Need advice from a female

by CADSkin 50 Replies latest social relationships

  • mamochan13

    CADskin - It's great that you are so sensitive to how your wife is feeling. I agree with FHN that setting her up with exercise/gym/fitness may well reinforce the idea that she is somehow less attractive - unless she herself initiates it.

    Here's my perspective, as a psychologist (I think Ballistic was heading that way). I don't know how long ago you quit drinking, but there is a phenomenon related to family systems theory that occurs when dramatic change happens in a relationship. Every aspect of a family relationship is part of a system and tries to work itself into a state of homeostasis, or balance. When something throws that balance off, whether good or bad, every part of the system must adapt. If one member of the family is the "sick" one, every other part of the family adapts to maintain the status quo, good or bad. You were a different person when you were in a band, drinking, ignoring your family. Now you are sober and responsible. Your wife was accustomed to her role managing the family, life, relationships, finances, etc. etc. when you were not there (but there). By becoming sober you've displaced some of that responsibility, and in a way, you've unsettled her. She knew how to manage life when you were drunk. She's less certain how to do it now that you are sober. Her self-confidence has been shaken because you are healthy and well - as bizarre as that might seem. You are no longer the "sick" member, and your wife is struggling to adapt to the new family system.

    The key is finding a new systems balance. Talk to her and ask what you can do to make her feel good about herself again. For a long time she was responsible for you and the kids and managing a home without your support. Perhaps now it's college, or volunteering, or who knows what? But you both need to learn how to work within the parameters of your new relationship. Counselling with a therapist familiar with family systems theory could do wonders.

  • CADSkin

    Thanks Mamochan. This makes a lot of sense. I too felt this was a “toilet seat up” type problem and things went a little deeper than simple jealousy/self esteem issues. I know change is not something she has an easy time with. So here’s our experience with therapy. I’m more of a proponent of the process than she is. We started in couples therapy about 2 years ago. The therapist we had was crap. She would yawn the whole time and talked like you would a friend and not a professional. This being our first venture into therapy we came to the conclusion that she was just trying to make us feel comfortable and that was more of a style and not just a crap therapist. About a month in she was doing her usual yawning feigning interest thing when she says “Sorry I’m so tired today. The couple in here before you guys bored me to death. The husband wouldn’t stop talking about stupid airplanes. I wouldn’t want to stay with him either.” That’s when my wife stopped believing in therapy. I went back myself and had a wonderful therapist who really helped me break down my life’s path and for the first time really work on my issues instead of drinking them away. My wife really needs therapy but I have a tough time convincing her that it works. She sees the difference in me but that’s not enough to convince her to go even though she’s suffering through pretty heavy depression.

  • tiki

    I think the issue isn't really weight - it is self-esteem. Your wife has been totally wrapped up in raising the kids and has devoted so much of herself to that, that she's left nothing for herself. Rather than focus on diet/exercise, I would help her to develop a latent talent, invest in a new career or different job choices - and help her to see herself in a new light. That will help her to want to be her best, and "best" is not defined by body mass index, weight, or what/how we eat or exercise.

    You have found an outlet which keeps you from the beer - but someone pointed out that it could be that you simply replaced one behavior with another. Granted the exercise is better for you, but you shouldn't need to have to go to extremes to stay away from the booze. You should simply want to for health reasons - a a few now and then isn't going to kill you - unless you really have an alcohol addiction. We all know exercise can become an addiction too, perhaps some rethinking would be a good thing all around?

  • CADSkin

    Tiki: I agree it's a self esteem/ at a crossroads issue. She is very interested in photography and is going to dip into the college world with a photography class. I'm very supportive of this. Thankfully my career makes enough that she doesn't really need to work and can go to school or do whatever she wants to in life. I just think that she's trying to figure out what.

    I'm a very obsessive person. It's just my personality. When I surfed it was every morning. When I bought records it was all I did (I have about 4000 soul records). When I want to play a new instrument it's practice for 4 hours a day until I have it down. When I drank it was all I did. The flipside is that when I don't drink I know I never will give in to temptation as long as I have something else. Addicted or strong willed or stubborn or driven are all words to describe whether my current obsession is a positive or a negative influence on my life. I have a very large extremely artistic family. Our gene pool of mental problems can fill a book. Lots of drugs a few suicides all eccentric.

  • diana netherton
    diana netherton

    I tend to agree with Lisa Rose...I was raised as a JW and I have battled my weight pretty much

    all of my life, managing to get it under control in my mid-twenties. I found that the exercise made

    me feel better, hence, my self-esteem was brought up. But you've got to realise this isn't just

    your problem. You can't make someone work out or eat healthier or less portions. It sounds like

    your wife may be suffering from a bit of depression and perhaps going to her GP to discuss her

    options might work. Prozac did wonders for me. :)

    I have been dating a wonderful man for two years...when we go out, he notices the looks that

    I get from other men but he is confident in our relationship and I make it clear that I am not

    interested in anybody else...ever. That's the best you can do to deal with the insecurity..and

    believe me, I've been there.

    It sounds like you're a great husband. There should be more like you.

    Good luck.

  • jgnat

    She's working out her demons in her own way. There's nothing you can do to fix her. You've found a way to work out your own demons, kudos. I'd have harsh words for the brazen women who flirt with you in front of your wife.

  • problemaddict

    Hey CAD. The nice thing about things in the past, is that the influence of those things is all in your head. You know what I mean by that? The actual act, pain cause, or whatever it was....already happened. Sicne time only moves in one direction, and it isn't "happening" now, you have a chance to realize that, chose your life the way it is, and be freed from these things you seem like you are still tied to.

    You and her need to have a conversation about sensative things. You need to get complete some issues she may have with you in the past. You may need to confront her about her phisicality (if it is important to you). You just need to have some hard conversations.

    The tricky part is picking a time when both of you are ready mentally to deal with reality.

    Consider what I said though. When you act with integrity in your life, and bad things happen, you get those things taken care of and you get your integrity back. Those things cannot afffect you anymore unless you allw them to. In a very metaphysical way, the things you still treat as real, as issues, and as a legacy, are that simply because you continue to treat them that way.

  • CADSkin

    Diana: Same experience I had. Exercising just makes me feel happier. She told me last night she plans on going back to our old gym at the YMCA. She wants to go to the same gym I do but doesn’t feel comfortable to work out with me yet. I know this will help with her depression.

    Jgnat: It makes her feel so bad about herself. I cringe anytime it happens and have been downright rude to women who do it. It still knocks her down though. We’re so close that there’s no way anyone could assume that we’re not together. There’s no one on this planet who I have 100% confidence loves me more than her.

    That reminds me of a Chris Rock stand-up skit about the difference between men and women who see a friend in a great relationship

    The Guy: He seems really happy. I hope to find someone like that someday.

    The Girl: She seems really happy. I want him!

    Problemaddict: I think we’ve both done a good job of moving on. I of course still have guilt. I think she’s beautiful. I always have. Her weight isn’t an issue for me at all. Thankfully we have a good enough relationship that we can talk about most anything. We both like going clothes shopping together but she always takes back everything she buys while I’m at work. She’s just uncomfortable in her own skin.

  • QueenWitch

    didn't read previous posts but maybe the issue is hormornal like thyroid. I'm in a depression most days, hard to lose weight, no motivation, low energy, no sex from husband, etc. Several drs say the same thing - exercise, diet, anti depressants. When the issue is chemical/hormonal, nothing works except the proper treatment. I will be going to an endocrinologist to see if I get better results. Once the mind is happy, everything will fall in place.

    PS It sounds like you are doing everything you can to support her. My husband just doesn't get it.

  • CADSkin

    Queen Witch: I know she did have low thyroid in the past and it leaves her very lethargic. What I've learned as a husband is that most guys see a problem or break down that their wife is going through and they immediately want to come up with a solution because in guy world every problem has a solution. More often than not their wife just wants support on the decision they've already made. I to try and help her get the obstacles out of the way without ever giving my opinion. Last night the kids were freaking out, a friend of hers said something hurtful and she was just not in a good place. I took the kids outside for a bonfire and just let her cool off. When we went to bed I just very simply asked her if she was OK. This morning she said to me "Thank you. You couldn't have said a more perfect thing." I didn't have a solution. I just checked on how she was holding up. It takes a long time to learn that trick.

Share this