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chick posted 11/12/2013 06:01 AM

It turns out that I have a bit of a communication issue - as in I don't. I say I am fine if I am not, I don't open up.....this is something I have to work on - but how?

Our MC said that we should make sure we have a couple of times a week set aside for a chat about how things are and how we are feeling about it all. And I really do want to talk as when we go for days without mentioning it at all then I start feeling annoyed like it has all gone away before it has been resolved. Our MC also said we should not talk about it too late in the evening as we should be able to have relaxation time before we go to sleep.

However at the moment we are both so busy that we don't have an early in the evening. We were supposed to talk on Saturday afternoon but got held up doing a few things and then it was the evening, he said maybe it was too late and I was happy to go with it as talking makes me uncomfortable. However 3 days later we still have not talked about anything.

So I feel like we should talk tonight - I don't feel like the late at night thing is a massive issue as we are fairly calm about it all at the moment so it won't turn into a blazing row that keeps us up all night.

But I am struggling with how to do it and what to say - I never realised before this just how closed I am and how much I keep things to myself. Things such as just how I am feeling, if he has done something to annoy me - or I feel shy about expressing sexual preferences, for example, because I feel self conscious and stupid. So I will just not say if I want to try something or will try to hint for him to suggest it. No idea why because he has never made me feel like this. But I really want us to be completely open with each other, before all this we did have a great relationship and I thought we were open, but I have realised that I am not - I am not always completely myself in terms of expressing my innermost feelings.

So I need to change that, as much as it makes me squirm to open up. And I need to start with making sure we have a chat about things tonight. I feel that I could maybe message him and say let's have a chat tonight - but then he will say OK how are you feeling - and I will clam up.....has anyone else learned how to overcome this??

AML04 posted 11/12/2013 06:34 AM

I was a lot like you before I knew about his A. I guess one good thing that came out of this is that all the pain and anger really tore down my walls. Now I don't stop talking and always tell him how I feel. I'm still not sure how to express my anger in a healthy way though.

Maybe try writing some stuff down, things you really want him to know about how you're feeling. I'm not sure why I stopped but doing that in the beginning really opened me up. You could also suggest he do it as well.

Good luck!!!

chick posted 11/12/2013 06:57 AM

Thanks AML04 - I don't seem to have a problem with writing things down and in fact right after I found out that is how we communicated - so at least we can communicate in some way but I really want to be able to talk to him face to face, I just end up clamming up and staring out of the window. It is horrible because he is the one who cheated but I feel like I am the one who dreads the MC sessions and the chats because I just feel so uncomfortable opening up. I feel stupid and vulnerable talking about how hurt I am and how I am feeling.

And I want it to carry on into everyday life - as I mentioned I would love to be able to say 'oh I want to try xyz in bed' without feeling self conscious....or even be able to tell him I have been posting on here and let him read what I have written - but I just seem to keep all of these things to myself and would feel so embarrassed if I left the website open on my laptop and he saw it - which is stupid really, I know it is. We have been together for 15 years and we know each other inside out - except maybe he doesn't know me as well as he thinks if I keep stupid thoughts from him, I don't want it to be like that

I have messaged him and said let's have a chat tonight even though it will be a bit late. So no getting out of it now, better think about what on earth I will say when he asks how I am doing. Maybe I will try to tell him about the struggle I am having with opening up - if he asks me specific questions I think I could answer them, I just can't imagine saying anything other than 'fine' if he asks how I am! Maybe he can help me out with it all.

[This message edited by chick at 7:00 AM, November 12th (Tuesday)]

KatieG posted 11/12/2013 08:07 AM

Hi chick, I'm sure your MC has some ideas but after skimming through Dr Phil's Relationship Rescue book, there was a suggestion that I quite like the sound of.

He says something like set aside 15 minutes and sit down without any distractions. Look each other in the eye and each one speaks about how they feel, starting with "I" sentences, the other one isn't allowed to speak or comment, just listen. And you don't discuss it afterwards.

I thought that was a good way to break through a difficulty because you don't have the pressure of wondering what the other person is going to say - because they're not allowed to. They just absorb it.

I think the purpose is to get stuff off your chest and be heard and vice versa. Just a thought.

WhatsRight posted 11/12/2013 08:11 AM

Maybe I will try to tell him about the struggle I am having with opening up - if he asks me specific questions I think I could answer them, I just can't imagine saying anything other than 'fine' if he asks how I am! Maybe he can help me out with it all.

As a person married to a serial "closed" person, I think this sounds great!

Not only is it honest, but it gives your partner an 'opening' that is welcomed. I cannot tell you how much that would mean to me!

Good luck tonight!

WhatsRight posted 11/12/2013 08:12 AM

oops! double post - sorry.

[This message edited by WhatsRight at 8:13 AM, November 12th (Tuesday)]

reallysad2012 posted 11/12/2013 08:18 AM

I don't really have any great advice for you, but wanted you to know I can relate to the part about holding things back in everyday life.

Regarding chats, we have had lots of them. I don't recall starting any of them on purpose. They weren't planned. Which means they generally occurred late at night and into the wee hours of the morning making us both tired the next day. Planning a time and setting a time limit might be a better way to go. I like the idea of writing down the things that are on your mind. We haven't talked about the A for about 3 weeks (we are 14 months out) and I am feeling the need to talk but can't figure out if talking now is a good idea or not. Feels like we have gone over all the relevant material and anything new I can think of to ask about is only pain shopping. Or an effort to get an answer to the unanswerable question "How could you do this to me."

Sorry...that was a ramble.

Since I can relate to the part about hesitating to let him know when he annoys you or expressing how you really fell, I thought I would share what I have recently experienced. He called me from work a few nights ago to see how I was feeling (usually not good when he isn't home at night) and I started talking. I hear voices in the background and suddenly he says he is super busy and can't talk right now, bye. Hangs up. WTH?? I was hurt and angry. Normally, I would have said nothing. I debated it in my mind for about 20 minutes then sent him a text along the lines of "I know you are busy and may not want to hear this right now but you also say you want me to tell me when you have upset me. You just did. Don't call me just to tell me you don't have time to talk, especially right after I comment that you aren't alone." (See...I wrote it down and sent it....) I got a very apologetic phone call a few minutes later.

Still working on this, but the reward is worth the effort. Whenever I have pointed out that he has upset me he is usually surprised and didn't realize how he was acting.

chick posted 11/12/2013 23:52 PM

Thanks for the replies, I think I managed to do OK.....at first it was going terribly as I just couldn't say a thing - I said to him that I obviously have difficult in opening up and maybe he should ask me questions that I could answer as I just didn't have a clue where to start or what to say otherwise. He wasn't keen on that idea as said that he felt like he was interrogating me. So I was silent for a while - then he started talking and saying how scared he is that I will wake up one morning and decide all the hard work isn't worth it - and that he feels like he has a constant lump in his chest with all the guilt and worry. And I laughed, it was horrible and I have no idea why it happened because it wasn't at all funny, it was just like a nervous reaction. I immediately apologised and said that I had not done it because I thought anything was funny - luckily he was fine about it. I just kept having the feeling throughout the whole chat that I wanted to laugh, it was really awful, I spent a lot of time digging my fingers into my leg to stop it - I think I must be a bit crazy, who laughs during these conversations?!

Anyway he kind of did end up asking me questions so then I managed to talk a bit - although if he stopped then so did I. I did have things I wanted to say sometimes but just couldn't come out and say them. But overall I think it went OK in terms of me opening up - definitely could have been better but could also have been worse.

The thing I managed to get across that is one of the major things is that I am not being myself with him at the moment and feel conflicted in terms of wanting to be close to him and then feeling like it is wrong to be - I think it is a form of protecting myself as I feel vulnerable. And I said this to him. He has totally noticed this as says it is like a light has gone out in my eyes and I haven't looked at him in the same way since D Day, and it is killing him. But I am glad that I explained why it is happening.

And another thing I said was that we could never know whether he would do it again - he said that of course he won't and he will never again let himself end up in a similar situation to what he was in that night where one minute things were innocent and then the next they weren't - but my thought is that how can he possibly say never again when before he did it the first time we both would have said never? I said we were both obviously naive and too trusting to say never. He really wants to get this thought out of my head as says that it feels like I will just spend the rest of my life waiting for it to happen again - and I don't think I will as such, I just don't think anymore that either of us can say with 100% certainty that it will never happen, we have said that before and yet here we are.

We are going on holiday on Friday and I really want to work hard on getting back to 'us' - I am going to try to let my guard down a bit and see how it feels. We did have a couple of hours at the weekend of acting stupid together and it was just like it used to be but then I felt like I realised what I was doing and put the walls up again.

It is hard work

OnAnIsland posted 11/13/2013 01:10 AM

It is hard work. But it is totally natural to protect yourself from him. He may need to earn an opening up there. Not trying to suggest punishment, just that at this soon father day, you may be in shock and are definitely still traumatized. You are wondering what else is not true about your M and partner and life you thought you knew.

Give yourself time. But do tell him when you are upset, when you trigger, and when you feel safe enough to share, do it. And sometimes the late at night can't be avoided. Don't bottle it all up. Be gentle with yourself. You are going through a traumatic life event.

maxandsen posted 11/13/2013 01:45 AM

Sometimes the expectation of "having" to talk puts a lot of stress on us so we try to talk while doing other things. Our favorite is taking a bubble bath together.

The bath is relaxing (a glass of wine also helps) and it is harder to fight when it isn't so easy to run away. Our emotions seem to be more even keel.

We do this at least once a week.

We will be moving next year and a big bath tub will be a must in our new house

chick posted 11/13/2013 01:52 AM

Yeah this is true about the 'having to talk' thing - I did feel in the spotlight somewhat, and I hate being centre of attention.

This sounds really bizarre but I almost suggested that we turn the lights out because I felt like if he couldn't see my face then I would be able to talk. Strange I know. But then I don't want to do that because I want to be able to talk like normal people do and not find ways around it.

I like the idea of a bath and a glass of wine, a couple of drinks would definitely help!

Thanks for all of the advice, it is helping me to not feeling like a crazy person

maxandsen posted 11/14/2013 04:14 AM

I think turning of the lights is a great idea. How about taking a blanket laying out in the back yard at night under the stars and talking.

Once you start to open up it will become easier and easier. Don't rule out bizarre ideas. All you can do is try and see if it works if not move on to another.

steadfast1973 posted 11/14/2013 07:08 AM

It's at bedtime that I need to talk the most. When my mind starts messing with me. And wandering into dark places.

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