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An open question

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An open question

Postby DM » Mon Nov 21, 2005 7:21 pm

Hey all,

I'm having some trouble dealing with something at home, and I'm wondering if anyone has any experience that they'd like to share. Here goes:

My wife and I are generally happy in our marriage, but we do have some pet peeves about the other that tick us off. That's fine, but lately, since after I found out about my DPD, she seems to be more irritated with my quirks than I am with hers. For instance, sometimes, when I'm the last person out of the car, I forget to put gas in it if it's close to empty. She gets upset about this (quite understandably) but she always seems to act like it's the worst thing that could happen or that I'm the only one who does it (she does, too, in fact, she did it that day) That's all background, though.

I guess that since I've started getting help for my DPD, I've noticed that she never really seems to be happy a lot. She's either irritated at something I've done or someone else has done or she just seems disappointed that I can't do things like she wants them done. In our couples' session, the doc has suggested that she start doing things that she feels that she needs to control for herself, but she seems reluctant to do so. Why is this? It seems that she's just not really happy with me and I want to do something to make her happy, yet I know that no matter what I do, she may still be unhappy.

Should I try to please her, eventhough I think that's just me wanting her to be happy so I don't feel insecure in our relationship, or should I do nothing and see if something happens in the counseling sessions? Should I tell her where to go with her attitude? Now that I'm not dealing in dependency anymore, it's hard to know how to deal with people who are close to me. Any advice is appreciated!

Thanx!

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re:

Postby amy-anne » Mon Nov 21, 2005 7:24 pm

Can I ask if your relationship has always been like you described or if it has been a fairly recent development when you were diagnosed with DPD and you've just become more aware of it.
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Postby DM » Mon Nov 21, 2005 9:23 pm

Yeah, it always has been this way in general. When we first got together 8 years ago, I was about a year past my last drinking barrage and about a year from drinking again. My finances were screwed, I was bouncing things right and left, I hadn't paid a bill in any regular way in two years and I was three months from being kicked out of college for poor grades. My wife, on the other hand, was organized and good at managing finances, so she started to help me out with mine. Later, we switched to her car insurance and when we moved in, eventually, she paid all the household bills.

So she has very much played sort of the expectant caretaker while I played the irresponsible man-child wanting affection. I guess now, I'm just noticing more that it's always been this way. For the first time, it bothers me that it's this way. I want our marriage to be an equal partnership where we both contribute and we both lean on each other at times. I just don't know if we'll be able to do it.

Thanx again,

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re:

Postby amy-anne » Mon Nov 21, 2005 9:54 pm

No problem. First of all it's very positive that you've sought counselling as a couple because with a third person acting as an impartial mediator it might help you to understand things more clearly.

The thing that struck me from your original message is that your wife seems reluctant to do things herself - maybe this is because she feels that if she did this she would somehow be deserting you. Maybe by re-iterating the fact that you want her to do things as well and have fun would help the situation.

Don't think that you cant make your wife happy. You can do this in so many small ways it doesn't have to be a big thing. Perhaps write her a little letter saying how much you appreciate her help and how you want her to be happy.

Maybe your wife isn't as irritated as you think... talk to her about your feelings and she may well tell you that she hadn't been feeling that way at all. And on the off chance that she had been she will really appreciate your concern I'm sure.

I think that your statement "My wife and I are generally happy in our marriage..." also shows that yours is a good, healthy relationship. I'm sure everyone has things that irritate them in their partner.

Also, if you want to please your wife, go for it. I don't think it would be because you feel insecure in the relationship but more for the fact you want her to be happy which is clear from the fact you wrote the message in the first place.

I hope this helps you somehow and I hope it makes sense. You obviously care a lot for your wife and you obviously are a good couple... concentrate on the positives rather than the negatives.

Take care,
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Postby DM » Wed Nov 23, 2005 9:29 pm

Thanx for the advice, amy-anne!

We did talk it out a couple of nights ago and she apologized for being a bit crabby the last two weeks. She has a final paper due in her class and she's been procrastinating about it lately and she's starting to get a little nervous. She says that she usually goes off on me simply because I'm the easiest target. I told her that I understood, I do, but it's no excuse. She agreed and vowed to control her frustration. It's not that I mind all that much that sometimes I bear the brunt of her frustration, heck, I've done it too from time to time. I guess my issue with that is I want her to tell me more when she's frustrated instead of just blowing up at me when she's mad at something else, thinking that that's ok. Whenever it's been reversed, she been really upset about it to the point of tears. So, usually, I don't let my anger out all at once. Instead, I try to calm down and try to get a handle on myself before I just go off.

And thanx for the words about doing things for my wife. I'm noticing that one of the hardest things for me to deal with when it comes to dealing with DPD is going to be trusting myself and my motives. Whenever I was acting in that dependent mode, I would do good things for my wife, but only if I was sure I would get praise in return or know that I would be able to 'cash it in' later if I got into trouble. So I'd say that I was going to do this or that to make my wife happy, but in reality, I could careless about how she was actually feeling, just how she acted towards me. I would give my wife a nice card or trinket or something if she seemed mad or irritated (especially at me), but would rarely ask what was wrong or how she was feeling.

Also, for me, I usually did these things expecting a result and that's what I was getting at when I said that I can't please my wife. I know that I can do things that I know that she usually likes in an attempt to make her happy, but the rest of it is out of my control. In the end, they're her feelings, not mine and I don't own them.

It used to be that I would do something nice, she would still be in a bad mood, I would get mad because I didn't get what I think I was 'owed' (my wife in a good mood) and then that would start another fight. Now when I do things for my wife, I try to make sure I'm doing it because I like doing it, regardless of how it turns out. That way, I'm happy doing something I like and my wife isn't compelled to feel happy when she may not truly feel that way at the time.

Thanx!

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Re: An open question

Postby wmsamy13 » Wed Oct 14, 2015 10:29 pm

Your wife could be co-dependent. People like this find someone to "save" - that's her sense of control in the relationship. However, once the "saved" is on their feet and strong, the co-dependent feels less in control, threatened and less needed/more insecure. Check out some AA meetings and discuss this - they are very familiar with it. She's probably making mountains out of molehills regarding YOUR flaws because you have less flaws now, and she relies on those for her balance of power. Niot a healthy relationship. It's not you.
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