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Impossible- he just doesn't get it

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Blanket posted 6/28/2014 02:16 AM

So I tried talking with my husband last night about how I feel - devastated, insecure etc etc etc.
He immediately became defensive and told me that he already felt he was doing all he could to make me feel secure.
He said you know I love you I told you that. He says he doesn't know what else he can do. I tried explaining that I need to feel like he couldn't bear to lose me and that he was truly sorry but he just shut down. Communication has never been his strong point and he always sees it as me attacking him no matter how gently I approach the subject. How do I get him to understand?! He just wants to forget the affair ever happened !

jjct posted 6/28/2014 04:44 AM

Stop. Stop trying to "get him to understand".

I know it's frustrating as hell but please just put all your energy into yourself - your own healing. Direct it inwardly.

You can't fix him or get him to see or do - anything!

Sounds like he'd rather rugsweep than do the hard work of finding what's broken within himself, that "allowed" him to make the crappy choices he did to harm you.
Fine. You do the 180 then.


Kajem posted 6/28/2014 11:04 AM

Your trying to make him see your pain. That requires him admitting his actions caused you pain. He isn't facing that, and gets defensive when you bring it up.

He REGRETS it and wants it to all go away and your marriage to go back to the way things were.

It's easier for him to pretend his affair doesn't exist.

If he was showing REMORSE his actions would be doing all they could to hold you, support you, give you what you need to feel safe, loved. And he'd be working to be a better husband from this point forward.

Sounds like he's telling you to do the work, not him. You didn't break it, you can't fix it.


MissWhoKnew posted 6/28/2014 11:47 AM

Blanket...I have finally found someone that can relate when it comes to our WH's personality. My WH does the same thing. He feels accused and goes on the defensive without ever really hearing what you have to tell him. My WH has been this way since I met him 34 years ago.

With WH being that type of personality makes this nightmare even more hard to handle. I had to find a way around this instinct in him, so he would actually 'hear' what I am saying.

I finally figured out I could text him. He has gotten some pretty long text messages. The first couple of times was pretty much a bust. But I kept trying. I also wrote him a letter and emailed it to him. It has worked well and now we are actually starting to discuss our problems face to face.

I found the texting and the emailing allowed him time to read and try to understand what I've been talking to him about. The text or email didn't need an immediate response, so most of the defensiveness was not there. If your WH is like mine when he feels guilty about something the defensiveness rises.

I pretty much have done the 180 and though it is hard, especially if you are like me and tend to keep the peace, I found it started waking him up. I have actually told him I am not sure if we should stay together because I can never really trust him again.

WH and I are about 2 months out from Dday. It is almost like we have reversed roles in our marriage. I am in IC now and that has been very helpful. SI has been very educational on a topic I really had no experience with in our extended families. You also read everyone's heartache and story and realize you are not alone. Also what seems good in outside appearances can be fooling everyone.

Right after Dday my WH also's done and over, he can't change it even though he wishes he could. Lots of initial rugsweeping. This type of personality is a tricky one because on one hand we know they are like this about everything; and then on the other hand their actions are inexcusable and heartbreaking.

SunshineSoul posted 6/29/2014 04:00 AM

My husband sounds very similar. Like the previous poster, mine can be more responsive to text also, which is sad and frustrating. It's like he has no idea how to communicate in person without getting angry or completely shutting down. I feel like there is something wrong with him.
Hugs and good luck!! I know first hand how frustrating this is.

heme posted 6/29/2014 08:31 AM

Something I found helps with my wh's defensiveness is not only telling him how I feel but telling him what he can do to help me. When he feels powerless to help it comes out as anger, not at me but at himself for causing the issues. If I instead tell him Im feeling x and it would help if he could do y to ease the feeling. Then he can work on something to make things better instead of feeling like we are stuck and can't get out of the place we are out.

Blanket posted 6/30/2014 03:31 AM

Thank you for your replies. We just had a really nice weekend enjoying each other's company and actually laughing together but is that enough? I love him dearly and love being with him and the void he would leave in my life if I were to split from him would be enormous but my emotional needs right now are now being met!
He's always been on the selfish side going to the pub and lads nights at the last minute, but everything is in a different light now. Things like his inability to communicate weren't such a problem before but now I really need him to get how important this is!
Can we resume a relationship if he doesn't 'fix' what was. Token in him self? He's always been incredibly insecure which his covers with a flashy persona (labelled clothes, flashy car, spending money he doesn't have) he strives to make others happy and when he doesn't he feels like a failure but instead of identifying how he can do that he runs away (in this case to OW, who was incredibly young and very impressed with flashy persona- which made him feel good!) . Just before the A he found out his dad, who had been married to his mother for 35 years had been having an affair for 6 years - exacerbating the void in his self assurance and identity. If this insecurity is not addressed will me being unhappy always mean our marriage is vulnerable to infidelity?
We do counselling which always seems to go well but what we learn doesn't get put into practice.
I don't know if I should carry on as we are and as time goes on I will naturally feel more secure?
At a loss!

isthismynewlife posted 6/30/2014 10:44 AM

My H was this way for the first couple months. His personality has always been to get defensive and he has never been good at expressing any feeling other than anger. He couldn't understand why we couldn't just move forward without looking back. I got him to start reading "After the Affair" ( which he started and it seemed to truly shake him up and he stopped reading it for a long time) then he read "How to Help my Spouse Heal" and that started to wake him up some. It's been a long process. We are 7 months out and I would say it took at least 3 months before he was able to really see what his A did and to start dealing with it all. In the beginning I never thought I would see remorse - saw lots of regret, but remorse was no where. The remorse he feels now is painful for me to see. But he is truly putting in the work and seeing this change is what made me finally believe R is possible. He now tries (fairly successfully) to not go into defensive mode and he is sharing his feelings much more.
Hopefully as you and your H move along this journey he will see the true damage and realize he needs to step up to help fix it.

Blanket posted 7/1/2014 07:23 AM

I would really really like my H to read one of those books or anything that makes him a little more enlightened as to the effects on me and how he can make them a little better. How did you get him to read it. I think if I suggested it he would just dismiss it immediately. He seems to think everything is fine now and the A is in the past . It isn't for me!

NeverAgain2013 posted 7/1/2014 07:49 AM

Oh boy...if he wasn't able to 'get it' during therapy, I highly doubt he'll invest any time in reading a relationship book.

He's always been incredibly insecure which his covers with a flashy persona (labelled clothes, flashy car, spending money he doesn't have)..

I lived with someone just like this for 3 years and finally had to boot him out. He, too, was very insecure though he never let anyone see that. His validation was the constant attention - and conquering - of the women who fed his ego. I just don't see him ever changing his stripes and actually feel bad for the gal he's living with now. She probably doesn't know it quite yet, but I think she'll eventually find out exactly what he's really made of, because I don't believe for a New York minute that he's suddenly changed his ways. This is lifelong behavior and he'll probably grow old acting likes that.

And also like your husband, he just thought that his telling me 'he loves me' was doing all he could to fix the mess he'd created. He would have blown his brains out before reading a relationship book and quite frankly, I don't need any man acting like putting forth the effort to read a book for me is akin to having his gums set on fire. Ugh. I just booted his ass and don't regret it.

I don't miss that crap at all, Blanket. Good luck to you.

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