Marriage work

I read the recent two part question/answer of “My husband is ignoring me” (telling the husband that she just wanted to have sex when she felt like it and in the past had done it when she didn’t want to), and I was amazed at how similar the last couple of weeks have been for me. (I also had this discussion with my husband, which did not end positively.) I was tracking with everything, yet I noticed she didn’t include any past/history stuff, which was interesting to me. It struck me that it is likely that my main feeling is resentment over the past instead of focusing on the present. However, I’m not totally sure that the past isn’t relevant for me. Over the course of our 13 year marriage, my husband has consistently attempted to manipulate me emotionally (regarding sex and other things – and I’ve let myself be manipulated), been dependent on me emotionally, had very specific expectations of me with very real consequences if I didn’t meet them. (I would put these in the thought line, but he agrees that these things have happened, so I think they’re circumstances?) These things still happen (with less frequency). I have let myself feel a lot of sadness, pain, and grief over what I thought was going to be a healthy marriage. This month, with all of the daily homework, I’m realizing that I can feel differently. I’m still sad about the marriage, but have a lot of joy in other areas of my life. What I’m not sure of is how to move forward in my relationship with my husband. I want to hold ground for myself – my own emotional health and happiness. In the middle of that I’m not sure how to address what he wants addressed (SEX). I attempted (briefly) to try on this other scholars new model thought of “I’m never too tired for this sexy man”, and it’s not even close to being in the realm of believable for me.

There are many facets to our relationship that I have done models on; they seem to be compartmentalized. Do I just keep at it, adding in another intentional model about sex (going to need to start with a bridge thought), and keeping the thoughts/areas of our marriage separate? I hope this makes sense.

Here’s an example of one area I’m working on:

C – husband
T – If I don’t do what he wants, he’ll always be unhappy
F – Pressure
A – retreat, hide
R – distance in marriage

C – husband
T – his feelings are independent of my actions
F – Neutral
A – I can live my life in freedom
R – personal contentment

Thanks for the homework this month. I’m realizing a lot of things about the connection between my thoughts and feelings.