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VIDEO: Validation -- encouraging peace in a "BPD" family Alan Fruzzetti Ph.D. provides an in-depth explanation of validating and invalidating communications and the importance of creating a validating environment for the entire family. This is a "must see" for any family that has a family member who has a highly sensitive personality or who may be suffering from BPD.

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Author Topic: Separation and anniversary  (Read 14363 times)
Annaleigh
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« on: April 21, 2011, 08:14:06 AM »

I asked H if he wanted to go on a weekend getaway, he said he'll give it some thought.  I got this email from H:

"I have conflicted feelings about celebrating our anniversary this year.  I enjoy very much going to new and romantic places with you.  However I’m not completely sure this is the right thing to do right now or does it send a confusing message right now given our situation.  How do you feel?  What are your thoughts?   I'm listening."

I replied that I was unclear on what he meant by confusing message and asked that he help me understand.  My thoughts are he doesn't want to celebrate our marriage when we are living apart since that seems weird.  It is weird.  I suppose he is unsure that he wants to stay married?

Thoughts? 


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shelldancer
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« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2011, 08:56:57 AM »

I went through something similar to this a few weeks back.  I moved out and am living with my parents and april 10th was our 1 year anniversary.  I wanted to celebrate our anniversary but my H didnt, since we were living apart ( im living apart from him for a few reasons you can read my other posts to see why).  He said its not a marriage if we are living apart why celebrate it.  I still went ahead and got him a really sweet gift ( he loves puzzles, so it was our wedding picture that i made into a puzzle) and asked if we could still see eachother that day.  I told him that I understood if he didnt want to celebrate our marriage due to our situation and that he didnt have to, but that i got him something small and would still like to see him that day.  I did end up going to the house and we had a simple dinner that we ordered in.  I think it made him feel that I actually DO care, even though im not living with him.  I feel if I didnt do anything that it would have some how blown up in my face. I dont know about your situation or why you are living apart, but perhaps your H feels that you are already "gone" since you are not living in the house.  I know my H feels since im not physically there with him, I am not there emotionally. So maybe tell your H that you understand if he doesnt want to celebrate your marriage bc your situation is confusing, but that you love him and want to spend time with him on your anniversary bc your marriage is important to you.  Or maybe ask him to go away a different weekend so spend quality time together and just enjoy eachother rather than focusing on an anniversary.

Not sure if this would help, but I thought I would put my two cents in since i went through this a few weeks ago.

Good luck
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FreeNclear
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« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2011, 09:47:35 AM »

Annaleigh,

I have felt your anxiety through your messages grow and grow over the last week and I feel for you.  I think you should just try something.  First, don't assume you know what his words mean.  (Because he likely doesn't really know--he is confused, like you are.)  Second, go out on a limb/be a person/try an experiment.  Tell him exactly how you feel.  Say, I'm sad at the current situation.  I was very hopeful when you said you would look into therapy.  Now I'm worried that you don't really want to, and I'm probably overinterpreting what you say.  I want to work on this, but "this" is both of us, and both of us have to work.  I don't want to guess how you feel anymore.  Can you tell me how you feel about this, and whether you are willing to work on it?

I usually get too wordy.  The less words the better.  He needs to hear that you are sad and afraid. 

Please hang in there.
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Annaleigh
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« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2011, 10:13:50 AM »

I went through something similar to this a few weeks back.  I moved out and am living with my parents and april 10th was our 1 year anniversary.  I wanted to celebrate our anniversary but my H didnt, since we were living apart ( im living apart from him for a few reasons you can read my other posts to see why).  He said its not a marriage if we are living apart why celebrate it.  I still went ahead and got him a really sweet gift ( he loves puzzles, so it was our wedding picture that i made into a puzzle) and asked if we could still see eachother that day.  I told him that I understood if he didnt want to celebrate our marriage due to our situation and that he didnt have to, but that i got him something small and would still like to see him that day.  I did end up going to the house and we had a simple dinner that we ordered in.  I think it made him feel that I actually DO care, even though im not living with him.  I feel if I didnt do anything that it would have some how blown up in my face. I dont know about your situation or why you are living apart, but perhaps your H feels that you are already "gone" since you are not living in the house.  I know my H feels since im not physically there with him, I am not there emotionally. So maybe tell your H that you understand if he doesnt want to celebrate your marriage bc your situation is confusing, but that you love him and want to spend time with him on your anniversary bc your marriage is important to you.  Or maybe ask him to go away a different weekend so spend quality time together and just enjoy eachother rather than focusing on an anniversary.

Not sure if this would help, but I thought I would put my two cents in since i went through this a few weeks ago.

Good luck

That is about the sweetest thing I ever heard, the puzzle and being so sweet to him.  I read your posts, it does sound like BPD to me, too.  Rough stuff!     I'm glad you found the site and I appreciate your response.  I was wondering if anyone else has dealt with separation and anniversaries.  It's comforting to know other people have made it through these difficult milestones.
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Annaleigh
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« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2011, 10:30:20 AM »

Annaleigh,

I have felt your anxiety through your messages grow and grow over the last week and I feel for you.  I think you should just try something.  First, don't assume you know what his words mean.  (Because he likely doesn't really know--he is confused, like you are.)  Second, go out on a limb/be a person/try an experiment.  Tell him exactly how you feel.  Say, I'm sad at the current situation.  I was very hopeful when you said you would look into therapy.  Now I'm worried that you don't really want to, and I'm probably overinterpreting what you say.  I want to work on this, but "this" is both of us, and both of us have to work.  I don't want to guess how you feel anymore.  Can you tell me how you feel about this, and whether you are willing to work on it?

I usually get too wordy.  The less words the better.  He needs to hear that you are sad and afraid. 

Please hang in there.

That is really good stuff and a great idea.

I'm shaky with the intensity of my feelings right now.  Mad at myself for bringing it up in the first place, I get a little wine in me and I'm spouting all sorts of "great" ideas to him.  rolleyes  Alkeehol gets me in trouble, I get all lovey and spouting, wouldn't it be nice to go to Pagosa Springs and check out the natural hot springs?  SHUT UP ANNALEIGH.

I'm so sick of the shifty sands situations I get myself in.  I know it's the innerchild trying a do-over from childhood.  Conditional love, abuse, unworthiness.  It's me recreating the old hurts and trying to fix them.  It's more than H, it's proving to them, see?  I am lovable!

Sick.   

Putting my worth and value into the hands of a person that has troubles managing his own emotions, let alone dealing with mine.

The sickness in me is trying to manipulate him into what I want (core wound) versus letting him feel however he feels.  Right?  His hurts are tied to invalidation.  He's got his own wounds that drive him the same way.

Old style - be hurt that he doesn't want me or love me.  Truth - he loves me.  Old style - I'm not worthy or of any value.  Truth - I deserve to be loved same as anyone else.  I have a right to my feelings and to be a person.

Screw those FOO lies.

Feeling better.  smiley
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FreeNclear
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« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2011, 12:26:43 PM »

I had to smile--I was literally shaky with this stuff last week and I have been drinking quite a bit.  One thing I've recently learned is NOT to try to talk about after drinking--never a good idea.  Just say no.  Anyway, also Pagosa Springs is one of my favorities!  I'll go with you!

More importantly--don't worry about what you've done wrong and why/where it came from.  Deal with that (or not) some other time.  Just move on from here.  Try not to make it more complicated than it needs to be.  Simplify.  I know, easier said than done.  I am the classic thinker/over-analyzer.  Doesn't help with this stuff. 
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lurchlookalike
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« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2011, 12:53:57 PM »

Ann,

From a man's point of view, and I don't know the details of your situation, celebrating your anniversary while you are separated would send a confusing message if it were me on the receiving end of the invitation, and I was receiving it from a partner who initiatied the separation. I think what your husband is saying is, "Do YOU want to stay married?". What he said sounds like a positive response from his side.
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Annaleigh
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« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2011, 12:55:37 PM »

Yeah, hot springs sounded interesting.  Last anniversary we were in a hot tub in Estes Park during a light spring snow.  There was a jazz festival that weekend in a park next door to our room.  Ten feet away from our door, was the river.  We explored the Stanley, you know the Shining hotel, that ghosthunter show van was there.  We snuck up to the third floor (not allowed but we pretended we were staying there) and took pics to see if we could capture the orbs on camera.  (Google orbs at Stanley hotel if you are interested on that)  

Ah well.

Year before that, we went to Seaworld.  H said, who goes on trips for anniversaries?  I said this anniversary isn't paper, it's killer whale.  I    Shamu.  Doing the right thing

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MaybeSo
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« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2011, 12:57:36 PM »

Quote
I replied that I was unclear on what he meant by confusing message and asked that he help me understand.  My thoughts are he doesn't want to celebrate our marriage when we are living apart since that seems weird.  It is weird.  I suppose he is unsure that he wants to stay married?

Quote
Thoughts?



You actually don't sound that unclear to me about your thinking in term of what he might have meant or what he might be feeling..your sentence following seems like a very good educated guess about what he might be feeling..."he doesn't want to celebrate our marriage when we are living apart since that seems weird.  It is weird." 

That is a validating or at least a pre-validating sentence. It addresses what he wrote to you, without any extra baggage.  That whole thought process was validating of him, until you questioned maybe he doesn't want to stay married.  That was a leap your own brain took, and kind of a scary one.  Here's one possible type of response that validates, gets your feelings on the subject out there, answers his question (he wants to know how you feel about it) and leaves the scary 'what if?' stuff out of it:

"I'm wondering if you are feeling a little uncomfortable or weird cause celebrating our anniversary when we are living apart...it is kind of wierd, isn't it?  Nevertheless, I find myself feeling like I would like to share that time with you, so that's how I'm feeling about it right now.  Let me know what you think/feel,  I'm listening too."

in a sentence like this...you queried and validated or at least pre-validated his feelings...and then shared your own feelings about it (which he asked for.)
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Annaleigh
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« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2011, 01:01:37 PM »

Ann,

From a man's point of view, and I don't know the details of your situation, celebrating your anniversary while you are separated would send a confusing message if it were me on the receiving end of the invitation, and I was receiving it from a partner who initiatied the separation. I think what your husband is saying is, "Do YOU want to stay married?". What he said sounds like a positive response from his side.

Not sure.  I want to follow the wisdom of stop assuming, understand more clearly.  What's hard for me is I tend to take things the wrong way.  My filter is sque'd or blocked.  ;p

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