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Constant contact vs smothering

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ThatGuyNoMore posted 4/30/2014 18:38 PM

I feel like I don't want to be away from my BS ever. I always want to be near her, ready to take care of her, answer questions, or just being within supervision. I'm anxious to prove my commitment to her.

But I am concerned about smothering her with attention. She needs space to breathe and to think. I respect her need to be alone or with others supporting her, like the many good folks here on SI.

I also need to spend time taking care of my own issues. I worry if I give my time and attention to other things, then I'm not making her my priority. How do I find that balance?

Blasphemist posted 5/2/2014 00:26 AM

I've read here, and learned from personal experience, that you need to ask your partner what they want. Tell them (over and over) how much you appreciate them, and want to be with them, and ask that they tell you where the boundaries lie.

We broke those boundaries, through our affairs, and lost the right to have them. I discovered, in couples therapy, that our communication was horrible. That is what we are trying to fix. Even the mundane is discussed, to remove even the chance of tiny resentments building.

So talk to her, tell her that you need her guidance, but (I think this is what you are saying) you want to spend so so much time with her because you love her, and she is very special to you, and you get joy from being around her. Ask her to be honest when she needs space, and why, and then support her having that space. Don't mope, have something productive to do in lieu of that closeness.

And this is advice I should take, but when she is gone, do something that she would appreciate seeing done when she returns. A clean bathroom. Laundry done. Kitchen clean. Windows washed. Fresh flowers on a windowsill. That shit we never thought to do when in the fog. Show her that this person is not the same person that had the affair. Be someone that she wants to spend more time with.

Now I need to go clean that toilet.

BrokenButTrying posted 5/2/2014 09:41 AM

I am struggling with this.

I am a talker. It's how I resolve issues, I don't always need advice or a solution, most often I just need to think outloud and get reassurance or support. IC is right up my street, I progress very quickly. I am able to articulate my thoughts and feelings easily.
My gut instinct in dealing with my A is to talk about, talk about it some more and then... talk about it some more!

BH is the opposite. He does not need to talk. His whole family are rug sweepers and he is no different. In order to help him heal he has told me to let him handle it in his own way by not discussing it. He feels smothered when I do.
I don't know how to do this. It's completely alien to me. Never the less, I have made a gargantuan effort and have done well over the last month or so just keeping my mouth shut.

However, it has recently come to light that BH has severe anxiety and his health might be at risk if it is not dealt with. His coping mechanism of shutting everyone out and not talking about anything is failing him. I asked him last night to please seek some help, I am very worried about him. I really don't know whether he will or not.

I think you just have to take the lead from your BS. Ask them what they need from you and do your very best to accommodate it.

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