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HurtButHopeful? posted 8/29/2013 12:40 PM

This is a mixed rant. I'm wondering if I am crazy, a spoiled brat who is never happy, or if I am making sense from the circumstances.

Whenever FWH demonstrates negative pre A behaviors I trigger hard and start thinking I have to D him to get away from the pain he has caused. Examples of these behaviors are:

1. a blank stare when I am exposing my innermost feelings or thoughts

2. getting an attitude, turning it around on me, and and refusing to communicate

3. walking out of the room and ignoring me.

Several times pre A when he acted like that I tried to explain to him how it made me feel. I would literally have to follow him around, and got angrier and angrier as he refused to communicate with me. He looked like the innocent one, and I was the crazy looking one.

He never acted like that before we M. He did it the very first time I tried to communicate negative feelings to him after we were M. He later said he was dumbfounded by my feelings and words (up till then, I guess it never occurred to him that I might ever have a problem with anything he did. He thought there was something wrong with me for having any negative feelings or opinions about him or anything he was doing.)

After Dday 2, I realized that the man I M was never real, he was hiding his real self behind the man he pretended to be, whom I FIL with and M.

I don't want to be M to the man who refused to communicate about difficult issues for our entire M, and who left the M in various ways, topping it all off with an A and asking for a D.

Yesterday I told him I am probably going to have to D, because it is the only way I see to get away from the pain, since H and his personality are my triggers.

He says he is changing. I agree that he has done some new things since the A. He has bought me a few very expensive pieces of jewelry, for example. He has bought me flowers and given me hand written cards. He has listened to me go on and on about my feelings, fears, related to the A.

What I am needing, however, is for him to be open and talk freely with me about his own brokenness and weaknesses. He rarely shares any new revelations or understandings about himself that contributed to his vulnerability to have an A and look at porn.

When I confronted him about the blank stare, he said that he is silent because he is thinking, "What does she want? Does she want me to say something? Does she want me to just listen? If I say or do the wrong thing I'll be in trouble with her."

This reminds me of what I've read about children who grow up in critical homes. They aren't accepted for who they are, and they learn to give the responses that will get them the acceptance or peace they need. His mother is a very domineering person. If she disagrees with you, she is not agressive or angry, but he has a perfected way of communicating which lets you know she disapproves. She thinks she is always right, no matter how trivial the issue, and she is always better, smarter, higher class, etc. than the person she disagrees with. I can see how growing up with a woman like that, when one is a mellow, pleasant child, as my FWH was, would affect him.

He had the blank stare from the very beginning of our M, so I don't believe that I caused it...he came with it.

I've come to believe that the reason he stares like a deer in the headlights is because
he hasn't learned how to listen to me with his heart, to be empathetic. He is all in his mind, trying to figure out the "right" response.

But I'm not his mother! I'm his wife, and equal. I don't expect agreement, I want a person who listens, and yet is their own person.

When this happens, I begin to realize he is still the same person who cheated, with the same coping and communication mechanisms. Another A looms in front of me, taunting me, saying, "It is just a matter of time until his stress builds up again." Then I begin thinking D is my only path to safety.

Thank you for reading. Any insights you have would be appreciated.


[This message edited by HurtButHopeful? at 12:57 PM, August 29th (Thursday)]

HurtButHopeful? posted 8/29/2013 12:51 PM

Last night he told me (out of the blue...a first for him) that he is thinking about looking for a book to help him figure out why he goes on "binges" with hobbies and then drops them after a while. He said he wonders if those interests are bad, and if they cause him to neglect other people, and that he thinks he has at times.

He is not really a man to get all wrapped up in a hobby. He has no real hobbies. He must be really good at hiding it. The only two interests he had that I have thought were wasting time were playing mindfield and solitaire on the computer when we first got it back in the 90's. His consistent hobby has been keeping up with basketball players statistics. I thought he just did it here and there. It bothered me,however that he always knew the latest sports statistics, but said he didn't have time to read a book for our M, homeschooling or child rearing.

He mentioned a couple of other interests he had, which I never realized he spent too much time didn't seem to affect our M, at least from my perspective.

I hope this is the first of many, many times of communicating with me. My fear is that it is just one time, he was trying to appease me, and he will not do it again unless he feels afraid I am going to leave him.

hopefullromantic posted 8/29/2013 17:54 PM

Your H sounds a lot like mine, a conflict avoider. I didn't create it, he came that way.

I wish I could tell you that the A was the impetus we needed to change all that but it was not. It did get better though. He has learned that sometimes talking things out really does make him feel better and that sometimes I am just venting about "life", not mad at him. He will bite the bullet and discuss the A if I need to but he still manages to escape if he thinks a normal conversation might lead to A talk. It's almost funny watching him steer the conversation away.

I too, feel frustrated at feeling like his mother.

We never really did "talk" about divorce (that would have been too hard for him), but yes, I did think about it for a lot of years because I wasn't seeing enough change in him. I didn't want a divorce though. The conflict avoidance had always been irritating, but not monumental until the A happened and I realized it was a symptom of his bad coping skills. Oh yeah, I have an issue with too many hours playing solitaire on the computer too. Overall though it has been a great marriage except for that nasty A!

Not only did I have to R with my H but I had to R with myself too, as I couldn't leave. The marriage was still just too good to leave, as he was remorseful and he has been very conscious about making me feel safe. I have chalked it up to an anomaly. And things are pretty good going on 7 yrs now.

Silentthoughts posted 8/29/2013 17:55 PM

I am a ww, It sounds like i am much like your husband. It has always been very difficult for me to - first of all know what I am feeling and - secondly communicate about anything where there might be conflict. Even though I am aware, it has been difficult behavior to change! Most people's issues in relationships are caused by unresolved foo issues and need help getting resolved. At least, that is the conclusion I've come to recently.

You can't fix your m by yourself and only he can fix his issues.

[This message edited by Silentthoughts at 5:59 PM, August 29th (Thursday)]

blakesteele posted 8/29/2013 18:31 PM

Wow hurtbuthopeful? I could have written this word for word.

Go and check out my post today talking about Avoiders. "How We Love" is the book I read that detailed both myself and my wife very accurately...via an online quiz.

It speaks to the fact that IF ... and that is a big IF.... he is an Avoider as defined within this book....he, like my wife, my actually not know how to interact with you like you want him I desire my wife to interact with me. It depends on several lifetime factors, but mostly tied to their FOO. In my wifes case the Dad is an alcholic and her parents divorced during her formative years (7-17). If they never felt that intimate connection during their formative years (my wife never had a serious BF in highschool) it is apparently highly likely they lack the skill of intimate connection.

This ties into what I am witnessing through MC and IC...that my wife does desire intimacy, but has real struggles with what that looks like and how to do that. Committing adultery is a very real option for these it is as far from real intimacy as you can have since the entire relationship is so secret...secrets allow Avoiders to deal with reality. It is shocking to say but I almost dont see how my wife would have gone through her life without having an almost seems inevitable now. That helps set in concrete that her affair had nothing to do with me....but it also makes me concerned about what exactly she is capable of, how soon she can get there, and if I have the fortitude to postpone the intimacy I seek. At times I feel as if I do....other times I feel exactly like you do and want to call my attorney.

So I dont think my wife is doing what you speak of in your post out of anything but lack of ability...and some pride and selfishness too...but it may be ability as the main culprit.

Now, this book and its authors contend that real intimacy can be learned later in life...but it takes a lot of work and true dedication on their part.

Long and short....Yep, can totally relate to what you posted. You are not crazy...or at least no more crazy then a lot of us dealing with this trauma.

God help us all.

p.s. To be sure my wife did NOT interact any more intimately with her AP then she did with me...and in almost every way interacted with him on an even shallower level. The reason she found it so intoxicating was it was secret and erotic, and it was also a GREAT escape from reality...a super high for an Avoider.

So this brings me some comfort...though it still sucks....for all the many reasons adultery sucks.

[This message edited by blakesteele at 6:35 PM, August 29th (Thursday)]

whattheh posted 8/29/2013 18:32 PM

My fWH was the only one who brought up D. He would bring it up after dday when I got really angry because he thought being angry meant I wanted to D.

I consistently told him that D wasn't something I was seeking and that it made me feel like he wasn't really willing to fight for our M whenever he brought it up. Sometimes I would say "man up and put your balls back on" when he mentioned D. And I told him he didn't need to bring up D on my behalf as I was capable of making my own decisions and speaking for myself.

Looking back I think he was testing me cuz he couldn't believe Icould stay with him after his betrayal. We are doing much better now and he never brings it up.

[This message edited by whattheh at 6:34 PM, August 29th (Thursday)]

Dallas2 posted 8/29/2013 18:48 PM

I actually served him papers. The funny part is I was in the car when he had to sign for them. He was shocked to say the least. He was mad at the money I spent- to bad.

Once he got the papers he did try more but a part of me had checked out of the M.

I like the Avoider name, it fits my FWH to a tee. I usually have to pin him down to get any conversation going.

You are not crazy at all. As a BS there are days I still wonder if a D isn't the right answer. Time will tell.

OldCow18 posted 8/29/2013 20:25 PM

I am the girl who cried divorce. It's like my only respite when things get to be too much. When it gets too heavy, too painful, too angry, too emotional, too sad, I just throw in the towel and say that's it, I want a divorce. Down deep I know that is the only justice in all of this, yet, I wake up the next day and wonder if I want justice or happiness and the cycle begins again.

krazy8516 posted 8/29/2013 20:56 PM

Wow hurtbuthopeful? I could have written this word for word.


I threatened divorce twice in two days, just after D-day. Since NC and full transparency have been established, I haven't mentioned it again. But I do experience the same problems you are with my WH, and I do often wonder if actually filing would be the only way to help him really "get it."

Honestly, I'm hoping to hell there's another way, I just haven't found it yet. We're still so early out in all this, at the moment I'm just trying to give it some time.

joeboo posted 8/29/2013 21:23 PM

He had the blank stare from the very beginning of our M, so I don't believe that I caused it...he came with it.

I've come to believe that the reason he stares like a deer in the headlights is because
he hasn't learned how to listen to me with his heart, to be empathetic. He is all in his mind, trying to figure out the "right" response.

I would be guilty of a blank stare as well. For me it is because I need to process it logically before I can process it emotionally. Its like thinking in english and speaking in spanish. There is a delay for translation.

Do you ever talk about divorce?
Not often and not lately, but yes, quite a few time over the last couple of years. I drew my lines in the sand and also told her if she wanted someone else to not let the door hit her in the ass. Neither of us ever expected me to say that ever, so it was kind of a wake up call for her.

I wish you peace as you work through this. You might want to consider the saying that actions speak louder than words. Maybe he is better at doing than talking? Maybe not, but I hope you find the answer.

HurtButHopeful? posted 8/29/2013 22:28 PM

Sorry it took me so long to get back. Busy day!

Thank you all for your responses. I was just sure I was crazy and a spoiled brat.

hopefulromantic: I too love my M more than I hate it. Deep down I don't want to D. I just get overwhelmed and his behaviors trigger me. He is really trying in many ways...sometimes just not the right ways.

blakesteel: I get what you said about them not knowing how. There is hope, if they can learn how to communicate. It just seems sometimes that he is so cut off from himself, emotions relating to his FOO and things that happened. He doesn't see where his mother was controlling while he was growing up. That is so bizarre to me...did she get that way only when I came into his life? I don't think so. He is just shutting out the painful parts of growing up with his family. He has negative memories about his step dad, but not his mom, who brought the step dad into his life, and focused on step dad while he and his brother had to cope with her D from their dad, gave them a new dad and even wanted them to change their last names!

OldCow: "and the cycle begins again."

Get me off the merry-go-round! I'm keeping it going myself!

joeboo: "For me it is because I need to process it logically before I can process it emotionally." That is basically what my H says. Only he doesn't really get to the emotional/empathetic part...he stays in the defensive/or judgemental part.

"You might want to consider the saying that actions speak louder than words. Maybe he is better at doing than talking?"

You got it. But should I give up on the talking part...I need to hear what his heart and mind are processing to know he is moving forward and growing.

myperfectlife posted 8/29/2013 23:27 PM

Blakesteele, your post is spot on. That is my WS to a "T".

Your H sounds a lot like mine, a conflict avoider. I didn't create it, he came that way.

This is something my WS tries to pin on ME. That my "controlling" behavior to him made him that way.
Not true. He came to me that way and I pointed out specific examples from when we first met which proved it.
I believe that my personality type is attracted to people I can "push around". I've fought doing that our whole marriage because I didn't want to be that "bitch". When I would pull back to give him room to be himself, he didn't pull up and do the things that needed to be done. When there were opportunities to be taken, he shirked the responsibilities.
He's always been one step behind, a day too late, and always, always putting out fires with lies.
Not to say he's been an evil man, or intentionally cruel. But he does not ever think ahead to consequences. He thinks backward and says "I didn't mean to do that, hurt you," etc.
On my side I know my personality at times only reinforced his lack of confidence. I am confident, a planner, see the big picture, and use foresight. He does not do any of those things.
When I would ask him for his opinion I would counter with "well what about this?" because I knew he hadn't considered it. He felt I was just disregarding his opinion.
Not the same thing, but a huge issue that continued to kill his self confidence.
I believe that most prominent characteristic of most cheaters is conflict avoidance. On the flipside their partners seem to be fairly confident and verbal.

It's really mind blowing how easily he and I fit that mold.
And very disturbing because I wonder just how much hope there is for these dynamics to change. Also, if they do change-what will be left of the marriage.
Is divorce the only answer?

[This message edited by myperfectlife at 11:29 PM, August 29th (Thursday)]

Jrazz posted 8/29/2013 23:31 PM

I talked about it a lot in the beginning and was met with the same responses.

Sounds like pretty classic conflict-aviodance. Any time the conversation gets heavy I have to fight to keep Crazz in the room.

It's something we need to go over in MC, so that's what I'd recommend. I don't think you're a spoiled brat at all - I think you're dealing with someone with a deeply ingrained flight response - and that makes it almost impossible to have clear and direct communication sometimes.


PricklePatch posted 8/29/2013 23:39 PM

I talk about the d word. I have realized something recently. My whole is actually incognito by his absolute inaction or opinion on things. This then allows him to say how controlling I am. I realized oddly enough after reading some fifty shades of grey the bottom has all the control. This is totally true in our case, no we don't do beam, but, I pay all the bills do the shopping make a budget, he pretends to listen, treats the atm like a lotto winner and gets posses when I say what about the bills. We are light this month your spending money is 100 dollars. I get you are so demanding its just lunch it jus Sri is its jus whatever. Dude u screwed to the plan, no I didn't. So by his inaction there has to be a responsible party and it isn't him. He is the victim of the controlling birch wife.

[This message edited by PricklePatch at 11:40 PM, August 29th (Thursday)]

crazyblindsided posted 8/30/2013 00:13 AM

Yesterday I told him I am probably going to have to D, because it is the only way I see to get away from the pain, since H and his personality are my triggers.

^This is exactly how I felt today. We actually discussed D. My WH said that maybe what he is doing will never be enough. I don't know. I am really unsure right now with my emotions and I can't believe I haven't healed more in 18 months

But I am realizing my WH's behaviors are causing me to trigger.

Dreamland posted 8/30/2013 00:56 AM

And double Ditto

Wow hurtbuthopeful? I could have written this word for word.
.. My hubby is an avoider totally. And yes he came that way too.. Alcoholic father mother who was an avoider.. Brother who is a serial cheater and they all just laughed it off... Major conflict avoiders... I on the other hand was a talker... I have said the D word many times but he has an illness I have the steady job with health insurance. And he is remorseful and trying but like your seems to avoid his true feelings. I want him to find out why now after 18 yrs of M. After he told me six years ago he wasn't interested in sex at that time before and I was at my peak i wanted him so bad but he couldn't or wouldn't some of it was his illness.. then boom now he can with the A.. Now he is interested with her.. He claims he couldn't many times.. During our HB he was amazed he could with me.. Can't tell if its BullShit or what
Anyway now he can't again and he doesn't want to talk about it. And the little blue pill is expensive and he says it doesn't always work. So we are back to pre sex for me. And now I'm hitting menopause so soon it's all done. The problem is that I love him. And he probably doesn't have much time left. Ten years. You would think I would just be grateful we are together but I am too hurt too bitter and angry..
It so sad a real shame. He seems to not care and I am withering away as always. One more year. I have a senior so once she goes to school we will see how things progress.
Good luck

TxsT posted 8/30/2013 01:20 AM

My hubby used to ask me you just want me to leave....will that stop the pain??? Hahahaha....if it were just that simple hey guys?

A's are not only about fantasy but about taking the easy road. It was easier for my hubby to accept the offers he had been given from his AP far easier then coming home and working for the same thing from me. This is also why, no matter if he wanted to come back to me or not , he could never quite leave his AP even when he felt the fantasy of the A was dead.

I have never talked about D....I just talk about leaving and going back to what I gave up so many years ago to become a mom and wife. I would never divorce him......that would be the easier road for him. Painful at first because there would be a lot of money involved but then free at the end to go whatever direction he chose. Leaving without Ding is like leaving them in limbo hell. They can't get remarried, they can't do anything official....


Josephine01 posted 8/30/2013 02:02 AM

Wow, Txs T, I like the way you think.

TxsT posted 8/30/2013 02:11 AM

LOLOLOL.....thank you Josephine. I guess I mostly feel like my hubby's A was the single most selfish thing he could do to why not be selfish back???

He asked me again just the other day if I wanted him to leave. My answer was very simply....if anyone is going to do the leaving around here it will be me and I won't be taking the kids with me when I go. It is high time I started focusing on my happiness since you didn't think much about it when the A started!

That comment woke him up pretty fast

I am no longer quiet about my own needs. If something is wrong I bring it up. If I am unhappy I bring it up. I am never going to be blindsided again!


HurtButHopeful? posted 8/30/2013 08:57 AM

myperfectlife: "This is something my WS tries to pin on ME. That my "controlling" behavior to him made him that way." I've heard that too. He says I am not "safe" to open up with. He is right that I have interrupted, and flung back things he has said in (my) angry times. However, I believe that is a convenient excuse for him to stay clammed up, and not put forth the effort (IC, reading, digging into his own FOO pain, taking another risk to bond emotionally/verbally with me.)

Generally I don't choose people I can push around, as you said, but the people (always women) who become close friends have strong personalities, strong core values, and are not afraid to express it. When we communicate it is fluid, lots of interrupting each other to add or validate each other, lots of back and forth, and lots of listening at the same time.

With H, it is me doing all the talking with him silent, and when he wants to talk, he wants me to be the same way. I must have ADD or something, because I get thoughts relating to what he is saying, and if I don't say them right then, I forget them. I've never done this, but maybe I should take notes and make all my comments at once when he is finished. Whenever we are talking and I interrupt, even to interject something related, even supportive, he gets irritated, and he shuts down. He is trying not to shut down, and I am trying to not interrupt, but it doesn't seem half as fulfilling as when I speak with a female friend. We (me and my female mentors/friends) can cover amazing amounts of ground in a short period of time without hurt feelings.

I'm not sure why my style of communication is so foreign to him (according to him.) His mother is a lousy listener (I am not) and when she decides she wants to interject, from that moment on, it is her talking, bragging about herself, or something similar. He seems to be projecting her onto me, and I am not at all like that. I want a meeting of the hearts and minds. I don't just want to have a platform to brag on myself.

Actually, sometimes I do "fish" for compliments, I have to admit. However it is not every time I open my mouth like my MIL.

Now here I am again, thinking that D is the only answer to emotional peace. I feel my heart rising to my throat, and my stomach twinging again. sigh....

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