest it.

I'm also going to bring up the idea of couples therapy, but if she balks at the suggestion, Im not going to press the issue. I'll just start learning to work around her until she either figures out that she's the problem, or she leaves. I won't put her out on the street. Even if I decide that we're done, I wouldn't do that. But her welcome as my partner will be strained until one of those two things happen.
 

Polycurious_Adam

Active member
Okay. I think I found my balance in this situation. I'm pretty sure I understand what happened now, but I still think telling her is going to produce a volcanic response. She woke up in a panic, and I can excuse her outburst over it. I waited for calm to settle before I asked if she had a moment. She didn't explicitly say she had time, but she took her earbuds out and turned to face me. You see, Pete was on his lunch break, so she really didn't have time, but she let me believe through omission that she did. I think she manufactured that reason to be mad at me, so she didn't have to feel angry at herself for leaving her phone out. I'm really going to try to be compassionate and understanding - it might be unconscious - but I think this is something she has to own up to. She just woke up. Let's see what happens.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
If you think she could benefit from anger management or getting checked out for bipolar or couples therapy... I'd say go ahead and speak plain. Tell her you are tired of the explosions, you'd like for the relationship dynamic to improve, and make the request that she get a check up.

Living in an explosive household isn't good for anyone in it. And you have the children to think about. If you are struggling with all this as an adult, they will be struggling too. And maybe blaming themselves like it is all their fault or something. Or thinking this is an ok way to behave.

Galagirl
 
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Polycurious_Adam

Active member
So it turns out that the relevant issue that I was missing is a vestige of my codependence. I'm very empathic, and I have a hard time ignoring it when I see something is bothering Ms Fisher. When I asked her for a moment, I could tell she was upset, but wasn't expressing what she was upset about. So I asked. When she told me she felt like I was being inconsiderate, I had an emotional reaction and had to walk away. She knew that would happen, which is why she didn't express what was making her upset. She was dealing with an emotional response to my actions, and had not yet decided if her feelings were rational. I almost asked her why she didn't just tell me that she doesn't want to talk about it. Then I thought about how I usually react to that. I pry. I try to wrest some inkling of what's the matter. I had put her in a position where she didn't have a good option to not say something hurtful, because she knew I wouldn't let it go. That's on me.

I've decided that I need to start setting rules for myself regarding how I converse with Ms Fisher. For starters, if she says she doesn't want to talk about something right now, then that's that. I can check myself to see if I'm doing something boneheaded, then let her deal with her potentially irrational emotional response. If there's something she feels needs to address, then she'll tell me when she's ready. It feels silly telling myself this. This should be common sense, but I still have some codependency issues it seems.

We've had communication issues for a long time now, and for most of that time it was Ms Fisher trying to work through them. I was oblivious. Now that I'm trying earnestly to work on it, any frustration that I express with our communication comes across as hurtful or unreasonably impatient, considering my history of lax contribution to the relationship.

I still feel a little bitter, but I think that should fade with some sleep. I get how the situation got out of hand now, and I've taken steps to keep this from happening again. We still have some dirty laundry. Hopefully building up a set of rules for myself will help me start to address the other points of tension in our relationship. I'm tired of old shit being dragged up as if she's retreating to her last high ground, but until I figure out the rest of our communication issues, it's bound to keep happening. Eventually, I might even learn to argue without fighting.
 

icesong

Moderator
Staff member
I agree that feeling like you have like you have to fix Ms. Fisher's moods is a bit codependent. It's interesting that you keep referring to feelings as "irrational" - you're being very judgmental of both yourself and Ms. Fisher on that one. (and it sounds like she's being judgmental of herself too)

Feelings aren't, *can't be* by their very definition rational OR irrational, in my opinion. They just... are. Like weather. You don't get mad at the sky for raining (I assume!) - and judging feelings is just as useful or perhaps even less, since it inevitably makes you feel *worse*.

Maybe you'd both be happier if you could work on being able to communicate current emotional states without judging selves or each other? I'm picturing an alternate version of your conversation going something like...
Adam: You seem upset at me, what's up?
Ms. Fisher: I'm feeling overwhelmed and stressed and kind of angry at you and even more at myself, and it's making me think you were inconsiderate, though I think that might just be taking out my stress on you. I'm too upset right now to talk about it, and it would be better to wait until I calm down.
A: I understand, you're still feeling bad because of all the things that happened with the phone and everything. We can talk later.

There are several things I want to point out about that theoretical conversation. I used the word "seem" deliberately because often I'm not even annoyed and Knight asks me what's wrong, apparently my face does things when I'm concentrating, LOL. Telling me I *am* feeling something when I'm not (IE "you're upset, what's wrong?") is a really good way to MAKE me upset.

In the second part, Ms. Fisher is separating her *feelings* from her *thoughts* - this takes a LOT of practice but is definitely worth doing!!

The third line you're expressing empathy without taking on responsibility, which again requires practice and a bit of control of your own emotional responses (ie, you can't say "it's unfair you feel like that!" and get angry at her right back).

I understand the impulse to completely back off and let someone wait til they're ready to talk, but at the same time letting someone be in "waiting for the other shoe to drop" limbo isn't really fair to someone you love either - being able to say "I'm feeling this way and I want to talk later" at least gives them an idea of scale of problem, time frame, etc.
 

icesong

Moderator
Staff member
She's gotten better about making time to just be together. When I get home, she gets off the phone, and also sometimes for dinner. Unfortunately, she seems to be using those concessions as a way to make me feel guilty for asking for it. She's asking me why I'm not concerned about making concessions for Pete. The way I see it, I'm not asking Pete for Ms Fisher's time, I'm asking Ms Fisher. Pete can ask for her time too, and that has nothing to do with me.
PS I entirely agree that the points of a V don't make concessions for each other, the time allocation is entirely up to the hinge.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
I don't know if this helps you any. I mean this kindly, ok?

I'll be honest. I think you are overthinking this whole thing and how you are to blame for being a poor communicator. When really? What was this?

A friend called and you wanted to go hang out with him on a night she has work. So some basic calendar coordinating was needed. Not actually a big deal.
  • She came into the conversation all cranked up because she woke up in a panic over the phone she misplaced and instead of owning it? And asking nicely for help? She rained anger and moody all over everyone in the house. Rage fest.
  • You came into the conversation all cranked up because you were making dinner, attending to Buttercup, helping with phone search while listening to the rage fest. Maybe spreading self too thin and doing too much multitasking too.
  • She was mad over the phone and wanted to talk to Pete to escape her home reality.
  • She blew up at you when you were trying to talk to her and she was on with Pete. You were a handy target. Also...
    • Side Issue: There IS no good time to talk to her. She's always on the phone with Pete with her NRE lalas.
    • She won't do email.
    • She turns her texts off.
    • So how are you supposed to coordinate calendar, coparenting, and home management with her?
  • You felt slimed over the blow up. And feel mad and unappreciated / taken for granted.
  • She eventually schedules her daughter to come be here so you can go out. But this simple task came with a lot of drama.
  • Short Term: You could say thanks, and go enjoy your friends. And not be surprised, because drama just seems to be the name of game in this household.
  • Longer Term: Get your nights off to do what you want and get breaks from parenting/house on the calendar. No coordinating needed any more. Presumably she has her nights.
It doesn't sound like anything new here for you. Just her having yet another cow.

If you really think she's bipolar with anger management issues? But you are too timid to ask her to go get a check up? Too timid to ask for couple counseling because you fear a NEW blow up?

Then you are walking on eggshells and painting your own self into a corner. And THIS is the bigger issue than calendar coordinating so you can hang out with friends.

It's ALREADY raining cows here. Ask for what you need, dude. Be up front.

While there's stuff you can do to better manage yourself and your reactions? Like reading tips at


I think you both trigger the other one. You may need professional help to break the cycle. If you could do it by yourselves you would have already.

I think she brings up the past stuff when she cannot break your logic for the same reasons my Alzheimer father does that. It's "Well... you were a meanie! Nyah!" stuff he does because he hates/can't/won't admit when he's wrong and everyone else is supposed to pretend that his tantrum thing didn't happen so his vanity/pride doesn't take a ding and so he doesn't have to apologize. My mom fights with him more than I do because she's so hung up on "the truth."

I'm more like "WHICH truth?" The truth of the situation that really happened? Or the truth that he's a dementia patient who is super vain? I just lie and step sideways. He accuses her of stealing his wallet. The reality is that he loses things in the house all the time. Rather than waste time arguing over whether or not mom is a thief, I go find it and say "Oh, it was behind the nightstand. The cat must have knocked it over." I give him the vanity excuse -- he's NOT losing memory and misplacing things. The cat did it! (Though really he is losing memory.)

I can have quiet again and not be dealing with elders triggering each other going round in circles over "The Truth." Going round in circles with a patient person is super tiresome to me. I rather skip it.

When she does her version of "You are a big meanie!" when she's on the losing end of an argument? And brings up the past?

I wonder if maybe you take it personally because YOU haven't forgiven yourself for all that yet. If so? You could do work on that to lay this burden down.

Then when she brings it up again you can skip taking it personally and try to redirect to more productive conversation instead. You can just see it as one of her fav tactics.

"Yes. That happened. I regret it. I have forgiven myself. I hope someday you will. But that is the past, and today's topic is _____. Let's get back to that."

If she won't get a check up, and can't get better with the mood swings and rage fests, it's on you to change your way of dealing with her or just not live together any more so YOUR life can be free of the drama.

You keep talking about past abuse you did... it is serious, and that's what couple's therapy is for if you want to try to stay together .

But what about the verbal abuse you live in NOW?

Is that why you ended up so empathetic to her moods? To catch a change in the winds ASAP? Like you are trying to "pre-manage" her feelings so she "stays in a good mood" so you are protecting yourself from a new volcano explosion from happening?

Galagirl
 
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Polycurious_Adam

Active member
Okay, so when I speak of being emotional and irrational, I mean that when I feel emotionally strained from anger, guilt, shame or the like, I struggle to express myself in relevant terms. The emotions take center stage, and the issue that caused the response does not get effectively discussed.
 

dingedheart

Well-known member
So it turns out that the relevant issue that I was missing is a vestige of my codependence. I'm very empathic, and I have a hard time ignoring it when I see something is bothering Ms Fisher. When I asked her for a moment, I could tell she was upset, but wasn't expressing what she was upset about.
I’m not sure how you are equating being empathic and your wife being less than transparent with her moods being connected to “ your “ codependence?

So I asked. When she told me she felt like I was being inconsiderate, I had an emotional reaction and had to walk away. She knew that would happen, which is why she didn't express what was making her upset. She was dealing with an emotional response to my actions, and had not yet decided if her feelings were rational. I almost asked her why she didn't just tell me that she doesn't want to talk about it. Then I thought about how I usually react to that. I pry. I try to wrest some inkling of what's the matter. I had put her in a position where she didn't have a good option to not say something hurtful, because she knew I wouldn't let it go. That's on me.
so let me get this straight ...she was pre angry because you backed her into a corner and made her tell the truth and then you walked away upset Because you didn’t like what she said?


I've decided that I need to start setting rules for myself regarding how I converse with Ms Fisher. For starters, if she says she doesn't want to talk about something right now, then that's that. I can check myself to see if I'm doing something boneheaded, then let her deal with her potentially irrational emotional response. If there's something she feels needs to address, then she'll tell me when she's ready. It feels silly telling myself this. This should be common sense, but I still have some codependency issues it seems.

Or how about who gives a shit. SAY WHAT YOU WANT ....ASK A question, ask for a moment even when she’s on the 2 hr call with Pete ( like that’s her downside of being married to you ...she might get interrupted from time to time ) Why walk on eggshells to trying to dramatically alter or change how things function In your household.



We've had communication issues for a long time now, and for most of that time it was Ms Fisher trying to work through them. I was oblivious. Now that I'm trying earnestly to work on it, any frustration that I express with our communication comes across as hurtful or unreasonably impatient, considering my history of lax contribution to the relationship.
I think theres a bigger picture here. I think you both either taught or learned how to treat each other by allowing certain behaviors and or reacting to the fallout. And then all the second guessing.

I still feel a little bitter, but I think that should fade with some sleep. I get how the situation got out of hand now, and I've taken steps to keep this from happening again. We still have some dirty laundry. Hopefully building up a set of rules for myself will help me start to address the other points of tension in our relationship. I'm tired of old shit being dragged up as if she's retreating to her last high ground, but until I figure out the rest of our communication issues, it's bound to keep happening. Eventually, I might even learn to argue without fighting.

Wasnt going down this poly road her idea ?? Seriously how much work or prep has she done to make the transition?
From what you write it seems you‘re trying to shoulder much of That burden. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to require some modest effort on her part ....regardless if she wakes up grabby after a nap or misplaces a phone / lifeline to Bf or is interrupted during a call to said Bf. Heres a interesting question ....have you ever heard her get nasty / scream / yell or even get short on the phone with Pete? I’m betting not. Bottomline I see the codependency here with you always trying to smooth things out. I personally think there need to be more of a “ don’t give a shit attitude “ on some of this stuff. “ oh you‘re on the phone ...Peter ...call him back this won’t take long “ Something like house rules.

ALSO ....where did you find her phone ??....and did she put it there or did someone else move it there ? This seem like a trivial point but if It ends up exactly where she left it it’s on her if it was somewhere else and clearly moved and played with it supports her fear.


EDIT MY Comments and post were directly after adams post # 26 .
 
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Polycurious_Adam

Active member
I wonder if maybe you take it personally because YOU haven't forgiven yourself for all that yet. If so? You could do work on that to lay this burden down.
That hit home. Of course I haven't forgiven myself! I don't feel like I can do that until she's forgiven me! Is that more codependence? I feel like if I forgive myself first, she'll just see it as my not thinking I did anything wrong. I don't want to do anything to make her think that I don't take my past mistakes seriously. I think she already feels like I don't care, because when she brings it up, I make a face like "Oh, here we go again!" I'm tired of hearing about it, but I don't know how to forgive myself without making things worse. Peace when confronted with it would be great, but perceived apathy is disasterous!
 

Polycurious_Adam

Active member
The poly thing was her idea, but I don't think she feels like she had any need to prepare for the transition, because she's lived that way before. And if I say something about something I think we need to work on, she tells me that I have no right being impatient with her, considering the patience she showed me for so long. I don't think she understands poly nearly as well as she thinks she does. She certainly doesn't understand me the way she thinks she does.

If I try to have a care-free attitude, it's taken as arrogant, condescending, or smug. If I speak with any emotion in my voice, it's taken as impatience, or inconsideration for the past. She needs to get used to my being confident about where I stand without thinking that I'm trying to dictate her behaviors. She can do what she wants, but she won't get away from hearing about how her actions make me feel.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
I cannot help you with codependence. Do you see a therapist for that?

At minimum, could separate your stuff/reactions from her stuff/reactions. I grey her stuff out.

I feel like if I forgive myself first, she'll just see it as my not thinking I did anything wrong.

The point is for YOU to forgive you so YOU can be at peace. Nothing to do with her.

You could rewrite that sentence like...

When I do something wrong and I realize it? I own it. I apologize. In future, I resolve to do ___ instead. I try to make amends and repairs with those I have hurt. I accept they might not want to. Then I forgive myself.

You can know you did something wrong and go through the process. Have you done those things? If so, forgive yourself, and give yourself the gift of peace. So you can move your life forward having learned from the past.

The other person doesn't have to forgive you for you to forgive yourself.

I don't want to do anything to make her think that I don't take my past mistakes seriously.

You are not responsible for her thoughts. You are not the pilot of the brain machine. She is.

It is clear from your writing you take things seriously.

I think she already feels like I don't care, because when she brings it up, I make a face like "Oh, here we go again!"

That is your honest reaction. I do same when I listen to the Alzheimer barmy going round in circles over here.

I'm tired of hearing about it, but I don't know how to forgive myself without making things worse.

You already live in hell, from the sound of it. So lighten the hell load where you can. Forgive yourself. Get at least that much off your plate.

Cuz really what would be "making things worse" be here? She has another cow? So what? Already raining cows.

She accuses you of not caring? So what? Already accuses.

She likes flogging you with the past. Why do YOU have to be doing extra flogging too? Forgive yourself and stop flogging. Doesn't get you out of hell, but it makes hell a little bit less arduous.

Peace when confronted with it would be great, but perceived apathy is disasterous!

I don't understand this sentence. Could you please be willing to clarify? What is the disaster that happens?

And if I say something about something I think we need to work on, she tells me that I have no right being impatient with her, considering the patience she showed me for so long.

You have a right to bring up up present concerns.

If she doesn't want to listen to them? Because she is too busy punishing YOU for HER own lack of action back then? Who made her go that long? She could have walked away. She didn't have to "be patient for 10 years."

If I try to have a care-free attitude, it's taken as arrogant, condescending, or smug.

You are not the pilot of her brain machine.

If having a better attitude helps YOUR life today be less arduous? Go for it.

If I speak with any emotion in my voice, it's taken as impatience, or inconsideration for the past.

You are not the pilot of her brain machine.

You are allowed to have and appropriately express your own emotions.

She needs to get used to my being confident about where I stand without thinking that I'm trying to dictate her behaviors.

Do you mean...

"I can just be confident about I where I stand."

Sure. Go ahead. You can just live your life confidently now. Be firm about what you will and will not put up with. The more you do it? The more opportunities for her to just get used to it.

She can do what she wants, but she won't get away from hearing about how her actions make me feel.

What difference would that make? It's not like she listens to how you feel anyway. You are not "allowed" to have emotions or be impatient. It ends up in the vortex, and that sounds like waste of your time to me.

If you do say something? Don't go long. Just say "I don't like it when I see you you do ___. I prefer you do Y instead. Could you please be willing to do that? Yes or no?" And leave it there. She either is or isn't.

She wants to go into the vortex? She can go without you. You see her going there? You can say "I will take it as a "No." You won't be doing that." And you walk away.

Considerate people will adjust. If she just plain doesn't want to consider you any? And living with her is hell? You could stop living there.

I'm not trying to be a wet blanket.

Just saying... maybe you want to think about changing your way of going? Talk to a therapist instead of her about how you feel? Where the conversation might actually be helpful to you rather than falling on deaf ears? And with her? Less talk, more confident action.

If it ends up that you have let the past go? And she wants to live in the past? Like a bee in her bonnet she cannot let go? And it makes relating to her impossible and unpleasant for you? Can't poly with her like that?

Could decide you've tried long enough and confidently walk away.

You get to pick how you want to be living your life.

Galagirl
 
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Polycurious_Adam

Active member
Okay, I see your point. As for my "perceived apathy" statement, she tends to loose her temper when she thinks I'm not taking her seriously. She starts to hit hard with statements about how much I've put her through, and how impatient I am for her to get past it.

She will get past it when she's ready. I don't have to wait on that to get past it myself. I will work on forgiving myself, and pointing out that she chose to stay through my bullshit will help me with that. She could have left. She still can. I was depressed, and it made me unmotivated and temperamental. It adversely affected her, and she probably should have left me at that point. She made the decision to stay in a situation that she saw as unhealthy and abusive. The mistreatment came from me, but she willingly subjected herself to it, and that is not my fault. I can forgive myself for how I behaved, but I don't need to forgive myself, or be forgiven for the time she stayed. I have changed. I'm a better person than I was then. I don't have to worry that I'm still mistreating her just because she hasn't gotten over it.

This is probably going to be a bumpy few days when I tell Ms Fisher where my head is. I'll do my best to eschew any sense of agency I feel for her well being. If she gets upset, if she lashes out, I'll take a walk. If she thinks I don't care, fine. I'm going to be giving her a lot of space in the near future. If she wants this to work, she can meet me in the middle and accept that I am not going to be dwelling on my past transgressions any more. If she wants bring it up, she'll just have to get used to the fact that I'm past it.
 

Marcus

Well-known member
I just have to figure out how to board my own train without being callous about it. I still have to live with her, and if we do end up parting ways, I'd rather it not be in a cloud of resentment.

Sounds like that ship has sailed. In my opinion the only actions you have in front of you currently are to examine what kind of relationships you want and what your minimum expectations of partner behavior are. Once you've done that... stop accepting behavior that falls outside of those constraints.

Personally I will have none of someone taking their day out on me and THEN blaming me for their own emotional failings. Sorry, I'm an adult human and I only associate with other adult humans. It sounds like you're living in a pre-teen crazy house up there.
 

Inaniel

Active member
Okay, I see your point. As for my "perceived apathy" statement, she tends to loose her temper when she thinks I'm not taking her seriously. She starts to hit hard with statements about how much I've put her through, and how impatient I am for her to get past it.

Have you looked into rules about fair fighting? The document in my household specifically outlines kitchen sinking, which sounds like one of her arguing styles. You probably have some bad habits of conflict resolution yourself, this is something you can easily find resources for. I have at times pulled the document out during an argument to aid in conflict resolution.

She will get past it when she's ready. I don't have to wait on that to get past it myself. I will work on forgiving myself, and pointing out that she chose to stay through my bullshit will help me with that. She could have left. She still can. I was depressed, and it made me unmotivated and temperamental. It adversely affected her, and she probably should have left me at that point. She made the decision to stay in a situation that she saw as unhealthy and abusive. The mistreatment came from me, but she willingly subjected herself to it, and that is not my fault. I can forgive myself for how I behaved, but I don't need to forgive myself, or be forgiven for the time she stayed. I have changed. I'm a better person than I was then. I don't have to worry that I'm still mistreating her just because she hasn't gotten over it.

You need to forgive yourself and be forgiven for any mistreatments period. Her staying does not justify your poor behavior or abuse, ever. Self forgiveness is important, the guilt cycle is vicious and leads to a variety of bad behaviors and emotions. Part of forgiving yourself is abstaining from blaming, and justification. By the way; blaming and justification are part of the denial system, along with omission and minimization. Take a hard look at yourself. Are you taking responsibility for your past actions?

You can NOT say you have forgiven yourself and then turn around and say "well, she stayed with me, that's her fault". Blaming and justification does NOT equal forgiveness, and does NOT equal taking responsibility for yourself.

It appears fairly obvious to me, the past remains unresolved in both of you.

This is probably going to be a bumpy few days when I tell Ms Fisher where my head is. I'll do my best to eschew any sense of agency I feel for her well being. If she gets upset, if she lashes out, I'll take a walk. If she thinks I don't care, fine. I'm going to be giving her a lot of space in the near future. If she wants this to work, she can meet me in the middle and accept that I am not going to be dwelling on my past transgressions any more. If she wants bring it up, she'll just have to get used to the fact that I'm past it.

A stone wall is not a partner. The end of bad behavior doesn't give you immunity from the recovery process. Obviously she isn't over it... Yes, she shares responsibility for fair fighting, that means not throwing the kitchen sink at you when arguing. That does NOT mean she gets no support or reassurances about your past bad behavior or abuses. Time and place for everything, these conversations need to be delineated and organized.

No therapy that I am aware of. The suggestion for such is in my pocket now. She knows she has issues, but it would seem that she thinks acknowledging it is the same as working on it. She just uses it as an excuse to keep behaving the same way. I'm starting to think she might actually be bipolar, but I don't know how she will react if I suggest it.

I'm also going to bring up the idea of couples therapy, but if she balks at the suggestion, Im not going to press the issue. I'll just start learning to work around her until she either figures out that she's the problem, or she leaves. I won't put her out on the street. Even if I decide that we're done, I wouldn't do that. But her welcome as my partner will be strained until one of those two things happen.

Lead by example.. Get therapy yourself; you are part of the act in this shitshow too. Get yourself to the point where you can look her in the face and take full responsibility for the abuses, acknowledge her trauma, apologize without excuses... If your self-talk sounds like "She shouldn't have stayed with me, that's her fault" ~ then you still have work to do...
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
As for my "perceived apathy" statement, she tends to loose her temper when she thinks I'm not taking her seriously. She starts to hit hard with statements about how much I've put her through, and how impatient I am for her to get past it.

So basically she triggers her own self then? Like...
  1. She thinks you don't take her seriously, she is not important
  2. Thinking that makes her feel angry.
  3. So then she acts out at you "defending" herself when you weren't the one provoking or "attacking" her.
Is that it?

Look, you know how serious this is over there better than internet strangers. I honestly cannot tell. I will say it sounds UGH to me to be living in a rage house.

I'll do my best to eschew any sense of agency I feel for her well being.

You are not her doctor. You cannot dx her. But you can certainly say "I am concerned about your health and I am worried about the mood swings and rage fests. I think you need to see a doctor about that."

If she really is bipolar? You did not cause it. You cannot cure it. You cannot control her having a bipolar wigginz. She has to work out a treatment plan with a doctor to address those things.

All you can control is YOU and how you behave.

You can care about her a whole lot. But you care about your own well being FIRST. Which means you don't lay down to be her whipping post if she's on a rage fest. You can say "I care about you, but no, thanks. Not even for you am I doing stuff that hurts me. I'm not listening to rage stuff. " And you leave the room and let her rage on her own. You do not exist to be someone else's punching bag.

If she wants this to work, she can meet me in the middle and accept that I am not going to be dwelling on my past transgressions any more. If she wants bring it up, she'll just have to get used to the fact that I'm past it.

If you are willing to go to couples therapy to work in this, bring it up! If she doesn't want to go? She just wants to get mad that you want to let the past go and she doesn't want to? She can go be mad then.

You can still go do your personal work without her and see a counselor to help YOU move forward.

If this situation becomes a huge drag and you just don't want to deal in this anymore? You can stop living there.

Just because she likes to say that she "put up with things" for 10 years? Ok, she did that.

Here? You get to make your own choices. Stop doing "tit for tat" stuff with her.

If she wants to be together still? She can work to get her conditions under management and meet you half way. Nobody likes living in a rage fest house. Otherwise it's like her complaining that you didn't get your depression and other conditions in check back then and were a drag to live with... when she's not attending to her own conditions today either and now she's a drag to live with.

If she's not willing to work with you? If she can't ever forgive you EVER? Accept it and part ways. Don't bother dragging it out. Because if all you two do is fight in circles and you are tired? Stop being there. End the fight.

I just don't see how anyone can do poly well together with a person who goes on rage fests so much.

Galagirl
 
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Polycurious_Adam

Active member
Inaniel, thank you for checking my confidence. I don't want to disregard the way I've behaved. I just feel like I understand how I got to that point, and I am perfectly capable of keeping it from happening again.

God, how many guys use the "baby, I've changed" line? I know those words are empty until I have a track record to back it up. I'll try not to jump to the assumption that choosing to forgive myself will make everything okay, but I need that self-forgiveness, or I'll always run the risk of a hurtful outburst.

I'll look into therapy, and I will bring up the idea of couples therapy with Ms Fisher. If nothing else, her reaction to the suggestion should be very telling. If she agrees it's a good idea, then at least I know she still wants to make it work. If she rages, it will pretty much confirm that I'm on a sinking ship.

I won't dump blame on her for staying with me, but I will need her to acknowledge that the decision to stay with me was hers. I honestly think it was a bad choice at the time, and if I hadn't changed, it would still be foolish to stay with me.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Regarding the original problem mentioned in this thread, what about the idea of keeping a literal joint calendar? either digital or on paper (hung on the fridge). Then when something's available on a particular day, you just pencil it in. So she could write, on a Saturday, "I need you to stay at home all day today." And if she hasn't written that, you could write, "I'm going to hang out with my friends today, from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m." ... the point being, whoever "speaks first" on the calendar, gets to have priority. You don't have to ask her if it's okay for you to hang out with your friends on a Saturday. You can just look at the calendar and see if she has already claimed that spot. If she hasn't, then it's fair game. If she starts making excessive demands on the calendar, well, that is a separate problem.

It sounds like she is spending an awful lot of time on the phone with Pete. That is another (separate) problem. I'm not sure how to address that one.

The question of whether you should be forgiven (by you and/or by her) for past sins is yet another (separate) problem. I have to say, I am not feeling optimistic that she will ever forgive you. I certainly don't think you should wait around for her to forgive you first. Forgive yourself now, if you can. If she (ever) forgives you, that's a bonus.

My 2¢,
Kevin T.
 
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