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Discussion Starter #1
My H is too kind and sometimes I feel he throws me under the bus to protect other people's feelings. I have posted a few times here how he protects his exGF's; we've mostly worked that out in accordance with standard advice here--no more exes are invited into our marriage. For which, thank you all.

But now something else has come up.

A few months ago, I had a falling out with a volunteer medical organization we both work for. In fact we are among the original founders. Due to personality differences, two others in the group basically decided to get rid of me. Power stuff, whatever. They held a secret meeting in which they made things up and trashed me. They invited everyone but me and my H. Later, the others who were roped into this unfortunate gathering called me privately to apologize. But the damage had been done. I was devastated by the injustice and the need for inventing supposed "bad things" I had done which, if you knew me, you would know right away those things were totally out of character. Hence the apologies from others who know me well.

When I found out who the gangleaders were I called them personally to work things out. Yeah, right. One of them (a man) said quite nastily that "the group" had "decided" I was planning to steal all the medical supplies. In reality, my H & I store the supplies. When other volunteers don't show up, we always do, 100% of the time, so of course we had the supplies. To be accused of stealing the supplies is laughable. Sadly, my own H was implicated in this as well, which really burned me up.

When I told H that this had happened his attitude was "they're dysfunctional, don't let it get to you" and that he would continue to work with the group although if I was uncomfortable, I should leave.

I said, "Do you realize what they said about me? the lies they made up?" I went into a terrible depression and spent a month unable to eat, and lost weight, and when I tried to eat I would get sick. That's how hurt I was. (The pain was so bad I considered checking into a hospital.)

And H would go off to the meetings and functions anyway.

I would say, "How can you be around people who have deliberately trashed me?" He said, "It was about you, not me."

Finally, after a month of that, I convinced him that being accused of stealing the supplies implicated him. Somehow I got my point across and he confronted the man who had said that to me, and that man then apologized to me personally, saying he knew it wasn't true, blaming his past drug use for making him impulsive and lowering his self-control. He also apologized to H.

I was intensely grateful to H for forcing that apology. It was very healing. I liked knowing that H had had a man-to-man talk with that jerk who had then been forced to recant his nonsense. I felt protected at last, at least on that count.

Meanwhile, however, the other damage continued. I was ostracized because other volunteers were so intimidated by the gangleaders who ousted me. In private, I continued to receive apologies and several volunteers left the group in disgust, but NO ONE would stand up to those two "gangleaders." The group became very small and those two got more and more power. I remained sick to my stomach at this development.

And H did nothing. He acted as if it was perfectly okay for our fledgling organization to have been intimidated by two people into spreading lies about me and shutting me out of a group that H and I were instrumental in founding. We have put a lot of money and hard work in the group too.

H goes to the meetings and to our events as if everything is hunky-dory. I feel unprotected by him. He hangs out with those people as if it's perfectly okay for them to have done such damage. Neither of the gangleaders has apologized to me (beyond that specific item) although every other person at that original meeting has done so and/or left the group as a reaction.

It seems that my H is okay with me simply giving up and leaving a group I helped start "if I can't stand the stress," while he continues to hang out with people who have been intentionally cruel to me.

What do I want him to do? I am bewildered that he did not confront those people immediately: "You said WHAT about my wife???" He actually has a lot of pull in the group, he just can't always make it to meetings and mostly just does a lot of the "real work." So he thinks he's somehow separate from the petty relations within the group. How can he continue to work side by side with people who were "drinking and laughing while they joked about" getting rid of me with lies, which is what one witness told me?

I have spent the past five months getting counseling for this and although I feel much clearer and stronger about why these people did what they did, the part I can't get over is how H did not come to my defense. He was willing to let me twist in the wind and pretend nothing had happened. I had to deal with a lot of fear as a result of having gone to him and gotten no response, no defense, no protection. I felt abandoned by him. I felt he was a wimp. It looked to me as if he had silently given the group permission to spread lies about me and who I am.

FYI, I am more or less back working with the group but now I see them for what they are (counseling has been very helpful). My H, besides exacting that one specific apology, did nothing to help me through this most painful episode in my life. It has affected my interest in him sexually. I no longer feel safe with him the way I did before. I feel betrayed. Does that make sense?
 

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This really sucks, and I'm sorry you went through so much with these people.

I'm sorry that I don't have any advice, but you do have my sympathy. My husband is like this, but my issue was sleep. Our younger daughter was an awful sleeper, and she had me up hourly all night long until she was almost 4. I felt like I was dying. Like you, I lost weight (I'm 5'5" and I weigh barely 110 lbs now. It's ridiculous.) I thought I might have a nervous breakdown. And every day, he'd wake me up in the morning instead of taking the girls out of the house.

Anyway, just sharing that because though it's very different, I totally identify with how you feel. I have even used the word "betrayed" before too. It's awful, and it's undermined my security. I feel like to move forward with him, I have to re-define what marriage means to me. That's huge, and feels like a loss.

I wish I could help you more! One positive thing that has come from it is that I survived it, and I did it by myself. I try to remember that and draw strength from it. That which doesn't kill us makes us stronger, right?
 

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Wow What A knight in shining armor you have? Sorry that was mean, but there's truth in it.

The one person we're supposed to be to count on to 'have our back', save the day, is our SP/SO. When they miss the mark and don't meet our expectations, it is devastating. I haven't experienced anything quite as 'public' as you but the betrayal no matter how minute is HUGE!!! I'm so sorry!

You mentioned counseling......have you discussed this particular issue with them?
 

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Wow I can't believe your husband would go and listen to that, then come home to you like nothing happened. You're suppose to be one. What affects one, should affect the other. I'll jump in with heavensangel with the counseling question.
 

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First if all, what a lousy group of people you work(ed) with. What are they, sheep? I can't say I'm that surprised though. Volunteer organizations attract some real creeps (usually looking to embezzle money somehow) and regular people who really aren't up for any type of confrontation. So bullies can often have their way in those organizations because people would rather leave than stand up to them.

Secondly, your husband should have made a stink when they pulled that garbage. Wasn't there some kind of charter or management committee? I can't believe he still works with them.

As an aside, my wife volunteered in several parent run school organizations in the past and there was malfeasance in two of them. In one, people in the organization refused to believe that a local 'pillar of the community' had embezzled $30K from it over the years and didn't want to raise a stink over it. My wife was one of the few who wanted to report the thefts to the police. Thankfully they did, but it's amazing how those people didn't want to be involved with it. The other group was ruled by a bully. People just left the organization rather than deal with her. But she was misappropriating funds as well.

I guess my point is why does someone want to rule a volunteer organization if not for some financial gain?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
A lot of drama there. Some people like drama. I'm not saying YOU do. Just that SOME people do.

Just sayin'.
Yup.
Counseling has helped me distance myself from this ridiculous "grownup" behavior. Mostly I was in shock that people did this stuff outside of high school.
I needed a hero to confront them with me.
I don't think H realized how lost at sea I felt.
As for those who have mentioned the dysfunction of volunteer groups? Yeah, learned my lesson.
But I still think that, had H stood up to them with me/for me, I would not have spent over five months feeling sick and betrayed and left all alone in a bizarre, creepy world that he casually wrote off as "not his problem."
But maybe he just didn't want to be part of the drama.
I'm guessing that was his way of dealing with it... leaving me alone in Crazyland.
The good part is that I found some true friends in the midst of it, the ones who apologized and/or left the group. I also learned a lot about myself, and it wasn't bad.
I am left though with less of a sense of reliance on the guy who should've had my back, and that is my concern now. I feel stronger, but more alone in my marriage. :scratchhead:
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Wow I can't believe your husband would go and listen to that, then come home to you like nothing happened. You're suppose to be one. What affects one, should affect the other. I'll jump in with heavensangel with the counseling question.
Other than this, I didn't need counseling!:lol:
Seriously--the counseling was ONLY about this but of course a good counselor has to say, "This isn't about them, it's about you." Okay, I'm good with that. Turns out I'm an okay person and I really am stronger for this experience. (She also thought I must come from a very sheltered background. Maybe so.)

I just felt so disgusted living in a world in which other people refuse to stand up publicly to injustice--all those people apologized to me privately, but not one of them would talk to the ringleaders. I know that at least one participant/witness to the "mob meeting" remains traumatized and terrified.

The counselor also said she thought my concerns pointed to "Reluctant Bystander" syndrome, where "good people do nothing when bad things happen."
And one of those good people was my H.
If we can't even stick up for those nearest to us, how can we expect strangers or mere acquaintances to come to our rescue?
What I'm saying is, the world became an uglier place for me the day this happened, and when I sought support & solace in my marriage, it wasn't there.
In a way, the details don't matter. so what if it's "drama"? so what if it's "just" a sleepless child? (My heart goes out to you!) What matters is that you feel someone else cares and knows how awful you feel. I couldn't even cry on my H's shoulder. He is normally such a kind person. I think he didn't want to make more waves. But I was drowning. Some things leave a scar across a marriage and this might be one.... How do we fix that?
I will not let anyone trash my H whether he is there or not. I will look you in the eye and make you want to wash your own mouth out with lye soap. You don't diss my man.
But what about me? do I have to gird my loins myself? :confused:
Anyway thanks to all for the sympathy, I guess I was just wondering if it's unrealistic to expect one's spouse to speak up in these situations. Maybe I'm being unfair. I just don't know. He is my hero but maybe he needs to eat his Wheaties.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I just remembered something else the counselor said. That most people simply lack the skills to rise above the personality they have and they assume (therefore) that everyone sees the world the same way they do. She said, At least I am now learning some skills. Oh, right, I suppose I am.

So, I just realized that I need to extend that grace to my H: I think he just lacks the skills to deal with a wife going through social drama. I ended up suffering in secret, hiding it from him, for nearly half a year after it became clear he wanted no part of it.
I guess I lack the skills to know how exactly to share my pain with him in such a way that it does not overwhelm him.
I am going to work on that.
Thank you all so much for being my listening ear. I have spent months crying off and on. Now that I am feeling genuinely better, it felt okay to share this weird chapter in public and get feedback.
I don't know why, but talking helps, no matter how dumb i sound about my own part in this "drama," and now i have a sense of what I need to take back to my marriage.
Thank you!
 

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Wow, so your post brought back some bad memories for me. I didn't go through exactly the same thing as you did, but I definitely remember having that level of a painful awakening experience during my first year of marraige with H.

For us, it was money related. All during our relationship (dated for four years before marraige, including living together) H would chide me about my spending habits and my money. I always made sure my bills were paid and never had a credit card balance, but I wasn't the best at putting money into savings and had a spending habit. H made me feel like a child. And I was young and had no idea what I was doing, and he seemed so much more responsible than me and sure of his ability to manage finances. So when we got married, we combine all finances and I let him handle the money blindly. For as much as he talked the talk, I figured he had it all figured out and I was too stupid to help. Until one day I started getting late notices in the mail - bills were going unpaid. It was a shock to my system. I had never thought to keep tabs on what he was doing. I still don't really understand how it happened, but he claims he just "forgot" (how do you forget to pay three seperate bills for 3-4 months in a row, to the point that they threaten collections?) and he still to this day doesnt think it was that big of a deal. This is the guy that I essentially let bully me into thinking I was money-stupid. We took a big hit on our credit score for those unpaid bills, BTW. And since two of them were credit cards, our interest rates shot through the roof for non-payment. Maybe to the average person missing a few payments isn't such a big deal, but I have always been very straight-laced about that sort of thing and NEVER missed a payment for anything, ever, in my life prior to that.

Anyway - the point is that it really shook me to my core that he failed to protect us from money trouble. I really trusted him 100% and that was a big thing for me, having never gone that far with any other guy before to allow him total control over my money. For a long time I lost my trust in him in a lot of other areas too. I just kept thinking - if I thought he was taking care of our money, what else do I trust him with that I shouldn't? I felt unsafe and leery of everything for awhile after that.

I eventually got over it. I realized that I was comparing my husband to an IDEAL I had in my head of who he should be - who I imagined him to be - NOT who he really was. In real life he is a human being capable of mistakes. In my head I had made him out to be infallable. The truth is, he is good about making us keep a savings account and helping me to justify purchases before I just go swipe my debit card. He's helped me learn the value of a dollar and not be such a spend-thrift. But, he's not so good at organization and tracking budgets, and when things are due. He needed my help to track calendars and dates and to get our money flowing to a point where we can plan ahead for bill payments that are coming up and manage our money flow over the whole month/year, instead of week to week. And, he was too proud to ask for my help! So he was obviously overwhelmed with the responsibility but refused to tell me or ask me to help him. But at first all I could see was - how could he do this? how could he make such a critical mistake? WHO IS THIS GUY?

Likely, your husband is not the type to stand up in the face of opposition, especially an entire group of people who seem to be against him. He probably doesn't like to make waves. Despite that we all have the ideal that our husband should be our knight in shining armor, he might not even understand how much this affected you. He might not even know HOW to stand up to a group of people like you imagined him to do, maybe he can't even imagine what to say, or why he should have to? I know my H is almost immune to the type of drama you speak of. He truly does not think it matters what other people think about him, or what they might say about him. He might choose to miss a couple of meetings to let the drama blow over, then show up and start working just like nothing had ever happened - because that is just how he is, he would prefer to rugsweep than to confront. He is not wired to take things personally or to put that much stock in the bickerings of others. He would expect me to be the same way, and would be shocked to find out that I wasn't that way. I would have to hit my H over the head with a frying pan to make him see how hurt I was, and even then he would need to be told what I want him to do - please stand up for me, or say ____, if that's what I wanted.

My H is a very timid person in that regard, and yes, I do fight most of my own battles. (Honestly, I fight most of his battles too. Anytime there is an issue where I need to battle about it - recieving bad service, getting into a car accident, etc. I have to be the one to put the pants on and stand my ground against the enemy.) But I dont hold it against him because I know that's just who he is. There are things that will happen to me that he cannot understand. He can listen to me, he can provide sympathy (if I ask him to) but he cannot empathize. And sometimes you need empathy - and you can't find that in your H.

I struggle with that to this day, but I am slowly learning that it's OK to fight my own battles and to have certain things that I need to deal with outside of my marraige. Some things are too much for my H, and despite how much I want him to help me, I know he can't.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
kag123 That is quite a saga and yes it touches the same nerve.
REading someone else's version made me realize how we probably overgeneralize and make assumptions about our partners, and I see that it is kind of unfair, so that is helpful to notice.
What made my situation excruciating was its public nature. It was as if these people were testing not just me but my marriage and I felt embarrassed that my own H did not come to my defense, which further empowered the evil that was going on. Like, Hey, if even her own husband won't stick up for her, it's OPEN SEASON!! That's how I felt.
And it's funny you mention money. We were just traveling and my H was robbed while on public transportation. Stupidly, he had put everything of value in one fat wallet. All our cash, all of his credit/debit cards, a few other things and even the house key (after telling me I didn't need to bring mine; he had his). It took about 24 hrs of holding up as the Strong Woman In A Crisis before I collapsed in a kind of cold shock. I lost my ability to speak. I just sat there frozen. I felt naked, alone, exposed, and unsafe. And we were on vacation in part to relieve me of this horrible depression I had been in because of the other thing going on!
Social status + money = security in a lot of ways and my sense of safety has been severely dinged of late.
Marriage is supposed to provide a sense of mutual protection and I guess it's easy to be disappointed when you realize you've married a fallible human being....
 

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questar1 - I feel for you.

To me marriage means being a team, watching each others back, being each others best cheerleader.

Even if it was aimed at and about you...why is he not angry at the hurt they caused you. I'd be breathing fire if anyone upset my man in that way.

I do hope you can find a way to make him understand what you needed from him during this time... and how short of that mark he has fallen.
Does he even realize this?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
questar1 - I feel for you.

To me marriage means being a team, watching each others back, being each others best cheerleader.

Even if it was aimed at and about you...why is he not angry at the hurt they caused you. I'd be breathing fire if anyone upset my man in that way.

I do hope you can find a way to make him understand what you needed from him during this time... and how short of that mark he has fallen.
Does he even realize this?

Thanks.

"Realize." Define.

I believe that my H has heard me out enough to know how I felt, and he still does not have the skills to deal with this degree of hurt in his wife.

I do know that my H has a limited capacity to interpret social signals and emotional signs in general. This stuff just does not compute for him no matter how articulately I try to explain or how hurt I am. He has made strange choices in other situations like the times he has put his exGFs' feelings above mine and said things like "I know you're strong and SHE would feel more hurt" or "I'm more afraid of HER anger than of yours" and "I can't stop seeing her quite yet because she was abused as a child." (????)

MC only helped in the short term... he never seemed to remember the lesson. (We just don't bring up exes any more and have "agreed to disagree" on the principle.)

I think I have to practice not viewing his strange choices as "betrayal" and rather as his own way of maintaining peace or a lack of conflict in a difficult situation. I'm working on respecting that.
 

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I am glad you sought counseling for the matter. I can't help but wonder what he'd have done if you decided to defend yourself instead of waiting around for him.

"Honey, I'm filing a discrimination and slander lawsuit against the organization we founded together." I have a feeling that would've lit a fire under his butt because it would have given him something tangible and unmessy to deal with. (Emotions are intangible and quite messy.)
 

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I am glad you sought counseling for the matter. I can't help but wonder what he'd have done if you decided to defend yourself instead of waiting around for him.

"Honey, I'm filing a discrimination and slander lawsuit against the organization we founded together." I have a feeling that would've lit a fire under his butt because it would have given him something tangible and unmessy to deal with. (Emotions are intangible and quite messy.)
He should of had your back!:mad:
 

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I think I have to practice not viewing his strange choices as "betrayal" and rather as his own way of maintaining peace or a lack of conflict in a difficult situation. I'm working on respecting that.
Life has conflict, others in our lives will make certain of that & there's no dodging it. Maintaining peace whilst offering our partner as the sacraficial lamb to avoid conflict is extremely hurtful, are you not worth his words of defence, he should have your back simple as that, not fraternizing with the enemy. His behaviour will cause you resentment, waining respect & give you a sense of lonliness creating a lack of solidarity within your marriage.

Nothing worse than feeling your going it alone in your marriage.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Life has conflict, others in our lives will make certain of that & there's no dodging it. Maintaining peace whilst offering our partner as the sacraficial lamb to avoid conflict is extremely hurtful, are you not worth his words of defence, he should have your back simple as that, not fraternizing with the enemy. His behaviour will cause you resentment, waining respect & give you a sense of lonliness creating a lack of solidarity within your marriage.

Nothing worse than feeling your going it alone in your marriage.
Wow. You describe this in the form of predicting the future, when in reality I already feel like this and you are SOOOO accurate, this is exactly how I already feel. Right on target. Bingo.

I'm mystified at his choice and also I ask myself, Would I have done this to him were the roles reversed. I like to think not but then again I wonder, How courageous am I to stand up to a group when I can brainwash myself into thinking "Oh, it's not my problem, it's just drama, it's not such a big deal, he will get over it, I may as well keep cooperating w/ the group." Maybe I would. maybe if I were a guy, I would think that way, and say, Oh, women just get like that, they're so sensitive, it's not really a big deal. IT WAS A VERY VERY BIG DEAL. It was devastating to me. And to others who witnessed it. There is SO much fear in the group now.

I am very upset when people just stand by and do nothing when bad things are being done to people. .... My question is this: Does a spouse have an EXTRA obligation to come to one's defense? Or can a spouse opt out, just like anyone else? Does a spouse get to say, It's YOUR problem, not mine? Does marriage mean we share problems like this? or is that an unfair request? Is it maybe healthier for a spouse to stand back and not get involved?

I think I know the answer because I am living in it. It really hurts. I want my spouse to strap on the armor and go after the dragon that breathed fire on me. It's nice for him to say, "Oh, you're strong, I know you can handle it" but I want my hero by my side with his sword at the ready. :2gunsfiring_v1:
 
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He should of had your back!:mad:
Yeah, but "how?" In the same situation, another person might have felt empowered that their husband thinks they're strong and capable of handling the matter.

I think he possibly felt like a deer in the headlights and was afraid of the group leaders turning on him, so he might have tried to keep his standing so he could remain in a position to do something when the time was right. Would that make him a bad guy?

I think it's unfair if I complain about my husband not doing something I refused to do for myself. I'm sad that the OP had such trouble with these cruel people, but she didn't defend herself, so how is he supposed to know how important it is to her?
 

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Professionalism and marriage can be a very difficult thing, trust me

I'll have to agree and voice what others have adviced me:
DONT work in the same place as your spouse
 
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