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LearningToFly posted 1/29/2014 01:51 AM

Dd was almost a year ago. At that time WH said the A was over, then he met up with her in March, continued writing until I caught him and asked him to stop, hid a secret email account until mid april, took 4 trys at a NC letter with our marriage counselors help, in June he began planning a trip without me to her area to see a band he and she shared insisting that it was for the band, not her, in July he wrote a poem to honor her father who died, in Aug he resentfully agreed not to go to the concert he planned in June. Every time he dragged his feet or acted resentful when I asked him to cut a string to the affair (blocking Facebook, getting rid of poems, letting her BH know what they were doing) , I ended up crying and he ended up frustrated and confused that I was reacting that way.

Now he is going to IC (he was going before while in the A and didn't tell the counselor), we are going to MC, I go to a different IC. He says his focus is on becoming more honest(which is great though I don't see him being honest with himself) and talking about his "needs, wants, and desires." In marriage counseling, he is working on having fun times and drawing a line to start again. I have asked for him to work on listening, empathy, and connection. I believe that is a huge area the counselor is trying to focus on too, he doesn't seem to hear her any more than he has heard me. He honestly doesn't seem to get the concept of emotional connection at all.

He wants a physical relationship again. (we haven't had one in a long time due to abandonment issues when I got sick.) I asked then that he show me empathy and connection and we would match those with physical expressions. I feel most alone when we are "making love" (He has been heavily into porn for years and I think it has had an effect.) When he reaches out to hug me, it feels like a empty act without feeling.

I have been trying to push myself forward, to be responsive to his hugs. He told the counselor last week that he is "disappointed" in my reactions, that I push him away. I have not tried to push him away. He has offered back rubs a few times that I said thanks but no thanks but it has been with kindness and a good reason (we had just ate and he wanted me to lay down. (He says its too difficult to give me a massage while I am sitting up.)

When he said he was disappointed that I wasn't responding, I tried to explain to him that I had noticed him giving more hugs and appreciated it. He suggested that I give him hugs too. I told him that I would like to get to that place but I am still fighting back so many triggers. I gave him some examples. He could not get beyond me "bringing up the affair again" to what I was trying to communicate which was that I am working hard and fighting a battle most of the time. I have been told not to bring up the affair but I don't believe I was bringing up the affair. That is in the past. The thing that isn't in the past is all the triggers and pain I feel now. I am working through it but it is huge.

He seems to be thinking only about his needs. He wants me to be responsive, to praise him, to accept him (whatever that means-I am not going to accept the affair, his lies, his impatience and blame shifting), to validate his feelings (he says he has trust issues because I talk too long, have called him an immature baby in the past, expect him to jump through hoops...) , to respect him and to love him.

Its frustrating because I want to become a better wife. I have tried to be responsive though I don't feel there is a lot of positive to be responsive too - he wants to keep things superficial because conflict throws him off. I have thanked him and praised him when I see him making an effort, I have stopped calling him names because I am making an effort to control my emotions, I am also trying to let go of what I want from him and find other ways of meeting my legitimate needs through taking classes, going to a 12 step programs (two of my children are addicts) and spending fun time with girlfriends. This is to let the pressure off him. It doesn't make me want to have sex with him because I don't feel connected to him. It does help me not be angry and resentful toward him. I want to love him again. The feelings are not there because we don't have much substance. If we cannot talk beyond the weather or how was your day without arguing, how can we feel connected which I need to feel love for him?

I am thinking and dealing with so much. I cannot allow myself to make him my whole life again. I was so depressed when He was my world and I was an afterthought to him. I am concerned about my daughter who was hurt in a bike accident 3 years ago and is having trouble adjusting to her new normal, my son who turned 18 a few months ago and left to live on the streets using meth, and my 22 y/o daughter who is caught in the middle of the two siblings she loves and was so close to who are now not able to be there for her most of the time.

Sex is not the first thing on my mind. It is really scary to even think about when my husband seems to have no clue as to what he has done to me, to us, and to our family. And NO CLUE of how to be a patient, compassionate, listening husband now.

A couple counselors have asked me "what if he cannot give you what you want" - this was after assuring me that what I want is reasonable. I guess he may push me to make that decision sooner than later. I really wanted to be able to heal and give him time in IC to work on himself so we could stay together.

Thank-you if for reading this.

ionlytalkedtoher posted 1/29/2014 02:01 AM

i'm sorry. so difficult. I don't have any advice but you have been heard.

StruckNumb posted 1/29/2014 02:53 AM

I think the title of your post really says it all. He needs to be willing to listen to the not so fun stuff you feel in order to get to a place of bonding with you and it sounds like he's not willing to make that journey. He sees it as conflict rather than a healing process. It sounds like he's only interested in the positive, fun aspects of intimacy. My therapist says some people can have only that kind of attachment. These people are broken. Things get rough and they're running for the door looking for a diversion. It's very telling about the porn because the thing about porn is it's a solitary activity, all about pleasuring only the self. I think you're doing the right thing in concentrating on other areas of your life. And you're doing the right thing in telling him honestly how you feel without calling him names. Keep talking honestly without insults. You have a right to talk about how you feel. But you can't make him listen to you. That desire has to come from inside of him. And you need to be able to bring up the affair as much as you need to in order to get through this or you will never get through this. He just may never be able to be the person you need him to be and you will have to decide longrun if that's okay in a spouse or not.

morethantrying posted 1/29/2014 03:04 AM

I am so sorry you are struggling. You certainly have a lot going on in your life and it must be very hard at times. I send hugs and prayers. My husband and I have found John GOttman's workshop extremely helpful as it is based on 30 years of scientific give actual Tools to help a couple become better friends and have a positive approach. If you can't go to their session you might be able to find a counselor trained in the Gottman way. It is REALLY helping us though we of course have ups and downs. FOr me, anything he does that is sincere, whether I feel like it or not, I praise and appreciate. This helps him and in the long run me as well as it focuses on the positive rather than the negatives...that is really the key though I admit very hard at times...but by doing so you will help yourself to heal as well...the bottom line is to heal and move on is really tough, but if I can suggest I would start to let him touch me and be drawn into his sincere and hopefully loving attempts...I understand triggers but my IC told me not to let the OW into the bedroom or my thoughts..why should I let her into MY THOUGHTS afterall!!!..even if his attempts are not perfect it is a good starting point and nothing will change over night...this is hard too isn't it...we want it all at once and boy it takes time!

When I read about your situation it sounds like a real mid-life crisis...she is 55..good grief! Men really go though the longing for the glory days and some act on is hard but understanding this helped me...they start thinking about dying and all that and being with the HS girl makes him feel young again and all that crap...well, understanding doesn't mean accepting or approving, but for me I understand...that helped and put it into perspective and see, very clearly it had NOTHING to do with me and all to do with his can I be understanding and even compassionate...realizing that you are indeed going to die are not the young, tough, strong kid any more I imagine can be tough...looks like I can...I don't like it, but I love him and he is human...yikes...what a shock....hope this might help a bit.

For me my relationship is very important to me and something worth investing in...already put so much into it already! I don't know if this would help you personally or not, But I found that to have some very good 20 minutes sessions --not sure if I get hypnotized or not but is like very nice meditation anyway...and the messages really help. You might find some peace with them...I have been really benefiting off and on with them.

Your personal mental health is deserve to have peace and happiness as best you can in this life...I truly believe this. Peace.

[This message edited by morethantrying at 3:18 AM, January 29th (Wednesday)]

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