TL: “I don’t want to have that responsibility”

MC has done a lot to reprioritize his life. Prior to D-day, we really only saw him on weekends, with him waking up very early for two hours of exercise and then leaving for work before the kids were awake and then returning after all were in bed. Those nights he returned prior to bedtime, I would ask him to read our youngest a bedtime story and he would inevitably fall asleep mid-sentence while reading. This has all changed!

He now drives our oldest to school, he only exercises 30 minutes each morning, inviting me and the kids to participate with him if we want. He is home for dinner every night, he is involved with the kids’ activities, he helps with homework and bedtime routines, he is helping with carpooling and a plethora of other examples. Family comes first on a day-to-day basis. After our year apart, we had a choice of several positions. We decided as a family. He took a position that would have very limited travel. We are here now.

Only the job ended up having “opportunities” for him to travel much more than expected. These are two-day, one-night trips typically, with an occasional slightly longer trip with his CEO. The small trips are just Mindless going to teach newbies certain skills. These started just once/quarter, but his reputation for being good at this has increased dramatically and he is being requested more and more. This has been so good for him, on a career level and personally.

He started with one/quarter as that is all I could handle. But, the requests for him have increased. Where Mindless thinks that we are deciding as a team, I feel guilty saying, “no,” knowing how good this is for him. He prefers being able to talk about each trip on an individual basis together and decide together. Yet, for me, it began to feel like I was wielding this very strong “veto” power, knowing he would go on any trip I did not “veto.”

Here’s the thing, I don’t want to have that responsibility. I want him to set limits on the travel himself, including factoring in what is good for our family. So, I asked him to set his own limit on travel and then stick to it. So, he has set a limit of two trips, no more than a total of three-nights away per quarter. I know I still have “veto” power if I want because of some timing not working well or other things going on in our life. But, I really don’t want to use it. Does that make any sense at all? I am hopeful that this benefits both of us.

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7 thoughts on “TL: “I don’t want to have that responsibility”

    1. Exactly.

      Part of recovering from all of this is for us to see that our husbands are willing, wanting and capable of setting limits for themselves, limits that include factoring in the thoughts, feelings and needs of the family, while still learning to make healthy choices for themselves. These things are not mutually exclusive and it helps me to see him get that fact, you know?

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  1. I can totally relate. My husband has placed himself in some self-imposed prison. He asks permission to go places without me, and these moments are now few and far between as opposed to during his affairs. While I appreciate the gestures and the fact that he is conscious of my feelings, I don’t want him to somehow twist this around as if it is ME who is MAKING him act this way and do these things. I don’t want to someday be resented (and possibly cheated on again) because of some ‘rules’ he has placed upon himself. It’s all such a fragile balance.

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  2. I’m fully with you on this and have adopted similar responses in circumstances that threaten my sense of safety. Like you I don’t want to say no but I want him to be on the same page as me with regard to opportunities that come his way. I don’t want to feel like his mum or his school teacher – it’s not sexy!

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    1. LOL MR. Yes, being his mom is definitely not sexy! ;).

      WR, yes, I don’t want resentment. I just want two adults who are able to make healthy adult decisions. He wanted me to set the limit. I said “no, you set it.” He then proceeds with suggestions, trying to gauge what I think. I told him to just be fair, balancing work and family. And, this is what he came up with. I still feel like I had influence. I am not sure if that is good or bad. I’d like for him to just decide on his own. On the other hand, I do want a partnership here. It is a balancing act.

      I hope this solution is one that is good for both of us. We are going to talk to B about it at our next session, just curious to get her input on how to strike that balance, if we are on the right track.

      By the way all, I hate why you “get it,” but am so glad there are others out there who “get it” too.

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    2. MR, I was just thinking about the idea of not wanting to be his mom or his teacher. The mom one neither of us want, I’m pretty damn sure. The teacher, though, I do think that dynamic may exist and I don’t like it.

      I think that when I ask him to make a decision on his own, but consider all the relevant factors, he sees it as me giving him a test. I don’t know, maybe there is some truth to that. If he chooses something I don’t like, how do I respond? I certainly don’t keep my mouth shut. I suppose it is a bit of “catch 22.” “CHOOSE Mindless, YOU CHOOSE, but you damn well better choose what I want without me telling you what I want.” That is not fair either, is it? So, trying to find ways for it not to be like that.

      So, perhaps we set a framework of limits together and then we each decide for ourselves within that framework? I think that is ultimately what we came to with travel decisions. It feels better for me. Maybe he will write about this too?

      This shit sure isn’t easy.

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