Two Follow-Ups – Conflicting Counselors And Family Dynamics

Close your eyes - not happy

I will write these as a post since I am getting a ton of questions about both topics so rather than write the same response over and over I will put them on here.

Conflicting Advice From My Two Counselors.  

Almost all of you immediately jumped to the conclusion that it was about contact with the OW.  Well you would be correct.  I would like to contact her.  Yes, you read that right, I do want to contact her.  It is not to reminisce or catch up.  Actually it is to get an item of mine back.  I did not even remember she had it or how she got it to be honest.  It has a certain sentimental value unrelated to her.  I am afraid she would put it on Facebook for some stupid reason and then my wife would lose it all over again.

So obviously my marriage counselor would want me to involve my wife in this process.  This would be messy and complicated because she would be extremely upset and want to kill her.  My personal counselor recommended that I send her an email asking for it and setting up a neutral meeting place that it can be dropped off and I can get it without ever meeting her.  So while there is communication it is mundane and I would not see her.  Now if she contacted me back and wanted to start a conversation then my wife would be informed.  I obviously have issues with both sides.  I don’t want it messy, but I don’t want to hide anything either.

There is always a third option of doing nothing and lose the item, not something I want to do, but I could if it was the last resort.  I do not think she will want to talk with me or see me as she now has someone else, but she is a little crazy so you never know.

I think I know what I will do, but there has been a few other small things that did not exactly line up but I was able to figure it out.

Family Dynamics

My family is a very interesting subject and one that I am not real touchy on but it does bother me.  I don’t mind sharing it all but it has and probably always will bug me how I got to this point with them.  And to be clear I under no circumstances do I want to reconcile.

I grew up in a very strict Mormon household.  When I mean strict, I mean extremely strict.  For example we were required to get up as a family and have family prayer at 5:30am every day.  We would then read from the scriptures for 30 min.  If I did not get up I was grounded to my room for the day without food.

I am the middle child.  I have 6 brothers and sisters.  3 of each, spread out over maybe 20 or so years.  I am not sure because I honestly do not know anyone in my families ages or birthdays. My dad was always somewhat abusive as well as my older siblings.  I think they took most of their aggression that was directed at my father out on me.  Why me?  Well, my younger sister was only a year younger than me and then there was a big gap.  So it was me or her and since you don’t hit girls I got the short straw.

The two oldest siblings are my older sisters, but both moved out by 16.  It was always with fireworks and it was never pleasant when they came around.  I do not remember much about my childhood and I really think that is for the best.  Here are some of the few moments I do remember that may give you an idea of the environment I grew up in.

Around 2nd grade my dad quit his job and spent the families life savings on starting his own business.  It was a medical billing company in a town that had 1 hospital, 1 clinic (related to the hospital) and 2 dentists.  There was never going to be much of a demand for this service.  So it went under rather quickly.  He was unemployed for pretty much the rest of the time I have known.  He would get a job every now and then but it would never last long because he is just creepy (really creepy).  He did join the national guard so he did make a little money.  My mom worked at a hospital about 40 min away.  She probably made $30,000.  So our family of 9 had to live on that.  We lived in a 3 bedroom home that was filthy.  The bathroom always smelled like urine and the floor was falling in.  You could literally see through it to the basement.

 Some of my memories

When I was 5  or 6 I was supposed to help my dad change the tire on the car.  I was asked to picked up a cinder block only to drop it on my pinkey toe.  I remember it was smashed to bits.  Solution:  soak in salt water.  Sad thing is I did it again trying to move the blocks in the garage a few weeks later to the other foot.  Now my pinkie toes are tiny.  I was also grounded to the house for the issue.

I had to get my first set of stitches because my two sisters picked me up when I was about 7 or 8 and each held a arm and leg and swung me face first into a table.  It knocked the roots of my front teeth through my gums.  I had to get them pushed back in and stitched up.  Everyone asks me if it was an accident, but it definitely was not.

My brother pushed me out of a swing because he was angry at me.  I broke my arm.  Not a big deal but my parents lied about it and made me lie about it to the doctors since I was a frequent visitor.

My sisters boyfriend put me in a choke hold until I passed out when I was 10.  It was for entertainment for the family.  They all thought it was hilarious.  Me not so much.

I was never allowed to go to the dentist, however, my siblings did and ever got braces.  I never quite figured out that one.

My father used to beat me with a belt for any discretion.  One time I decided to put a book in my pants.  I laughed so hard while he was doing it that I cried.  He thought I was crying because it hurt.  I got away with it for a while until I told my brother, who told my dad.  I was then beat without pants from then on.

For a while they tried the ‘put your nose in the corner discipline’, the only problem was I was put there for hours.  The good part I was able to teach myself to fall asleep standing up.

My brother used to beat me up constantly until I figured enough was enough.  We got into a fight when I was a freshman and he was a senior.  I put he head through a wall and then pile drove his head into our wood floor from standing on the couch.  He never touched me again.  Of course I moved out not long after, so it really did not matter much.

I am not religious and did not like it growing up even though my family was close to fanatical .  We had church 5 days a week and if I did not want to go then I was given tons of chores and not allowed to sleep until they were done.  I was also restricted to the house, which I already described.  I remember times I would fall asleep doing dishes at 3 am.  I would wake up when my face hit the water.  This is obviously one reason I have such an issue with religion.

During the summers and weekends, I would leave after prayer and reading and not come back until dark.  I did not want to be there ever. I know pretty every inch of the city I grew up in.  Once everyone was in bed I would crawl out my window and spend more hours wandering the town.

My family was all very into band, choir, and drama.  I was not.  I liked sports.  All types of sports but I was not allowed to play anything.  Eventually I was allowed to play soccer because it was $10.00 or something like that.  I never stopped playing.  I figured out how to sign up for other things and I would just walk or get rides to all the events.  My mom was the only one that was mildly supportive.  She at least would come to an event or two.  I was rated number 2 in our state in cross country and in track as a sophomore.  I was an extremely gifted athlete.  Any sport I picked up I was good at.  It was just a natural escape from reality for me.  I would practice day and night for whatever sport was in season.

When I got into high school I was very smart.  I also over thought everything.  My friends would drink, smoke, do pot but I never did any of it.  Not once.  Why?  I studied the effects those things had on young growing bodies.  So I would wait until I was supposed to drink.  I waited until I was 21.  In high school, I was the driver and clean-up guy.  My older brother and sister would drink and drive, smoke, steal, you name it they did it.  Even my brother spent time in Juvie, which he enjoyed compared to home.  Well my parents would tell all our relatives how disappointed they were in me because of my bad habits.  I was a drunk who smoked and stole.  They would have these conversations right in front of me.

I think one of the last things that happened before I moved out was my dad was fighting with me (I was 15, 5′ 7″, 100lbs; he was 6′ 3″, 250ish) because I refused to get up for prayer that morning.  He told me I was not allowed to leave the house.  So I was in the basement and I was fed up.  I told him I was leaving as I went up the stairs he was coming down to keep me in my room.  I grabbed him and was pushing him back up the stairs, (he was not an athletic 250) while he was hitting me.  I had got him to almost the top when he let up a little then pushed hard.  My mom had snuck up behind me and took out my legs.  I tumbled down our stairs.  I was lucky I did not break my neck.  I went back in my room and left out the window.  I did not come back for weeks, nor did they care.

I was required by my family to buy my own graduation invitations.  I did not want to go to my own graduation.  I really fought it but eventually gave in because I could leave after for a party when it was all over.  So I bought invitations and sent them to all my relatives.  At my three older siblings all my relatives within driving distance came for them.  I had everyone of my relative declined to attend.  Everyone…

When I asked my wife to get married when I was 18 she made me tell my parents.  I did not want them at the wedding at all.  I fought her hard and told her she did not know them and they needed to be left out.  She thought I was blowing things out of proportion and that I needed to be the bigger person.  So we sat them down and told them we were getting married.  I remember the shock on my moms face and my dad saying in a very sarcastic tone “Well, that will be a big step for you!”.  They then got up and left without saying another word. My wife was slightly put back by it, but still wanted them at the wedding.  My father called all my relatives on both sides of the family and told them my wife was pregnant so we had to get married.  At the wedding they kept asking her about it.  She quickly figured out they were not people we wanted in our lives.  It still took a few more thing for her to get it completely but this is what I grew up with.

 More Recently

When my third child was born we were actually living close to where I grew up.  We had him at the hospital my mom worked at but never told her.  However, she ran the lab and saw the blood work come across her desk.  How did they respond?  They called and asked for his birthday so they could complete their genealogy.  Not, hey how is he and your wife doing?  Not, what is his name (we did not name him until the hour before we left the hospital)?  They already had his birth date from the lab work.  I think it was a “hey we know about it.  you couldn’t hide it.”

They continue to send emails, letters, voice mails, every so often (a few years apart) that are just guilt ridden.  Only once have ever they asked how they can be more involved in our lives, but I was beyond communicating with them by that point.

As for my siblings, they all had slightly different experiences.  My younger siblings did not have as negative environment because my older siblings were gone and my dad was not as abusive.  He still was but not as harsh.  I have nothing in common with any of them.  All my older siblings have gone back and lived with my parents years later.  They reconciled and now are all a happy family (I almost threw up writing that).  I have absolutely nothing in common with any of them.  They all are part of my parents life, which is fine if that is what they want.  That is fine they all got a different experience and I now control my life and I do not want any of them part of it.  As I mentioned before my kids met them when my wife thought we needed to stop by on at least Christmas (which is a holiday I cannot stand).  After two or so visits my kids asked to never go back.  They wanted nothing to do with them.

My younger brother actually lives an hour from me and has never tried to come up here.  My parents flew out a couple years ago and never stopped or asked to stop by.  They drove through about 4 years ago on the way to see my sister, again no contact.  I was actually grateful because we were trying to figure out how to be out of town during that time.

My wife’s mother admitted when we first had kids she was terrified about what type of father I would be but she says she cannot believe how exactly opposite I am to my parents.  I am patient, I make all my kids feel valued and important, and especially when they were young I gave them a same environment that they could grow and flourish.  Whenever I did not know what to do about a parenting situation I would think what would my parents do and then do the exact opposite. I am not kidding on that.  The funny thing is all my wife friends will call and have her ask me parenting questions, from dealing with preteens, teen, to toddlers.

I have a lot of these stories as this is just the tip of the iceberg, I could go on and on.

Hopefully this will give you some insight into my world.

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About bac4sccr

I am just a run of the mill, ever day father/husband who is just trying to navigate my way back to where I want to be. Unfortunately there isn't an "Easy" button or a "Reset" button or I would be hitting them repeatedly. This is just my journey from my perspective.
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13 Responses to Two Follow-Ups – Conflicting Counselors And Family Dynamics

  1. Your childhood is one that no child should ever have to experience. You beat the odds and become a better parent because of it and that is a big task that you should be proud of. You have been a great father to your children and at the end of your life that is all that will matter. Your provided a stable upbringing for your kids and they have a father that they can count on and know will always be there for them.

    As for the OW I can’t help but wonder that if she found someone else quickly to help her move on from you. Maybe the pain of missing you was too much. Maybe your words to her that your relationship with her was over and you were staying in your marriage made any hope of having you back in her life was over. Maybe you meant so much that she let you go as you requested and is doing everything in her power to survive and move forward in her life because you have chosen not to have her in yours. This isn’t the way I would mourn a loss like that, but we all deal so differently. Don’t disregard or doubt her feelings. Trust your intuition and you will never go wrong. Everything happens for a reason. This OW came into your life for some reason. Whether it was to save your marriage or help you grow in a way that you would be strong enough to move on in your life and future. I’m not sure how you feel about the OW. Maybe she’s wrong for you, but maybe she’s right. Just maybe your timing is off. I wish you the best. Affairs happen when things are broken. Also, affairs do happen to good people. Sometimes good people are lost and need direction.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. castleblocs says:

    I would agree with the marriage counselor. Any contact with the OW, for any reason, needs to be carried out with your wife’s full knowledge and involvement in the process. I can understand wanting to avoid the “mess” that may come of it, but really, this is the bed you made. Don’t lie, don’t cover-up, don’t deceive, don’t omit, don’t do a single thing behind her back. No matter how bad your marriage was or may be, no matter what your wife did or failed to do that you feel led you to the affair, she absolutely does not deserve anything other than complete honesty and transparency, even if it’s likely to cause her pain.

    As to your upbringing, oh my gosh. My heart breaks for you and the carefree childhood you never experienced. You are a remarkable person to have come away from it with such resolve and insight to be a different parent than what was modeled for you. Your children are so fortunate to have you as a father. I know you’ve put the events behind you, but have you dealt with the lingering feelings? The connection between feeling unloved, unwanted, unworthy as a child, and feeling undervalued as a spouse, seems to be the elephant in the room.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Bugsmetwo says:

    Thank you for sharing your historical hurt with your readers. I know that can be painful. Escaping that reality is quite difficult. I am very glad you have not repeated the history and are a great father to your children instead!

    Like

  4. “There is always a third option of doing nothing and lose the item, not something I want to do, but I could if it was the last resort.”

    It is your last resort. Now. You had this item and want it back. Your wife WANTed a faithful husband, and you actually promised that to her… then crushed her psyche through endless mental and emotional pancaking. The floors are still collapsing onto each other, in her soul. You’ve lost a sentimental item and want it back… too bad. That’s called a consequence. You don’t need to contact the OW for ANYTHING, ever. EVER. The item is gone… but you have your wife, for now. She should clearly be the preferred option.

    Weigh that in your mind: Getting back a somewhat sentimental item? OR… not driving yet another stake into your wife’s already-fragile-because-of-your-actions-against-her Psyche? I’d think that, as a remorseful husband who hopefully *loves* his wife now, instead of just “taking care of things” (doing for her from love and not just respectful and tidy obligation), the wellness of your wife would rate higher on the sentimentality scale than this Item.

    Liked by 5 people

  5. I too came from an abusive household and I am amazed by your resilience and strength. It takes a lot of courage to survive what you did in the way you have. Like castleblocs I would encourage you to explore how your childhood continues to affect you. I had thought that I had overcome it and no longer was affected, but the past few years have shown me how I continued to think I deserved less than others. Have you heard of CODA? It is a twelve step group that could help you work through those feelings of worthlessness. A sense of worth has to come from within. Your wife can’t give it to you. How could she if you never believe her or cannot let such a message in because of how you were treated as a child? At least this is what I have had to learn in my life. My husband, no one really, can make me feel anything. My sense of worth has to come from within myself, from a sense that no matter what I do wrong, I am a worthwhile and lovable person. And I’m no more or less worthwhile than anyone else. This has been a difficult lesson. I am so used to doing the one up/one down thing (that person is better or worse than me because they’re prettier or less intelligent, etc.).

    As for contact with the OW, I would say that the potential for pain on all parts, that of your wife, the OW, yourself, and even your kids (kids are so sensitive and they can and probably have picked up on some of the stress between you and your wife), may be too great to risk unless that item is extremely important to you and your life. If it is that important then you must keep your wife informed of every move and message before you do it, and reassure her of your love and affection at every step along the way.

    This is a tough situation and I believe your strength and resilience and intelligence will see you through again. I understand your distress though. It is perfectly reasonable to feel that way given what you’ve been through. I would encourage you also to have compassion for yourself. If you had a buddy who was going through something like this, how would you treat him and what would you tell him? It’s probably not as harsh as the things you tell or how you treat yourself.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. poslaw says:

    Let the item go. Let it all go. You don’t need it.

    As for the rest… I, too, am estranged from my entire family. My children do not know them. It’s better this way. I’m better this way. So, you have my empathy. Respect.

    Like

  7. I read your post early this morning and I’ve given it some thought. I also think that you need to let the item go.

    First, I would imagine that this request would not be well received from OW. If B contacted me for that purpose, I would be angry. I had a similar circumstance. B had given me an item of great sentimental value. I could not bear to have it in my house any longer. I returned it to him without making direct contact. For whatever reason, it angered him. He texted co-worker A and verbally assaulted her. His response was very hurtful to both her and I.

    Second, I would really consider your reasons for wanting to contact OW. I think (and I could be totally off base here) that you are really angry with her and that asking for this item back may be hurtful. You are hurting and therefore want to hurt her in return. It’s a natural human emotion. When I contact B a month ago, afterward I took some time to really consider what my intentions were. I did have unconscious intentions. I wanted to poke him. I wanted to hurt him a little bit as I have been hurting. I didn’t want him to forget me.

    Third, I also agree that if you chose to contact OW, your wife needs to be aware. Secrets will put the nails in the coffin so to speak.

    I’m so sorry for your childhood. Hearing the story helps me understand why you are so against the religion. I don’t blame you one bit.

    Best of luck to you.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. BecHanson says:

    Personally I think there’s nothing you need that badly and you’re just using this ‘item’ as an excuse. Stop contact with OW for everybody’s sake. If you are really trying with your wife you will stop thinking about OW too.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hearing horror stories of child abuse opens this world of rage in me, rage and sorrow. I’d hate to think what your parents’ parents were like to have created such monsters. It’s wonderful to know that that kind of nightmare chain can be broken.

    Like

    • bac4sccr says:

      All growing up I kept a list of things I would never do when I had kids. It just kept growing and growing. The rest of my family did not follow my path but I am glad I have changed for my kids. They are happy and loved and know it.

      Liked by 1 person

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