Sunday, October 18, 2009

Boss Baby considers leaving

Yup, you read it right.. she sent out a message to all of us saying she is seriously considering leaving. Mr.Hubby already knew of her feelings, but I was really surprised, we all were.

Why she is considering leaving? I guess the short version would be that she can’t cope with all the problems that come with the territory. She grew up with the regular fairy tale image of happily ever after, one man one wife, everyone in her family seems to be very happy and joyful in their marriage, her newlywed sister being the main reason for feelings of envy I guess. She gets guys drooling all over her, making very nice proposals, so I guess that sense of gravitation towards a different life is pulling on her so much that she is considering stepping out. Her letter was quite emotional. She said she is sorry and ashamed for feeling this way, but she can't help it. And that she is so negative and angry and frustrated and just doesn't know what to do.

Mr.Hubby’s response is that he will support her in anything she decides to do. He is not making an effort to convince her to stay, not because he does not want her to, I think he truly does, but because he feels the decision should be hers 100%. So he did not get upset and said she needs to decide for herself..
I imagine that she actually wants him to react more emotionally and ask her not to leave, to get that reassurance that she is being loved and needed. And now that he is not giving her that, the decision to stay may be even harder. Mr.Hubby is aware of this, we talked about it, but he really does not want any blame on convincing her to remain married if it really isn’t something she chooses and chooses for the right reasons – e.g. faith, not him.

2nd and 1st were like ‘well she should sort it out herself’. I replied to the message and asked her whether any part of her feeling this way was due to the relationship between the two of us. She said that the main issue is her relationship with Mr.Hubby and just to some extent our relationship - the main problem being that she feels we do not share anything anymore, that the friendship is not there.

Well here I was presented with a dilemma on what to reply. Like a test of where I am with my faith. I guess as a really good believer, I would open up my arms and be that friend to her, comfort her, reassure her that Mr.Hubby loves her, let her share her pain to ease the burden of it..
But I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. And why? Because I am quite sure that once she figures things out and is all happy with Mr.Hubby again, she will forget all about me. I wrote her about my conflicted feelings on this and told her that I just feel like I can’t be that friend to her.
I was in a very low point in the beginning of her relationship with Mr.Hubby, not because of their relationship, but there was this sh!tload of problems I was dealing with, and her main concerns were whether she had enough time with Mr.Hubby, whether they went out to the movies, whether he came home on time. I was hoping for a friend and all I got from her were complaints, and accusations and jealosy.
I reminded her of that, and told her I do not want to leave her out in the cold like she left me, but that I do feel that maybe by letting her figure it out by herself she will learn something.

She answered that she does not agree and never has agreed about her letting me down as a friend, and that she did not feel like going into that topic. So she ended the letter by saying she will let me know once she makes her decision.

Mr.Hubby read the communication we exchanged and said that what I wrote was alright.. I am having mixed feelings. Should I feel more empathy for her? You see, I feel like she lacked empathy so much for all this time that right now I feel quite cold about her pain. I mean.. I feel bad about feeling so little. Any thoughts?

32 comments:

Hidden Sage said...

How would you be any better than her spiritually if you treat her the same way she treated you?

We're supposed to learn through our experiences and the experiences of others. You were on the receiving end of her unkind behavior and you didn't like it, it doesn't make sense that you'd go around and do the same to her.

You need to ask yourself what approach would be considered "excellence of character."

3rd... said...

Absolutely true .. that's why I am unhappy with myself for not being able to overcome the feeling of 'what goes around comes around'

runningleap said...

Hmmmm. That's tough. I left for many reasons, partly because Hwgf was not being a friend to me and I felt neglected and taken advantage of (of course there was the other main reason, too!). When my exhubby didn't try to convincemw to stay, didn't get emotional, and she didn't act sorry and sad if I left... Well, that sealed the deal. I needed to feel loved and wanted, and I didn't. My situation was diff... Honestly, maybe he doesn't really care if she goes? I mean if he (and any of you wives) wanted her to stay badly enough, she would be getting the reassurances and love, right?

Helene said...

I've noticed that when people talk about what they are going to do, (when it will be an action that causes them to stand out from their group,)instead of stepping forth and undertaking the action on their own and without the accolades of the group, it is for the purpose of getting "permission" from the group. In that way they can avoid the terrifying loneliness that goes along with individual action by contintuing to feel sheltered by the group.

In her case, if your hunch is correct, which I think it probably is, the "everything's OK" that she is looking for would likely have to do with those area's where feels she is not being listened to.

Hope all goes well for one and all.

Donald said...

I doubt your lack of empathy for BB is all about getting back at her. I'm guessing, deep down, you believe she has created her own problems. It's hard to feel sorry for someone when they are the cause of their own pain. You can intellectualize about it all you want, but your emotions are an indicator of what you really believe in your heart.

I'm guessing your heart also associates BB's marriage to Mr Hubby with loss in your own life — the loss of time (and perhaps some trust?) with Mr Hubby, and also the loss of your friendship with her. It sounds like she didn't really bring you anything when she joined the family — just took away. Do you think part of you actually wants her to leave — believes (rightly or wrongly) that you may be able to reclaim something lost?

3rd, we've talked a bit about being in control of your emotions away from your blog, and perhaps we see things a bit differently… I really believe you can't directly control your emotions. You can control how you express them, but the emotions themselves, and the way they come in response to various events, are an indicator of what is in your heart.

Some people wear their emotions on their sleeve, and others learn to hide them. Some people learn to hide their emotions even from themselves — repressed emotions, in other words. Sometimes this is even seen as a virtue, because such a person appears to have greater control of themselves. I believe an appearance of outer peace can sometimes be a sign of inner disconnectedness.

I guess I just don't understand how Mr Hubby can be so philosophical about it. This is his wife for goodness sakes! He is allowed to be emotional!!

Do you think you and your other sister wives would feel hurt or jealous if Mr Hubby was visibly distressed by these events? Do you think that there is a tendency in your family to suppress emotions rather than work through them?

I hope I haven't been too forward with this comment. I care about you and your family, and this post saddened me. I will pray for you guys.

Love
Don

CM said...

Honestly, 3rd - I am surprised you are not throwing a party! lol

Sorry, I don't mean to sound flippant but really after all the drama that has gone on, isn't there a part of you that would just like to have it be over! I know I would feel that way.

Ahh, but there is the higher plane we are all trying to reach. Sometimes we just have to deal with the initial emotions first before we can work on being a better person. Sounds like that is the stage you are at for now.

If you were in her situation of making a very important decision about your life, wouldn't you want honesty instead of someone faking emotions or feelings that are just not there!

Judith said...

I agree wholeheartedly with CM that if I were BB I would need honesty right now a lot more than empty reassurances, however painful it might be to hear. This is an important life decision for her: if I was her I would want to have all relevant information so I could make the best possible decision for my life in the long term.

If this lifestyle really doesn't suit her, then she is probably better off moving on now, while she is still young, rather than regretting her decision to stay later. It would be a terrible shame if she becomes utterly dissatisfied and miserable with her life in the future, and, quite apart from the effect that would have upon her as a person, her misery would probably affect the whole family.

new#3 said...

From what I remember about your posts concerning BB, it seemed to me that she really was never suited to polygamy. As far as your empathy toward her, or lack of it..I understand. We are all merely human 3rd, and I cannot blame you for feeling the way you do about her.

Debra said...

My hubby did exactly the same thing that Mr. Hubby did when his most recent wife announced she was considering leaving: he simply stated he would support her no matter what.

He loves her immensely, and of course, he didn't want her to go, but he wanted her to stay because she wanted to stay, not because he asked her to.

This actually came up the last day she was here. She confronted him, and said, "You never asked me to stay...if you would have asked, I would have stayed."

He replied, "Then you would have been staying for the wrong reason..."

It was very painful for me, and bittersweet. But she did what she had to do.

Boss Baby will have to come to her own conclusions. As stated, the poly life is not for everyone...

~D

Donald said...

Where does commitment come into it? For better or for worse? If things happen to be going 'worse', to the point where your wife is not coping, isn't that a sign that work needs to be done? Isn't that a signal that the husband needs to fight to save his marriage? That has certainly been the advice given to me when my wife and I have had problems. Why is it any different in a polygamous family?

Of course, a woman always has the choice to leave, and a man should never try to force his way… But I just wonder whether sometimes a woman wants her husband to fight for her, to show her that he really does love and value her. When his time is divided between multiple wives, I would think this might be even more important.

Am I on my own here or do other people agree?

Natja's Natterings said...

I have to agree with Donald (again). To me, it isn't about influencing, it is about proving that you are willing to fight for what you want and believe in, you are willing to prove your love.

In my eyes the 'you must do what you have to do.....' thing seems apathetic. I really cannot stress how much I hate it when people do NOT give me their opinions and it is something that I have had to stress in my own relationship because I need to know. I think there is far too much worry in our society of 'influence' but I am not the type to be easily influenced, if I had made up my mind to go, I would go... If I am coming to you saying 'I can't handle this, I think we should part' it is a sign that something is wrong but not necessarily that I want to go.
Consider it reassurance that you are wanted and needed rather than overt pressure. Having someone take you aside and say 'Do you love me? Because I love you and I don't want to be without you and I am willing to do all I can to make this work.

Saying 'If that is what you want to do, I won't stop you' seems to me you might as well say ‘Meh’ and *shrug*.

As a divorcee, I am totally unwilling to go into any sort of commitment again that I am unwilling to not only put my ALL into, but also to fight for my relationship, until there really isn't anything left to salvage.
I have been on the other side, I have no wish to re-visit.

CM said...

Aw Donald - forever the romantic!

Most of us are responding to 3rd's reaction in this situation.

As far as the husband's reaction and responsibility, I agree with you to a point. But it really depends on why she is leaving. If she is looking for something he can't give her without hurting the other wives, i.e., more time and attention or a monogamous relationship, then what should he do? Promise her things will change?

The fact is that she is in an awfull situation as most women would see it - Time with Hubby only every other weekend. What about having children in this situation? - she will virtually raise them as a single mom. It sounds like she is young and attractive. Why do this? Faith? For the sake of living polygamy? Because she loves him? It sounds like BB has never been happy with her marital situation. Love goes a long way, but if her needs are not be met in this marriage, and Hubby really loves her, then shouldn't he let her go if it is the best thing for her and the other wives?

Anyways that's my 2 cents!

Natja's Natterings said...

CM, that is the problem with this form of Poly in my eyes. The women are forever rivals always competing for the time and attention of their husband who has the ability to give and take away as he sees fit.

I am not knocking faith so much as the idea that faith SHOULD dictate a lifestyle which by its nature makes certain sections of the community (and let's face it, it is usually women) unhappy.

Why are people/women so happy to put themselves in a situation where there are no rewards, just unhappiness, competition and strife?

Also, I feel it fundamentally damages the relationships between women.

Helene said...

"Why are people/women so happy to put themselves in a situation where there are no rewards, just unhappiness, competition and strife?"

That's a head scratcher for me too. Evil people, like pedophiles, terrorists, and charismatic gurus, are known to operate by using the weaknesses of others as fuel to move forward. Women as a group possess a characteristic that works out as a strength in some situations, and a weakness in others. That amounts to the denial of personal happiness (or, the toleration of personal discomfort and humiliation) for what is believed to be the greater good. That's great when it comes to the experience of love, child rearing, creating community relations, giving of oneself for the needs of others etc… But the same women are easily led, easily convinced to sacrifice themselves for some dork who has persuaded them that they should be meek, since the meek shall inherit the earth...

Natja's Natterings said...

Hummm, I don't know about that Helene, it seems to me, the greater mischief occurs when women are separated rather than together. United we stand and all that.....so this idea that a body of women would let themselves be disempowered by one man, is amazingly confusing.

Helene said...

I didn't mean that this characteristic exists when women come together in a group. I meant rather that it can be meangingfully described primarily as an unconscious feature of populations, not so much of an individual, or of small consciously formed groups.

Yes, a group of women allowing themselves to be disempowered by a single charismatic creature is a grotesque sight. But I see it everyday. And no, I am not referring to polygamy all by itself. I am not saying anything I haven't said.

SortOfAnonymous said...

Back to the main issue: Did 3rd do the right thing? Yes. Did she do the 'best' thing? Who is to decide on that? What more could she possibly have done?

As for the troubled husband, he has a shi..pload to deal with. I mean almost literally a ship. He has to balance the whole ship here. My gut feeling is that deep inside, he knows the best for her and everyone else is to for her to leave. And if, as Harry Truman once reflected on his firing of MacArthur, the sooner you get it over with the better, then no time should be wasted. She's young and attractive? No kids? (I haven't read the whole blog yet), then the only damage we are dealing with is the emotions of adults and wasted life and/or time (which isn't ready wasted, and everyone would eventually thank everyone else for the memories).

It may seem that Hubby is being cold and not giving her what she needs to come back to him. But if he feels deep inside that it's best in the long run for her to start a new life, then it is cruel to let her go away feeling torn (if he gave her the full 'I love you.. please, please, please stay' emotionally charged reply)... and even crueler to actually keep her longer in an unstable situation compounding the agony with future kids and more lost life/time (and no thanks for the memories this time).

I have absolutely no idea what is really going at the subconscious level of everyone at your place. Hey, I have no idea what is going on in MY subconscious! But I've earned my stripes in psychotherapy (the hard way) to know that there is always an 'under the counter' world of feelings and actions guiding or at least influencing our 'over the counter' ones.

And 3rd, you're not the 'decider' here, so it will be up to both of them to ask for guidance and help and to make the final decision. You are concerned about your reaction and in my opinion you were honest and gracious enough. Your hubby agreed with what you did, so stop having an endless subconscious dialogue inside your head. It has nothing to do with the present situation so just ignore it and move forward.

Donald said...

I agree with Natja… because she agreed with me! :P

But SortOfAnonymous made a good argument for letting her go gracefully. I guess it all depends on what's really happening between BB and Mr Hubby. Given that I'm not privy to that, perhaps I was a bit too opinionated with some of my previous comments.

I do hope they're talking through it all openly and honestly though. I don't know how it works when BB has so few nights with Mr Hubby, but I hope they get plenty of time to talk. When you love someone (assuming they still love each other) unresolved conflict can be such a festering wound in your heart. 'Do not let the sun go down on your anger' is a good rule to live by.

BTW, just because she's young and attractive doesn't mean she's going to find it easier to find happiness in a new relationship. The woman who gets more attention has to be more discerning! She could just as easily get mixed up with an a**hole and then look back and regret the loving home she used to have. Only God knows what is really best for BB.

Donald said...

Also, I shouldn't have implied that Mr Hubby is disconnected with his emotions. Some people are just more cool and level headed than others. I'm not one of those people, so I find it harder to understand.

Anonymous said...

So why do you stay in this family if you're unhappy all the time?

Natja's Natterings said...

Anon,
This is a question I have asked many a time and have yet to get a gratifying response to it.
At least, a response that 'I' find gratifying.

For some, they see it as an emotional/spiritual test, as in 'if I can handle this, I will be a stronger person/be closer to the divine….' for others they feel it is their place and happiness is not their lot, these are ‘This is where God/the divine/fates have placed me and it therefore must be for a greater purpose’ people.

When I say people, I do of course, mean women because it is usually the women making these emotional sacrifices.

That is not the way I choose to live my life though, I think there is enough in this world to make us stressed and unhappy, lots of external factors that will make life sometimes unbearable, why then, would you cultivate it within yourself and in your relationship? Surely IF you are not challenging that which is wrong in your relationship with an eye towards making it better and healthier than you are complicit in your own unhappiness? Also, how can you survive the bigger stresses in life if you do not have a strong base of love and mutual respect to fall back on?

Nasrin said...

What I am wondering is why 3rd shared the e-mails with Hubby. It seems like rather than really having a relationship with BB, she is just using it to win points with Hubby. That goes back to what Helene was saying, sisterhood isn't powerful when its just a group of women competing for one guy. And 3rd has never explained what her faith is, so I have no idea what faith BB is supposed to be staying strong in, other than I guess the faith that her purpose in life is being the 4th corner for this guy's bedsheet. I don't understand the rationale that says that all these women must give their love to just this one man, as he spreads himself as wide as he wants. I hope for BB's sake that she does find someone to love her only, its really wonderful to have that.

Hanieh said...

Nasrin- I actually was wondering the same thing about why 3rd shared the email exchanges with hubby. If I were BB, I'd feel a little betrayed, but maybe there is something I am not understanding about the situation.

Living a polygamous lifestyle is not easy- that's why the religious believe the reward is even more in the afterlife if you are able to get through it in this world. However, if it will do more harm than good to yourself, your family, and your faith, then maybe it's best to seek spiritual growth elsewhere. That seems to be the position that BB is in.

Helene said...

I was struck by the sharing of the emails also, but my reaction was to this statement: (he)"said that what I wrote was alright"

3rd, what does that mean? Does it mean that he says it's OK that you and she are talking? Or is he referring to the content as being alright? Does "alright" mean that it is alright in his world? What would make it not alright? If it is "not alright" and he says it's alright, does it then become alright?

3rd... said...

guys thank you all for commenting..
A lot of your comments really made me think, and I have reached out to 4th again and offered words of encouragement, though I didn't offer for us to meet up and stuff which I would have done some years ago when our relationship was tighter. However I've tried to at least keep communicating and be kind and understanding through email.

I can't answer all of the comments since there are too many, but for now just to answer the questions regarding me sharing the emails with Mr.Hubby:
I asked him to read them for the same reason I asked you all for feedback, to ask him whether he feels I am being too cold towards her.. whether he expects me to make more of an effort to help her sort things out

I don't think I could have scored any points with what I wrote, since I had told 4th I couldn't really be there for her now.
Plus the email 4th sent out was to all of us, all the wives. There was nothing secret about it.

Hope this clarifies a bit..

Donald said...

Gosh, haven't you ladies ever run an email by your partner for a second opinion? I agree it's wrong to betray a friend's confidence, but I don't see how that applies to this situation, where 3rd is just struggling to know how to reach out to BB.

My turn to give you a big hug 3rd!

Hanieh said...

Donald- this isn't exactly a normal "run this email by your partner to see if it's okay" scenario. Clearly, the person receiving this email has a vested interest in the partner in this particular situation. Much of this conflict is around him as well. I would just assume that to nurture a really sincere relationship among sister-wives, some things are just better kept between them.

But again, I don't know the dynamics of the relationship, so I could be making a mountain out of a molehill. In ever relationship and marriage, different things matter to people, so this could not be a big deal at all for 3rd, her husband, and BB. It was just my humble opinion that maybe the whole situation would appear to be more sincere if hubby had not been involved.

Anyway, whatever. Not a big deal.

I think it's important here to realize that everyone handles a situation with their own baggage. And everyone, in one way or the other, is wounded. If we just assume that of everyone, we would be a lot more merciful with each other. Perhaps BB was unkind to her sisterwives and her husband because she just never learned to get over the wounds she has had to deal with in her life... in which case, letting her go mercifully and being kind with her is a more beautiful way of handling this situation than breathing a sigh of relief and saying, "Good Riddance"...

Helene said...

Well, Donald, comunicating by email about this topic itself strikes me as pretty weird... And no, I don't think I'd be conferring about the well spokenness of an inherently inferior format for communication. My own family of origin tends to do this when we are not communicating well, and I won't participate in it.

Donald said...

Hanieh, you're right about us not knowing all the dynamics of the relationship. That's why I admitted some of my earlier comments may have been too opinionated. That's what happens in a public forum — everyone has an opinion when no one really knows the whole story!

Helene, regarding email as 'an inherently inferior format for communication', I disagree. Letter writing has its place. Sometimes taking the time to sit down and take care in expressing your thoughts can be much better than trying to tackle it face-to-face. Sure, if everyone is 'communicating well' in person that's great. But sometimes, despite your best efforts, that doesn't go so well. Writing a letter is a chance to take your time to express yourself the way you want to without interruption, and then let the other person do the same. I mean, people have been writing letters to each other for thousands of years — often because of distance, but not only for that reason.

Anyway, 3rd seems to be admitting that her whole relationship with BB is not ideal, and she would rather it have turned out differently. It sounds to me as though she's doing her best in a difficult situation.

Helene said...

Donald,
If people put into email what they put into letter writing, it would likely function as well. Thinking of email and letter writing in the same vein is more of an abstraction than a reality.

But I think I've already beaten this beyond the point of vitality, and anyway I completely agree that none of us know another's situation, and most of us do the best we can.

Donald said...

Helene said: If people put into email what they put into letter writing, it would likely function as well.

A moment ago you said emails were 'inherently inferior'. Do you actually know what these big words like 'inherently' mean?

Electronic mail is just a different medium by which a letter can be sent! A sheet of paper sent by snail-mail is another medium. It's a blank canvass on which to write whatever style of letter you have in mind — quick and informal, business-like, poetic and expressive, warm and caring, whatever. A handwritten letter has a more handcrafted feel, which may add to the expression of personal care if that is what's being expressed — but other than that I don't get what's so 'inherently inferior' about email.

Helene said...

Don't think I can help ya out there. Sorry.