I have noticed a few things about myself since I decided to give up M. I am much more comfortable being completely honest with people, and I am able to brush off the dramas that erupt in my life much more easily.
My wife has always been somewhat emotionally reactive. That is to say that she gets upset easily, and when she is upset she needs to vent.
In the past I was not very skilled at handling her emotional energy. I would tend to either flee from it, or just sit quietly and feel miserable. In either case, she would end up feeling bad as well. Early in our marriage she told me that I needed to fight back more. It makes her feel like a bitch when she vents at me and I wither up like a flower in the hot sumer sun. Eventually she started biting her tounge, but that was no better. She had this emotional energy raging and no appropriate way to vent it.
Lately that pattern has changed. I no longer fear being chewed out by her. I understand that she needs to vent her frustration. I just let her go ahead and vent. I do not try to flee. I do not fight. If she accused me of something that I did not do, I wil calmly tell her that. However, most of the time I legitimatly screwed up, so I just let her say what she needs to say. If an apology is called for I will give it. I note the things that I could do better next time. Then I just let it all go.
After that, all of the negative energy just evaporates. She was able to express what she needed to express. I took my lumps without flinching. Everything that needed to be dealt with was dealt with. There is no lingering resentment or anger that will smolder beneath the surface. We are both good now. Water off a duck's back.
Because this pattern has chnaged, I no longer feel like I need to hide the things that I have done wrong. I openly admit that I made a mistake, weather the storm that may follow, and then carry on.
It is all rather refreshing.