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...sometimes love means, being able to let go. :-(

jawtheshark (198669) writes | more than 4 years ago

Moon 22

You pretty much all know what that subject line means, don't you?

You pretty much all know what that subject line means, don't you?

Due to factors out of my power (Read: Mother in Law said things I told to her, but didn't want to address yet to my wife.... Talk about tact...), I had to address the issue of our relationship. Originally, I wanted to wait with that until she at least started therapy and was at least partially ok physically. I was (and am still) willing to give her a chance. She wouldn't listen and said she couldn't live with me anymore.

Fair enough... I'm such an inconsiderate asshole, I wouldn't want to live with me... Oh, wait... That's not even remotely true. However, she thinks it's all my fault.

Well, fine...

Doesn't help she refused treatment by the psychiatrist... That was the condition sine qua non for me anyway.

Anyway... 5 years of my life down the drain. Anyone needs a "slightly used shark, heart is broken, for the rest okay"?

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Unfortunately predictable, but not "down the drain (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#29700011)

I figured you'd be good for at least another 6 months, while "things worked through their normal process", and you got to the point where you would find it okay, from both a moral and ethical standpoint, to extricate yourself from the situation. Shows how lousy I am at predicting things sometimes.

Then again, slashdot recently reported that women (whether that includes the pit-bulls known as mother-in-laws is the subject of another debate) can only keep a secret for an average of 47 hours. Mind you, this was for "average" secrets - I've known people of both sexes who you could be sure would take a serious family confidence to their grave rather than indulge in juicy gossip. And I've known guys who can't keep a secret for 47 MINUTES, never mind 47 hours.

For some reason, too many mothers try to live their lives vicariously though one of their daughters. Your former mother-in-law (you'll start liking the sound of that) sounds a bit like one of them. It's why she feels privileged to share confidential stuff - her daughters' life is really, in her view, her life.

Intellectually, you know it's better this way - no more mind games, no more wasted time ... and you can\t claim to have "wasted" 5 years if you've learned a few things about yourself, and have a more comprehensive view of the world, and the way your little corner of it works.

She's not perfect, you're not perfect, and in the end, she's gotten what she thinks she wants, and you can now have some peace of mind. Some regrets for "what might have been" as well, but also peace.

So, both condolences and congratulations, because you're "getting out early." This could have dragged on for years more, and with far more serious consequences. After all, there's nothing to stop her from claiming "He pushed me" next time. Some people can justify anything in their minds. You've dodged a huge bullet. Thank your mother-in-law for the favour, and tell her you'll nominate her for next year's Nobel Peace Prize.

Then tell her you're joking about the Nobel, but you're serious about the rest. You'll find that it's actually the truth, that she's done you a favour by forcing the issue now, rather than leaving you twisting in the wind in an impossible situation. That it will drive her crazy is just a bonus.

So have a few drinks to ease the pain / celebrate your new life, and like the beer commercial goes - "Ex says it all."

Re:Unfortunately predictable, but not "down the dr (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 4 years ago | (#29700041)

you can\t claim to have "wasted" 5 years if you've learned a few things about yourself, and have a more comprehensive view of the world, and the way your little corner of it works.

That's what my dad said...

He's probably right...

So have a few drinks to ease the pain / celebrate your new life

Will get drunk, am working on it right now.

Re:Unfortunately predictable, but not "down the dr (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#29700199)

What I've told both my daughters is simple: "As long as you're happy with whoever you're with, then they're pure gold. If at some point you decide they're not the one, they're just like any other person, no better, no worse. The moment they hit you, otherwise abuse you, try to manipulate you, they're absolute dog-shit."

I imagine it's the same message most parents WANT to communicate to their adult kids ("I'll respect, support, and stand by your choices.") but can't.

And since you're having a few, I think I'll join you and have one too (or maybe one, two ...)

Re:Unfortunately predictable, but not "down the dr (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 4 years ago | (#29700311)

The moment they hit you, otherwise abuse you, try to manipulate you, they're absolute dog-shit.

But I didn't do anything like that. What she thinks I'm doing wrong is:

  • Not going to bed at the same time as her
  • Spend too much time with my computer (WTF... You married a computer scientist for crying out loud!)
  • Not spending enough time with her... (Yeah, go figure... I need to go to work and not every minute out of that time belongs to you)
  • I am too passive... I show no initiative to go out. (Sure, I'm a stay-at-home kind of guy.... Doesn't mean that I do not participate when you suggest doing something!)

If that really is being a bad husband, try to find a good one.

I do not want to excuse myself here, it's just that anyone I told those facts recognise those from their own relationships and consider them "normal".

Sidenote: My MiL isn't a pitbull. Actually, I found out -meeting her more than once without my wife- that she is actually pretty reasonable and can be talked with. She kept the "secret" nearly two weeks and only because she found out about her not seeing a psy she told her. (Do note, I never said it should be a secret, just that I'd tackle the subject "in a time I thought would be right") In the context, not seeing a psy, the "leak" was actually understandable. I fucking shouted at her when I found out, but after a while the conversation was back to normal. I do understand her standpoint. She already lost her son. She tries everything to keep her daughter alive.

Re:Unfortunately predictable, but not "down the dr (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#29700401)

Oh, I never meant to imply that YOU did any of those things - it works both ways. The moment SHE tries to be manipulative, abusive, etc., she's also in the "dog-shit" pile.

Jumping out a window to try to get you to "pay more attention" has to rank near the top when it comes to "cruelly manipulative" and self-centered.

As for being a bad husband, most women want two - one to pay the bills, and one to do the dishes. Just like most men want a wife who's got two personalities - proper in public and a slut in bed.

All joking aside, sometimes there's no way to work out a resolution that is logical - we're not logical beings, and sometimes, we just "can't get there from here." It doesn't make any of the parties bad, just toxic for each other.

Your ex has the absolute right to refuse treatment, and that includes a psych. She also has to accept (even if she can't understand) that will have consequences among those who view her actions as irresponsible to the point of needing a psych. The MiL probably thought she was doing her daughter a favour, that by leaking the "secret", she could force her daughter to get help. A psych (or pretty much any outsider) could have told her "it doesn't work that way."

Anyway, it appears that all that happened was that it sped up the inevitable. "Don't get help? That's your decision, and I respect it. Now please respect mine. Good-bye." is not just rational - it's self-preservation.

Re:Unfortunately predictable, but not "down the dr (1)

peacefinder (469349) | more than 4 years ago | (#29701701)

Anyway, it appears that all that happened was that it sped up the inevitable. "Don't get help? That's your decision, and I respect it. Now please respect mine. Good-bye." is not just rational - it's self-preservation.

Wisdom, this is.

Sorry it sucks, JtS. But as the song goes, just keep swimming.

Re:Unfortunately predictable, but not "down the dr (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 4 years ago | (#29706503)

As far as I heard it is in the nature of sharks to keep swimming.... If we stop doing that, we drown.

Re:Unfortunately predictable, but not "down the dr (1)

Ethelred Unraed (32954) | more than 4 years ago | (#29713849)

I'll just echo what peacefinder says, and add that I'm really sorry it had to end up this way.

Best of luck (and much strength) in working through the aftermath.

Cheers,

Ethelred

Re:Unfortunately predictable, but not "down the dr (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 4 years ago | (#29714147)

I know... Thank you Ethelred.

People don't change (1)

Daengbo (523424) | more than 4 years ago | (#29701105)

People don't change. That's my mantra for relationships. Of course, people DO change, but you can't go into a relationship expecting people to change, especially not the way you want them to. Too many people get married and immediately try to get the new bride or groom to become a different person.

Then again, people try to put on their best faces until they get married, then drop the ruse once they're committed.

The personality traits you mentioned had to be obvious while you were dating. I can't imagine you hid them. Computer guys don't just suddenly become social butterflies. It sounds like she wanted someone else but married you, instead. That's not your fault.

My three rules for my current relationship:

  1. Don't pretend to be anyone but who I am.
  2. Don't expect her to be anyone but who she is, either
  3. Don't make anything more important than she is

If we grow apart some day, hopefully it will be easily identifiable and we can split amicably without regrets.

Re:People don't change (1)

Corporate Troll (537873) | more than 4 years ago | (#29701247)

Too many people get married and immediately try to get the new bride or groom to become a different person.

But I didn't.... I always accepted how she was, including the few pounds too much which she abhorred so much. It was just me not fulfilling her expectations. I, to this days, have no qualms. Sure, she expected much.... There is simply nothing I could say I disliked about her. Her unrealistic expectations perhaps... But even then, I tried to fullfill them.

Re:People don't change (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#29701849)

All that "hoping things will change after marriage" and the "lunch-bag letdown" when it doesn't happen are one of the reasons that marriage is the #1 cause of divorce.

The funny thing is, the people I know who aren't married seem to be able to work through their crises better, probably because they don't have this "OMG THE MARRIAGE IS RUINED" monster in the room.

People get older, they grow apart, it happens.

Reminds me of the joke about the 97-year-old man and his 95-year-old wife seeing a lawyer about a divorce.
"But why do you want a divorce at YOUR ages?"
"The kids are dead."

People stick it out for the darndest reasons. Like "I'm afraid to be alone."

Problem is, often people expect the other partner to make them happy, but you can't make someone else happy if you don't know how to be happy yourself - and if you're happy with yourself, why would you then go looking for someone else to muck it up? Because you're not happy being lonely? People expect marriage to change that - but people become more, not less, isolated after marriage because of the new demands on their time. They feel they have to do things "as a couple", or else "there's something wrong with the relationship." And then one day they notice that they haven't spoken to half their old friends in ages ...

It's not just relationships either. It can also be the job, or a hobby, or volunteer work, the tv, that ends up isolating people who had the best intentions. You can end up with two people watching TV for 6 hours a day together who have morphed into virtual strangers because their time together is totally non-interactive.

Maybe the solution is a "buddy program" where couples make sure other couples don't get into a rut or isolate themselves. See people outside the job and outside taking care of the kids on a regular (4-5 times a week) basis would keep a lot of people from going bonkers with each other, and valuing their time along together, since there would be less.

Re:Unfortunately predictable, but not "down the dr (1)

turgid (580780) | more than 4 years ago | (#29702301)

Not going to bed at the same time as her

People sometimes need to go to bed at different times, especially if one is having trouble getting to sleep, or if one needs to be up particularly early.

Spend too much time with my computer

This is one thing that non-computer people can't understand. If you've never been 5 hours into a particularly exciting piece of frobbery in a new language, or solving a gnarly problem in an interesting new way, you could never understand. Mrs Turgid has come to respect this now since I have shown her what I've been doing. Even although she can't understand it, she realises that for me it's like reading Dickens or Tolkein for her, or watching Film Noir.

Not spending enough time with her.

Sometimes you have to step back from things and spend time with others. It can be quite hard for people like us especially if we are used to spending hours "in the zone" and have a long list of coding ambitions :-) I've taken to rationing my time, especially with Turgid Minor about, and concentrating on the most important things. I try very hard not to idly read the intertubes (wikipedia is bad for this). Just sitting with her even when the TV is on is appreciated, and listening to her apparently-random small-talk.

I am too passive... I show no initiative to go out.

Well, yes. Going out sucks especially if it's "to the shops." It's doubly bad when something needs to be bought and when you get there you find out there's something else, and something else.... and a cup of coffee and cake to be taken... and "I think you need a new shirt" etc. You just have to live with it. Sometimes just a walk in the park can be good, especially if it's not near any shops. Simple things go a long way.

Relationships are two-way, though, and a lot of hard work. Sometimes it's just too hard, and as others have said, there are no medals for running yourself down for keeping something going that's better off finished.

I too am heading down divorce lane (1)

Degrees (220395) | more than 4 years ago | (#29704503)

For me, it was a 13 year journey. We've been growing apart for a while now, so it isn't entirely unexpected. And our divorce is (so far) really amicable. But it did pretty much boil down to she wanted more from me, and I was resenting what I had already given up.

Re:I too am heading down divorce lane (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 4 years ago | (#29706373)

Seems it's the same story everywhere. (You're not the only one telling me exactly that)

Good luck (1)

Tet (2721) | more than 4 years ago | (#29705665)

I'm sorry to say that I'm afraid this was only a matter of time. I've been waiting for it to happen for a while now. That said, she's not going to be at her most rational right now, so make allowances for that. I'm fairly sure you will anyway. But although you probably don't want to hear it, I think it's going to be the right outcome in the long run. Whatever you do, look after yourself. I'm having a drink on your behalf now. Here's to you...

Re:Good luck (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 4 years ago | (#29706425)

I don't think I wanted to see the truth my self. So long for trying to be a rational person.

Re:Good luck (1)

Tet (2721) | more than 4 years ago | (#29712961)

From your previous posts, I think you probably already saw it, but weren't prepared to admit it. Anyway, next time you're in London, give me a shout and we'll neet up for a beer or two.

Re:Good luck (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 4 years ago | (#29713835)

Sure Tet... Will do... Last time it was really nice... Even though that night, I didn't go at the same time to bed as her either. I just wonder sometimes what I did to deserve this.

Re:Good luck (1)

johndiii (229824) | more than 4 years ago | (#29714909)

What you did to deserve it? Nothing, most likely - but events flow from our choices, even when one is trying to do the right thing. I tried to be a good husband, to do the right things in my marriage. But it turned out that I was enabling some behavior that turned out to be fairly nasty over the long term. So I am where I am. And I'm happy with my life, despite some very sad moments.

That's what you do - moment to moment, make the best choices that you can. There will be some sad moments, but also some that are very sweet and almost unbearably beautiful. If you look for them.

It sounds you've hashed through a lot of this already, so I will just add my best wishes for the future. And add that, should you ever be in Texas, I would enjoy buying some beer. :-)

I'm sorry, and good luck. (1)

intermodal (534361) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726431)

I'm not going to pretend to analyze it. It's a rough thing to go through.

Good (1)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 4 years ago | (#29726585)

5 years of my life down the drain.

Not true. But distance will help. You've got your head screwed on straight, so you're ahead of the curve.
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