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Living with emotional baggage

Candice's picture

Sometimes I wonder why I selected a man that was so previously abused by another woman, why did I take on the emotional baggage. Sure my dh is a great looking guy, who has a heart of gold, except that is towards his wife. Why is it that when a man finally finds a woman that has done nothing but seriously stand by his side during numerous court hearings, battled with in-laws, and helped him run a business w/o asking anything in return, why is it that a man still can not learn to trust again?

My dh exploded on my last night, of course right before bed so that neither one of us could sleep, and of course it's b/c he can't trust me. Never mind the last 10 years of my life was spent devoted to supporting him, his dreams, and his son that was not mine, forget that, it's all about what a victim he is b/c he was lured into bed with something that looked great, but had nothing to offer in return, and when she intentionally trapped him with a kid, it literally has ruined him for life. It is now very clear to me that he has never trusted me, and will never trust me, not b/c of my own actions, but b/c he let her ruin him. dh is running neck and neck with yours on being in the dog house...oh did I mention, he pulls this bullshit right before our 5th wedding anniversary? It's always nice trying to look the 1000s of cards to find the right one suited for your asshole husband.


Little Jo's picture

Candice, you didn't grow up thinking about this. You fell in love. None of us read a book ahead of time on what we would be in for.

But I can assure you from time to time my BF talks to me poorly. He recently said to me, when I called him on it, that he doesn't mean it toward me. It's stuff he wished he could have said to her.

I hope this helped. Jo

"May the forces of evil get confused on the way to your house." George Carlin

goingcrazy's picture

Your DH probably does not realize why he is acting the way he is. DH and I have the same problem, only thing is the people are switched. It is me that has put him through hell because I cannot trust him. I am the one that carries so much anger towards my ex husband and my ex boyfrined before him. Both cheated on me, lied to me and pretty much tore me apart. So, DH had to be the one to take my rage. And I thought at the time that I really was mad at him, that I was justified in being mad him and not trusting him. Then I went to therapy and began to discover that I had never resolved these emotions that I had. I read a book called "From Anger to Forgiveness" that helped alot. I have realized that I really am grateful for him, that I need to make sure that I stop comparing him to the ex. I have a long way to go. What I do now is tell him,"I am feeling very angry with you right now. I don't know why, I don't know if it at you" I apologize and he understands that it is just displaced anger and resentment. I love him endlessly ad hate that I have been like this with him. But now I have admitted my problems and am working on rectifying it. Your DH is going to have to see that he is putting his anger on the wrong person. I promise that you can get past this, but he must help himself release the anger before any progress in your marriage can be made. I commend you for standing by your husband. I know first hand that he has put you through hell. Angry people with trust issues have a way of doing this.

Anne 8102's picture

I've been down this path, too, and have the skinned knees to prove it. My DH's ex cheated on him while he was in the Gulf during the first Gulf War, got pregnant, tried to pass the baby off at his, then when the truth came out, guilted him into staying, trying to "make it work" for this "innocent child" and all that. She IMMEDIATELY got pregnant again, this time by him, although she told him she was on the pill, so that she could trap him more firmly with his OWN child. They separated a million times, she got pregnant a third time, again claiming she was on the pill, to try to keep him. All the while, he kept taking her back "for the kids." All the while, she was continuing to cheat unbeknownst to him. When he finally figured it out, they split for good. My DH doesn't trust me on an emotional level, either. Intellectually, he knows that even when things are BAD between us, I've always got his back. He knows he can believe in that. I mean, he trusts me with the money, with the kids, with everything else, but not emotionally, even after almost six years of marriage. Between her and the PTSD, he's got nothing left.

But I learned something really important recently and I think it might apply to your DH, as well as to mine. It isn't that they don't trust US, Candice, they don't trust THEMSELVES. And because of that, there's never going to be anything we can do to change this. We can bang our heads against the wall repeatedly, trying to make ourselves more trustworthy, but WE aren't the problem. WE aren't the ones they don't trust. They lost the ability to trust themselves. They no longer have any faith in their own judgment.

One of the things my husband's cornflake PTSD counselor has him doing is identifying how the bad things that happen can change his thought process and mess with his judgment. For instance, you start out with a belief... I'm participating in a humanitarian relief effort to help the starving people of Somalia. Then you identify the bad thing that's tripping you up... the bad guys slaughtered the good village people and took all the rice you delivered to make themselves stronger, and left you a visually graphic message to show you what happens to the people you try to help. Last thing, you identify how that bad thing shaped and changed your previous belief... how can I believe I am there to help, when all I am doing is getting innocent people killed and giving the bad guys food; how can our government say that we are there to help the Somalis when they keep waving us off, not wanting us to land and deliver rice to them, because they know that our "help" will get them killed? You can see how your perception of yourself gets skewed, how your judgment can be altered and how your belief system can be shaken when something bad happens.

I wish I had an answer for you on how to get him to trust himself again. If I had the answer, I'd use it on my DH, believe me. His PTSD counseling is helping a little in this area, because it is showing him WHY he acts the way he does and that's probably an important first step. But until his faith in himself is restored, I don't know. It'll be a bumpy ride.

~ Anne ~

"Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after the other." -Walter Elliot

Candice's picture

I think all three of you hit on something really important. Thanks so much for your support, it's really nice to hear some of the things you have gone through b/c you really relate to my situation. It really helps so thanks!

Little Jo, I told him "I'm not biobitch, I'm not the vindictive person she is and you always treat me like you are waiting for me to act like her..." I think he actually listened to me when I was saying that too.

And goingcrazy, I think he sometimes doesn't know why he is so upset, that rang a big bell with me when you said that. I also don't think that he realizes he is treating me like I'm the vulture ready to attack, when I'm so not. It was just so strange how we spent the whole day Saturday enjoying each others company, and then right before bed..BAM! Let's fight...WTF?!

Anne, I have often thought of this is why he acts the way he does...he doesn't trust his own judgement. That is the ticket right there. You said it perfectly, I just needed to hear it again.

To clarify, the whole fight is about our business, and we recently incorporated our business to save on taxes. He decided he wants to be pres, so I'm vp. I asked him on numerous occasions, can I have 51% owneship in the business...and not for money sake, but the sole purpose of me claiming that I own 51% of the business is b/c I am a veteran, and if I own 51% our business can be listed as a veteran owned business, and we can be awarded contracts for work in our field. Well everytime I asked he just burried his head in the sand and pretended I didn't ask, and either ignored me or just said.."I don't know..." Well am I a mind reader? Am I suppose to really know what he is thinking about?

My dh freaked out about me having 1% more ownership than him, and if we ever decided to divorce, I could take the business completely away from him and this is his only trade to earn a living, and he would end up flipping burgers after divorcing me. I had to tell Einstein several times...WA state is a community property state, he has been taking this risk for the last 5 years we have been married, and now that I have in paper 1% more ownership, he is suddenly threatened?!! The lawyer and cpa all told him that the 51% is really not an authentic number b/c we are MARRIED IN A COMMUNITY PROPERTY STATE! I could have done the same amount of damage without 1% more ownership just b/c we are married....

He said "you women always get vindictive..." and I said "No...women that have nothing going for themselves are vindictive....I have a lot going for myself. If we divorce, I'm going back to college. I'm not going to force you to sell the business if we divorce. How does YOU flipping BURGERS benefit MY SON?" I also asked him "Why did you get married to me then? If you are so worried that I will take your business from you, why did you marry me?" He loves the work I do for our business, but doesn't want me to have any ownership...

I also clarified to him that he doesn't get to have the benefits of Candice w/o risk, life is all about risks, I gave up a $45K/year salary outside the home to work for OUR business full time. The benefits is that we make more money with me selling our product/services, the risk, well, if we divorce, I'm out a marriage and a job! But you know what? I have faith in our marriage, and I'm willing to take the risk.

Sometimes my dh thinks too much of himself, and protecting himself, and doesn't realize how much of a risk I have taken to be with him, and support him. He did apologize to me, and he tried making up for the mistreatment. He really does have a heart of gold, but man oh man does he piss me off.

Thanks so much ladies for listening to me and giving me some feedback, it really does help!