EQ, self-esteem, and exhaustion

I feel like this will not be my most coherent post, and yet, I need to share in the hopes that either getting it out will help or someone will respond in some way that makes me feel less alone.

What I’ve noticed is that those who cheat have little to no self-esteem.  Even if it comes off as arrogance or being the life of the party, they are doing it all to feel that others like them.  They feed off of the external ego kibbles and keep going back for more.  So in reconciliation, it is so very frustrating to live with a man who has suddenly realized who he was during those years and to see that he has so little self-esteem, when I always thought he had more than enough.  It is exhausting to wish I were married to someone who had the emotional intelligence of a 45 year old, when…I guess to be honest, it is more likely that of a teenager, and that is after a lot of therapy and work.  I am in a ball on my couch sobbing into the pillow, wishing and praying that I could wave a magic wand and just make him grow the fuck up.  The thing is that I can say it.  I can YELL it, but he can’t just make it so.  And friends I’m tired.  I’m so tired of carrying the load.  I’m tired of always doing the right thing and being the self-aware one and telling him what he might want to address in therapy because I cannot take another minute of it, and I certainly cannot do the work.  I know he is in there trying, but my God…how many years do I need to give up to this?  Will he ever be an adult emotionally?  Am I going to wake up one day and realize that this is as good as it gets because let me tell you, it is not enough!

I hope he never finds this blog because I know it would hurt him, and it is not my intention.  I do believe he is trying.  Yet he bounces back to his old coping mechanisms , and it triggers the hell out of me.  Lying about stupid things is still lying!  It still says something about you and your character.  What the heck?  Why bother lying?  I’m just wondering if there is anyone who stays and feels whole again.  Does anyone feel like they have seen such growth in their wayward spouse?  It’s been over two years and still (STILL!) there are lies and slips.  Still he is childish in his behavior and responses.  Still he cannot see when a comment I may make is out pain or my jealousy of those families that do not have to live with the pain of this scar.  I feel like this will be forever.  I feel like I may get moments of calm, but that I will never quite feel like I am living again.  I feel so sad for what I thought I had, for that fantasy world I apparently created in my head, where my husband loves me enough to tell another woman no.

Cheers to all of you still following this.  I’m having some Chardonnay tonight and trying to calm the pain and the deepest grief imaginable.  May you all feel some much-deserved peace.

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7 Responses to EQ, self-esteem, and exhaustion

  1. I would like to follow the comments here. A lot of what you said is how I feel. I’m not as far out as you, but I am hoping not to be in the same position by that time. But, I realize more and more that I probably will be.


  2. Amen Sister…I wouldn’t want to be found too.

    I still write my IF blog, but I don’t let the poles touch. (plus no IRL people know)

    Self-esteem you say? Yes, there is a great need for external validation. Something that my husband says all the time – “you don’t appreciate me.”

    I put in a service complaint for our internet connection which appeared to be wonky. It had been happening for a couple of days, and when the service guy came and checked, he realized that there was an actual issue with the wiring. He informed my husband, and DH was like – wow, there really was a problem. I hadn’t thought of it, but you did. Why I tell you this is because he is surprised that I caught the problem when he had not even thought of it. What IQ do I have? Peanut level?

    That incident is something from a series of points where I realized that me being correct, surprises my husband. Just like when I tell my daughter that if she continues to lift her head up a particular way, she would bang her head, and then she actually bangs her head.

    Here’s what I have realized. There is a self-esteem problem, and there is a problem on how they perceive others.

    My husband is the older of the two sons. His father is depressing and depressed. His mother is adept at the victim role. If not for the cultural rooting, this family would have separated a long while ago. My BIL is struggling financially and health-wise. My husband is expected to be the obedient son, shouldering lot of responsibility. He is a champ at office, and is smart, well dressed, a certified good guy. He is a looker, and that has been driven to him since whatever time. He is also struggling financially, and has two interests in life – food and sex, and those needs are not met to his expectation.

    But that is all external. That is what someone can pick up about him externally. Inside, he is insecure, dissatisfied, and fluctuates between superiority and inferiority complex. There is no universal low self-esteem in him. Context and people make him choose his state of mind.

    You would notice the same. There would be a certain cockiness that he would exhibit consistently on some issues.

    I also feel that our spouses either felt too clever about taking part in a scheme that was an adventure unlike any other and/or over-confident that they wouldn’t get caught. Whatever it is, what they did not factor in was you and me.

    I am insecure, bored. I never thought I would feel stuck in my life. If I hate a course, I can leave it. If I hate a college, I can quit. How do I walk out of something that involves not just me, but my kids too?

    That lying bit? Drive it into him. DRIVE IT! You know why teachers repeat some points again and again in a class? Reinforcement is a real thing.

    I have caught him lying (actually more a matter of omission, than commission), and I have started being point blank straight. Tell it to him on his face sans anger. The nagging wife gets a fee pass to nag…yay!

    Also, let him not be the only source of your information. Just be alert. That will tell you more about the extent of his remorse, and whether he is on the mend.

    I hope you are not drinking too much.


    • Well, thankfully, I don’t hear “you don’t appreciate me” or I might punch him. Shouldn’t we be the ones saying that?

      My H is not cocky now, though I believe he was…but he hid it. It was all of these thoughts in his head saying I needed him and would never leave. So yes, definitely a problem in how he perceived me. Since dday, though, I thought that had changed–maybe not completely but I have seen movement. I agree with insecure. It is like he cannot take others not liking him. Before all of this, he was the life of the party. The jokester. Now much of that is gone but underneath is still this need to be liked. He was taught to shove feelings and to “be private.” The damage that has done to him and now to me and our kids…I do have resentment.

      What you say about context and people is interesting. That makes a lot of sense if there is still so much external validation. Mine says it does not matter…yet I do not yet believe he is there. He still thinks others will not like him if they knew him…and as I recently told a friend, the sad part is that after all of this? That may become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

      I hate the lying. This recent incident was over something stupid. He admits he did not want me to be disappointed in him–as if lying will make me proud? It’s all exhausting.

      I’m ok. I’m a wine drinker and love the different tastes but I promise I’m conscious of the amount. Last night was more brownies with the kids than wine. I. Trying hard not to let this take over my life. As you said, feeling this stick is scary, and when I add the work situation, it’s overwhelming. Hugs to you, as we move forward on this journey.


  3. williexplode says:

    I would leave him. It never gets better. He could be processing faster than he is, but he doesn’t want to. He likes you doing the mental lifting for him. You are is mommy. He likes that. I would give my husband another year to grow, he would show a little improvement then another year he would regress, then show improvement, then regress…..20 years later I think he is farther behind than when we started. I’m glad he left when I confronted him. I just want some money now to start a new life. If you have money, get out.


    • Did he go to counseling? Groups?


      • williexplode says:

        No, he would not go, and probably most of all because I wouldn’t arrange it for him and hold his hand. I got him to go to a few financial counseling sessions but nothing that would address his “hidden demons.” I don’t want to rain on your parade. Hope is powerful and I wish you well. It’s just something I felt reading through your words. I can say, I would stay conscious of who is making the appointments, who is finding the doctors/counselors, who is reminding who of the appointments, and who blames whom when the appointment is missed/forgotten. Because for counseling to work, the person receiving the counseling has to be the one making sure it’s happening. I do wish you well though, and wish you free of anger and resentment.


      • Thank you. I appreciate that. He makes his own appointments and goes to counseling and group once a week. I will not control his recovery and will follow through with D if he stops.


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