How do you even begin to approach someone with the possibility that they were/are abused when you love them immensely and know how enmeshed they are in a covert relationship? I think I get that this will be my problem based on prior reactions but I am at a total loss of what would be a reasonable action. How much will this effect my family in the long run? Am I waiting something out or a fool to want the best for my marriage and children? I cannot imagine my life without my marriage but the pain is pretty deep. I worry about my kids and what they learn and I just want a deeper intimacy with my husband. He is a wonderful man...I'm just tired of being a second class citizen
Post by strongenough on Oct 26, 2010 19:54:44 GMT -8
Hi gofigure, All I can tell you is the topic has to be raised. I'm not sure what's going on in your situation but I'll share mine with you. My BF (5 years) is enmeshed with his adult-daughter. I didn't know what I was dealing with in the beginning so communication was tough, since the message I was sending wasn't clear even to myself. I'll have to suspect you are being hurt by that relationship, and I will also have to guess that it won't stop unless you stop it. He has to be made aware. I would suggest seeing a therapist (solo) for support on how to approach this. The important thing is to realize his defensiveness has no reflection on how the two of you feel about each other. It also has no reflection on you or your character. You MUST take care of yourself and your children first. I have left my BF many times, especially when he told me, outright, that I was trying to come between he and his daughter. Absurd, but his defenses made me question myself. DO NOT question your gut feelings on what you know to be healthy. You can have patience without giving up your authenticity. Your husband's feelings are real, albeit unhealthy, they are still real. They need to be validated, you must validate your own feelings as he is probably not capable. You're going to have to be the adult and the listener, not to mention, the advocate and teacher of healthy relationships. He simply doesn't know what that is supposed to look like, but trust me, he deeply wants "real" love. Remember that he believes in the other kind of love he's been taught and most likely fears abandonment. This change you're trying to promote in him will be painful for both of you, but you can expect emotional growth for yourself as well! Start with inquiring as to why you were attracted to this person in the first place. I suggest the book, "Getting the love you want" by Harville Hendrix Ph.D..
This type of relationship is passed down through generations. My BF is an adult child of an alcoholic and was/is enmeshed with his family as well. This is a work in progress and still painful on many occasions as he still falls back into denial and resorts to lying, or withholding, in order to continue enabling his daughter. It is very much an addiction in my opinion. He is currently seeing a therapist solo, and we are seeing an Imago couple's therapist. It's still a tough, uncertain, tangled road.
You will always be second until he learns to tell the difference between a partner and a parent, or in my BF's case, being a partner and being a parent. Our therapist clarified it to my BF as such: "She wants to be at the head of the table with you, not on a committee."
Here are some of my BF's symptoms: Avoidance A pleaser fear of abandonment fear of intimacy (exposing his true feelings, sexual wants/needs) fear of commitment Can't identify his own wants/needs He's needy/clingy yet fears being trapped/smothered Jealous The list goes on...