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I agree with you that I believe he has bought into this submissive role in their relationship, and he has often told me that over the past 5+ years or so, he has
felt like nothing more than a "house boy" as she would leave him daily notes of things has was to accomplish (tasks) around the house, etc. He has also revealed that she
has withheld sex for the past 3 years. His explanation of why he accepted this was that although he continued to make advances, she was not interested and he thought perhaps this was just how things went as a marriage and folks get older. I could relate as my husband and I didn't have sex for 3 years towards the end of our marriage, we were both apathetic as the love had really left. We stayed together out of some committment to the "commitment". When we did become intimate again, it was very unsatisfying and contrived. Anyway, I agree that she appears to devalue and be dismissive of him completely and I think over the years, he has just come to accept this behavior. He IS being treated like a doormat and I feel somewhat helpless to be of any help to him. I HAVE suggested that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different result, pop psych I know, but it does seem to apply. He will say that he is going to now do such and such, and ultimately he will end up doing something that once again puts the ball back in her court and hands all the power back over to her. I don't understand not only WHY he continues to do this, but also have no clue how to help him see other ways of dealing with the situation. When he told me a few months ago that he was going to ask her to tell him when she was
going to file, he asked thru email, she wrote back and said, "I don't know, what do you think:"...he read this email to me over the phone as he received her reply while we were talking. He then said he was going to respond by saying.."whatever is convenient for you"..at which I replied NO! You will just be back in this same "waiting" boat...tell her what you want. I finally convinced him to give her a date and so he said July 1st. This gave her over a month to secure an attorney and make arrangements. Last week he wrote her and reminded her of the upcoming date...last night when he called because he had not heard from her, she said.."oh, I haven't done anything about that"...she wanted HIM to take care of it. He refused and told me he was going to write her an email and tell her the options... I suppose he will be doing that sometime today. But I fear when he copies me on the email (as he said he would do), it will be very watered down and he will once again be sitting with his life on "hold" while he politely waits for her to do something...which may be never. She was so adamant about wanting the divorce and him to move out..which he did, yet now all she is doing is not communicating at all, and not taking any action. That's why I thought possibly passive aggressive. And most importantly, I don't know if there is anything I can or should do to get involved...I just feel very sorry for him. And of course, IF there is any potential for us to have a relationship that grows from our friendship into anything else, it may be impossible or in the very VERY distant future if this continues in this direction. Ultimately, I care about this person as a person, whether we ever see if there is anything more for us beyond our current friendship. Having been thru divorce, I don't wish it on anyone, and especially not like this...and I feel completely helpless to be of any help to him...and maybe that is just how it has to be as I don't know if my telling him anything, even if it were truth, would actually get thru the way he thinks about things.
I do know that when she asked for the divorce, he was completely taken off guard, did not want it and would have done anything to keep the marriage. Because she has been so mean to him since, it HAS helped him disconnect and not want the marriage anymore and he has finally come to realize that she is no longer his friend...gee...I am inundating you...sorry...hard to get everything said in a concise way...
Do you think I am correct in my conclusion that I cannot offer up any advice and I need to stay out of this unless he asks me for it? I do find this stance to be a very frustrating positi but I can comply if it is the best thing to do...I guess my concern is that he won't "be able to learn how to swim" without some input from me or others because he doesn't actually understand what he is in the middle of... ironically, he doesn't seem to be hurt by the fact that she has entered into a lesbian relationship, and just says that he wishes her happiness with whoever she chooses to be with...man, woman, elephant...
To me, it would seem that some anger at how he is being treated and ignored would be a healthy requirement for healing, but maybe I am wrong about that and anger is just a petty response at this point, and his stance of still, after everything, of wishing her well is noble in some way. Or maybe it is a perpetuation of his belief that he is in someone inferior to her and should just accept things without questioning. It just breaks me heart that he is being treated this way, and seems so quick to give her another chance to do the decent thing, or actually follow up on her word. He does admit that he thinks she hates him now and is doing her best to avoid him. So, as you can see, it all gets to be a little overwhelming to me as well when I try to put all these pieces together and understand his motivations, hers, and what the heck can be done, if anything, to help him move beyond this point in the hopes of having a happy future with anyone, whether it be me or someone else. I guess I need you to hit me over the head with the
reality...i.e., should I not bring up anything about this and act like it is not going on unless he does? Or should I try to get him to talk about it? a little of both, none... I know he is relying on me for support, reality checks, although a lot of times what I tell him he seems to disregard or not act upon even though he says its a good idea and he will. Since he is agreeable by nature (and a really nice person I might add), I think he is uncomfortable being asked to take the lead in a divorce proceeding of which he never wanted in the first place...and of course, even if he does, he can no longer trust anything his wife says. One thing he has said over and over and over since this happened in February is that "he is a nice person and has never done anything to hurt her so why is she treating him this way"...and also, "I don't wish myself on anybody"...the later statement I do not understand at all. As you can tell, I'm a caregiver by nature, probably why I stayed with an alcoholic for 18 years...so if you can tell me anything I can do that will help, or what to avoid to hurt the situation..in any more detail than your previous response (which I did appreciate btw), that would be great. If you have given me all the advice you can, I can accept that as well.
I guess I lied...I do have another question. My friend walks his dog with his best friend
early each morning. His friend is older, late 50's - early 60's...former vietnam test pilot, retired pharmaceutical sales rep...although somewhat irreverent at times, I do know he talks pretty candidly to my friend about all of this stuff. Would you recommend that I email his friend, and alert him to suggest that he might do research on narcists
and entitlement behavior as well...or not involve him...