Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Well...That Didn't Last Long

I was going to post this sooner, but time seems to keep slipping away.

On Friday, March 24th, the Hoovering came to an end.  Sybil had to release all of her pent up frustration, and that is usually directed at me.  We had a, literally, 8 (eight) hour fight over...drum roll not listening to her, when she gave her opinion about a minor detail at our office.  I was so exhausted from it she had to drive us home.

Yes, I did get into another JADE loop.  Sybil is adept at probing one's defenses, shifting the offensive.  She is adept at keeping me off balance and trying to ascertain my weaknesses.  I even went to bed in another room.  Of course, Sybil was not finished, so she turns on the light and tries to continue the conversation.  By this time it is nearly midnight.  Finally, I told her I was not going to continue the conversation, I was exhausted, and I had nothing else to say.  I can't even remember all of the details of what she said as she stormed off.  At least she turned the light back off as she left.

I learned something of both of us that I did not realize before coming out of the FOG: I can be broken down.  By refusing to have some sort of resolution (Sybil's resolution was not just an apology but an apology with a hug and other forms of contrite groveling).  Since it does no good to apologize, I have to make sure that I only apologize for actual harm.  Not just hypothetical harm or somehow huwting her feewings.  I am not responsible for how she feels.

Normally, Sybil expects me to bring the conversation back up to have a "resolution" (which we never really have).  I refuse.  The issue is so trivial (she FEELS like I was not listening to her) that I will not get into it.  So welcome to détente.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

This Sucks

Well, Sybil and I have reached a dénouement.  She has become more affectionate, using sex as a means to manipulate me (I think).  In the past, I was hopeful this was some sort of turning point.  I was suffering from some form of amnesia or at least wishful thinking.  I have no doubt the cycle will continue and we will be at odds.

It is hard to fathom that a few weeks ago Sybil was talking about divorce, sleeping separately, me not "wooing" and "groveling at her feet", and now everything seems so normal.  In the past I would be sucked in and start to lower my guard.  Even before I realized that she has some major issues, I knew this was just a phase.  The cycle would continue.  Now that I believe that she has Narcissistic Personality Disorder, or at least many traits, I know this is temporary.  I know that I will not be able to pedestalize her enough to keep feeding the hungry beast within her.

Maintaining Medium Chill has been a supreme effort.  In the past, I would get stuck in a JADE loop of trying to convince Sybil that I had a valid point.  Now, I just nod, agree, and try to live my life.  What's the point in arguing with someone that does not see me as a worthy person?  This knowledge is almost too much to bear, though.  Knowing that the person I have given an oath to is so superficial that her oath is meaningless.  Knowing that no matter what issues I have, unless I somehow acknowledge hers, then I am being selfish.  I know that the one person in my life I should be able to communicate to is also the one person in my life I cannot trust with my thoughts and feelings.  I am not even sure I like her as a person.  While Sybil may not be as crazy as many out there, living with someone that gives daily, tiny, little verbal paper-cuts is exhausting.

Therefore, I am going to slowly integrate outside "selfish" activities that I know Sybil will never participate in.  I have to have some space to breathe.  I have to harden my inner core.  I have to feign empathy to person that lacks empathy.  I will continue the façade of being a loving, caring husband.  I don't know how long that will last, though.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Fight It Out

I could spend my time fisking these emails, but I won't. Instead, I swallowed my pride. I told Sybil the emails came from the heart, I've been distant, and I'll try to do better. Now, I can catch my breath until tomorrow's drama.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Right Where We Left Off

Well...the week of peace is definitely over.  Nice to have a big blow up this morning and make me late getting the office.

The reason? I was too tired to stay up past 11:00 to talk with Sybil (the thing she admits to craving).  While I explained I was up late the night before and had gotten up early in an attempt to catch up on "to do's" and just get the house clean, her reply was "well, the vacuum cleaner was left out".  Yep. Therefore, I had no excuse for being tired.  I should have been awake for her.  I was awake for everyone the kids; why not her (I'm not sure what she means on that one)?  Let the JADEing begin.  Old habits die hard.  Even while I was doing it, I seemed to compulsively continue trying to, somehow, reach her.  I knew it was fool's errand, but I could not help myself.  Naturally, the conversation devolved into a circular argument about how I treat her badly, "have I made a decision about our relationship?" (hell, I thought we were married!), and I only care about my feelings.  Again, I let myself get sucked into the conversation.  I failed at stopping the JADE from happening.

That is why I am so frustrated.  In this situation, I reverted back to my old habits.  I am not angry at Sybil.  It's like being angry at a child for acting like a child.  I expect it.  No, I am angry with myself for not disengaging and maintaining Medium Chill.  Instead, we spewed vitriol at each other (I was pretty restrained, considering).  I see that I have my work cut out for me.  Undoing 23 years of bad habits will take a long time.  I have even started thinking about getting counseling.  That is one of the things I struggle with: asking for help.  Pride.

Anyway, Sybil asking that question about our "relationship" means she will never accept her role in this dysfunction.  But, I already knew that.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Shortness of Breath

In my previous post, I was writing about how no Sybil for a week helped clarify things and even helped with some dermatological issues.

It will, definitely, come to an end tomorrow at 4pm.  I will be completely surprised if we are married much less sleeping together by the end of this year.

After good morning texts and good night texts by me every day with not one, single reply from Sybil, she calls today.  Already I can feel my anxiety go up because I know things will not go well.  Today's conversation was no different.  Due to the possibility of inclement weather, Sybil had changed the flight arrival time and texted the kids and me late last night (I was asleep).  During the phone conversation, she asked about the flight and I said I'll see you at 4pm.  She asked, if I had seen the email.  Being honest, I said I didn't read because I read her text.  Silence from her.  Then she asks if I checked the weather.  I said I was kind of busy and forgot (and weather was overcast and cold but no snow never really crossed my mind to check weather), and Son #2 had said it wasn't really going to be that bad.  Silence from her.  After a few heartbeats of silence, she says that she'll just get off of the phone since I'm so busy.  We disconnect.  I collect myself and called her back.  She maintains I'm too busy and she does not want to bother me; she'll make her own arrangements.  Bye.

Dissecting this conversation is illuminating.  While I know there will never peace, this episode reminds me that that there is not ever going to any peace.  Instead of grace and forbearance (at this point I'm not asking for love), I will be receiving her anger and malice.  Fine.  That is the way Sybil wants it.  I am not responsible for her emotions and feelings. I really think she is living in a fantasy land where I am the villain.  Also, I think she will try to push me to suing for divorce.  This will solidify her victimhood.  She will live all of the drama which she sees on TV.  Sybil craves drama.  It is a drug.  I really believe she gets a big endorphin rush with each episode of drama.  Sadly, like all junkies she has to get her fix, and it takes more and more drug to achieve that high.  Being a drama junkie, she will do whatever she needs to get her fix.  She will tear me down, ruin our marriage, hurt our kids, even maintain her unhappiness.  Like all junkies, Sybil will take everyone that cares about her down, unless they cut ties with her.

Let the itching begin.

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Breathing Room

Well, Sybil has been gone to visit her parents for nearly a week.  Somethings have become crystalized now that I can catch my breath.

Naturally, Sybil and I left on bad terms.  As I'm driving her, Son #1, and Son #3 to the airport, she wanted me to take a left and I wanted to take a right.  There are merits to each path.  However being Sybil, there is no rational discussion; there is only obedience.  Immediately she started snapping at me with a raised voice.  To continue to prove her point she kept wanting me to agree that she was right.  Whatever.  This is not the hill on which I die.  Anyway, I went her way, and quietly stated, "You don't have to bite my head off."  Based Sybil's reaction, one would have thought I told her to go to hell.  She immediately pulled out her phone and started looking Facebook and would not speak anymore.  Nice way to depart.

I've texted her twice a day more for my sake so I can tell myself that I did not break contact.  No reply.  Ah well.

The interesting thing is that I've been having skin issues over the last 6 to 8 months.  Kind of an eczema thing: itchy, scaly patches on my ears and inflamed, itchy armpits (gross).  I was starting to think that I was allergic to my deodorant.  I changed deodorants to no avail.  Since Sybil has been gone, the patches have disappeared and the armpits have cleared by more that 50%.  It seems that I'm having physiological changes living with Sybil.  I know chronic stress can produce physical problems, but like all of my other denial issues, I've come to realize I am susceptible also.  No telling what is going on with my cardiovascular system.

I had already started eating better and working out 6 days a week.  Now, I know I need to improve my emotional health.

Sunday, March 05, 2017

I've Been in a Fog

Thanks to Anon I have been perusing the "Out of the FOG" site.  Between it and "A Shrink for Men", I have come to learn a lot.

I've been doing it wrong.  I thought I could somehow talk to Sybil as any other rational human being and somehow come to a consensus.  Talk about being in denial.  Between my own denial, her gaslighting (she talks about how I only think about myself to the point that started to believe it), and circular arguments, it has taken 23 years for me snap out it.  Whilst I do have my own personality issues (who doesn't), I can only accept 50% of the blame for the problems (may be eventual failure?) in our marriage.

When Sybil keeps saying that I need to woo her (while she admits to not meeting even close to half way) and even said I should "grovel" at her feet, I explained to her that I would only accept responsibility for my 50% and only worry about my 50%.  She has to worry about the other 50%.  Needless to say, Sybil did not like that one bit.  That statement did not even pierce through her consciousness.  Instead of accusing me of not loving her anymore, wouldn't a sane person wonder what happened?  What did that person do to make the other fall out of love?  My denial is over.

Over the course of nearly 24 years of marriage I have done two things wrong: did not demand being treated well and J.A.D.E.  Whenever Sybil became verbally abusive, I did not leave the room, I did not stop her and ask would you talk to a stranger that way, I did not put an end to the conversation by saying that I will not be talked to like that and will only continue the conversation after she regained control.  I did not demand respect and set boundaries.  I have started setting boundaries but it will cause more strife in the short term and may be end the marriage in the long term.  By not demanding respect, I have created a situation where I have taken on some of Sybil's mannerisms.  Kind of laying down with dogs and getting up with fleas.  I feel my own fuse become short, whenever she is yelling at me.  This is part of the 50% I have to work on.

The other thing I have done wrong is JADE  Justify, Argue, Defend, Explain.  This is very difficult for me.  Sybil is a very smart person, almost to the point of being cunning.  Because I know I am talking to an intelligent person, I get into a JADE state of mind and the circular argument begins.  There is no resolution, because Sybil does not want resolution and I keep trying to build that consensus with JADE.  If I were dealing with a rational person, JADE would be effective in ending the argument either with a consensus or an understanding to agree to disagree.  Nope.  We cannot seem to do this.  I must remember to not get stuck into a JADE loop because it only feeds Sybil's beast.

For most of my life I have been feeding the beast.  I just knew Sybil, who is smart and to some degree wise would come around.  Denial.  JADE.  I have to stop.  I know this may not turn out well.  However, the alternative is to continue being a fool.  No one will respect someone that "grovels" at their feet.  No one will respect someone that tries to woo without reciprocity (that's called stalking and is creepy).  No one respects someone that does not respect himself.  As things heat up and as Sybil threatens to nuke the marriage, I have done all I can do and keep my dignity.  If she nukes the marriage, SHE will have done so.  I have always said that I take the good with the bad.  By taking divorce off of the menu, I have taken away leverage.  However, that is how I have to have it.  If there is misery in the marriage, I am only responsible for only 50% of it.  Sadly, Sybil will never see that.