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He isn't addressing what I need, when I need it

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turtle72 posted 1/15/2014 07:52 AM

We are in the very early days, triage mode, I know. All communication about the A is being done via email - when we try talk in person I talk too fast and he answers too slow or registers defense as his first reaction and things go south. So email lets me get it out and gives him time to answer and put his defenses aside.

But how, or maybe I should say when, he answers is causing me distress. I will ask a question or share how I feel about something very specific. He will respond that day with generalities - mostly about how awful it feels for him to see me in pain and know he caused it. I am accepting of baby steps here because him feeling and actually expressing anything about pain he has caused someone else is big for him.

Last Monday I told him I was feeling down about myself and needed some validation from him. I needed to know that he saw ME. I asked him to share what he loved about me, big things, little things. By EOD Friday he had sent nothing like that and I was upset that he could actually find the time to take long walks, go out to lunch and actually have sex on the clock, but not to write even one sentence about me.

This Monday was a good day. Even though he lost hours getting his Std tests done he took the time to share a memory of me from our distant past, with details of our surroundings, his feelings in the moment. The sweet memory brought up A questions that he partially answered. When I called him on it he admitted to not answering because I thought I wouldnt believe the answer but would work on that.

So yesterday was a very bad day for me. It was exactly four weeks from when I lost the baby. With trying to give the kids a happy Christmas and then dday right then, I never really got to grieve. Just remebering being on the bathroom floor holding that tiny yolk sac in my hands and him being the coldest unsupportive ass - I was a puddle. We hadn't really told anyone and I felt so alone. He had confesed that he had sex with her "around that time" on a night he worked OT. I finally got the courage to look back at our emails to see exactly when. It was the day after my MC.

I emailed that I was having a rough day and why. He said he was putting out a fire at work but would address it ASAP. His reply was a very long, very well thought out and touching list of why he loves me.

Any other time I would have loved that email. But it angered me. I felt like I had to go through the loss of out baby alone and now grieve alone. I know he didn't want the baby. I imagine finding out your wife is pregnant the week after you start sleeping with someone else would throw a wrench in things. I am sure while I felt sorrow he felt relief. But no mention of the baby or my grief at all, even in passing.

He is a check box person. He sees things in grids and what needs to get done to get to the next step. I can picture him having "things I love about Turtle" on his to do list. Not deviating from that to address my issue of the day that would throw things out if order. Maybe that is on the list now for next week...

We start MC tonight. I know it will just be an intake and not address anything. I see he is trying. He is taking actions. I don't want to shut him down by making him feel he is doing it "wrong" or too slow. But right now I don't feel heard.

sisoon posted 1/15/2014 10:24 AM

Since his life is so scheduled, and since you seem to use different time scales, have you considered negotiating timeframes with him?

That would involve, I think, asking for the support you want and telling him when you want it at the start. (Example: Will you list why you love me and give me the list now/tonight/end of the month?)

If you told him your desire for him to list what he loved about you was urgent, I'm not sure my suggestion would help, but my guess is that you didn't say so, and he wanted time to think, so he could come up with a really good list. I know I've been asked to come up with that sort of list in MC, and a couple of times I assumed our MC meant for us to discuss it at the next session.

[This message edited by sisoon at 10:27 AM, January 15th (Wednesday)]

turtle72 posted 1/15/2014 11:04 AM

That is definitely part of the issue - I did not give a time frame for it. Over the weekend I expressed that I would like him to think of something every day, even if it is one sentence, and he has done that.

I think that is part of the downside to the email communication. If I don't spell it out he can't see that I am frantic on the other side of the screen looking for reassurances NOW.

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