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hoping

Relapsed Thinking

7 posts in this topic

Started learning a song, it is about a man not bringing flowers to a woman anymore or singing her love songs. I think at first, it was a song that I could relate to, then I decided somewhere that it would be a good song for my husband and I to sing. I didn't ask him to sing it with me, but was hoping he would. I then decided to sing it around him as a hint or manipulation that I wanted him to buy me flowers and sing me love songs. After all why would he think anything, since he doesn't seem to get what I say or want. Yeah right, What was I thinking? I was serious at the time until it didn't work as I had planned. He started singing the song with me, but he changed the words and  told me he suggested another song for me to learn, since that one was sad and they were ending their relationship. He said that my granddaughter brings me flowers and that this song was making him feel guilty about not bringing me flowers. He ask me in a round about way why I was singing this song, did it have a significance to me, but he said it in a defensive, angry way, so I was afraid to say yes.  So, I  ask him if he meant ever song he sang.  To me, he seemed as if he was saying, how dare I ask him for flowers and love songs after all he does for me. When he got angry, I realized It wasn't going to work and the reason is  the same one that we have with our marriage, and that is, he is abusive and he thinks differently than me. I was hoping he would get it and say do you want me to buy you flowers and sing you love songs? I would say yes and he would do it.  I somehow thought magically that if he sang this song with me, and got what I was telling him and bought me flowers and sang me love songs he would be a different person. As they say, I was putting the cart before the horse.  I thought by changing a part of him, I could change the whole person. I couldn't change that part of him because it comes from his core. What I mean is that the way I wanted him to reply and treat me is either not the way he thinks about things or he doesn't want to be like that.

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Yes, both. He doesn't think about things like that, and he doesn't want to be like that.

I know that song. It is sad, about a relationship drifting apart. (Barbra Streisand and Neil Diamond - the history behind the duet is really interesting. Evidently they had each recorded it, and some DJ somewhere edited the two together to make it sound like a duet and that version became popular, so they did it as a duet.)

Anyway...;)  I digress. Hoping, yes, I can well relate to the hope that an abuser (or anybody) will pick up on a hint of something I need. It's really hard to live that way. But it usually doesn't work. That's a sort of passive way to try to get your needs met.

I think this is a complicated topic - for me, it began with trying to "self-talk" myself and repeating phrases like "My Needs Matter" - "I Matter" - over and over again. Trying to re-program myself that my needs matter just as much as anyone else's.  

The reason for doing that is because it helps in the next phase, which is learning to express my needs and desires more directly. Now, with abusers it's usually futile and sometimes brings consequences to do so - but that is their reaction. It's not because you have done anything wrong.

I have to say, it's taken a long time to become more comfortable with saying, "I want"... "I need" .... "Would you please help me by...."   With my partner, he's not like yours so with the exception of certain topics, it's become easier for ME to express myself. (Because to be honest my inability was something that was conditioned into me pretty much since babyhood.)

I guess what I'm saying is, there's something to be learned here about expressing needs and desires. Yes, with an abuser, if you say, "I wish you'd send me flowers once in a while - it really helps me feel cared-for" that might get a bad reaction. But the reaction is not because you expressed the desire. It's because yeah, like he said, he is in a mindplace where he gets angry because he feels like you're putting him on a guilt trip. Because it's all about him, him, him.

To be honest? I've given up on flowers and gifts unless they are given from the heart. If someone does things for me because they feel obligated, it is hollow and doesn't make me feel cared-about. In fact, I just got rid of some flowers on Friday that came from a disingenuous place (at work, but still, from jerkholes).  They remind me of how much b.s. they are. So flowers or gifts or things like that - to me, the "place" they come from is all-important.

If he gave you flowers because he felt guilty and because you told him you wanted them so he'd be following a "playbook" basically - it may not feel very good anyway. Then he'd be able to get angry that he "gave you what you wanted and you still aren't happy." Blah blah blah.

I get what you're saying, and it's sad. :(  I just went off on some tangents there. 

I think what you really want is someone who cares enough about you to give you flowers.  Not for some jerkhole to give you flowers because you ask for them and he thinks it might shut you up. I'm just guessing here, but that's one perspective.

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Mine gives me flowers to make me feel guilty. And sings love songs to make me want to stay. But then the abuse will happen again eventually. Two ends of the spectrum from hovering to neglect. *hugs*

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clurichaun

Yes, you are right. Two ends of the spectrum. I told him in the past that I didn't want flowers, if he was giving them to make up for something. After I started hating the way he was treating me on a regular basis, not just the few times he was really bad, I told him I didn't want flowers at all. I didn't tell him it was because I realized flowers wouldn't mean anything since he continued to be abusive to me. I'm not sure at that time I knew it was abuse, I just knew I didn't like the way he treated me. So, anyway he started treating me better, and for some reason, I thought now the flowers and love songs would make a difference. Later, I realized that I had relapsed in my thinking and that I somehow thought it would make a difference. I must have thought he had changed a lot and that he was now different.

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Quaddie

Yes, you expressed how I feel very well. I had given up on wanting flowers from him, and because he was being nicer, somehow thought he was different. I want flowers or whatever someone buys or gives me from the heart too. He did send me a picture of flowers on facebook. I ask him why he sent them and he said he didn't have money to spend on them, so he sent them on facebook. I hope he meant well, but I don't know.

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On 5/1/2017 at 5:30 AM, hoping said:

 I thought by changing a part of him, I could change the whole person. I couldn't change that part of him because it comes from his core.

And herein lies the problem. My big lesson of 2016 is that I can't change him. I can only change me. I can change how I react to him. 

Also, guys don't GET hints or like hints. If you want something (flowers for instance) you have to say so and explain why. If this simple requests angers him then the problem is his because that is not something he should get angry over. If someone says to you, "I love it when you take me to a movie." Would that make you mad? Maybe you don't have time for a movie. Maybe you don't have the money for a movie. But are you mad? No. And now, you know what they like and maybe in the future that is something you could do when you want to do something nice for them.

You NEED to tell him you like flowers because that is something you deem special and desire. Tell him your desires. And see what he does with that information.

  • If it makes him mad, that's a really bad sign
  • If he ignores it, another bad sign
  • If he really cares and hears you, he will make it happen eventually. He can pick flowers in the country for free (I did that just yesterday). They don't have to be expensive. 

If you DON'T tell him what you like and desire, then that's not fair. Men can't read minds. Women can sometimes but not men. Sorry men. I don't mean to insult you. You have other great qualities. But mind reading is not one of them and I think you will agree. We women need to speak up and say what we want. If he's too scary to do that (mine was), then, there's your answer. 

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bluesky

Thank you for your advise. Your right, I need to say what I want and as you said how he reacts will tell a lot. Thank you

 

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