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Indifference: Why now??

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Neverwudaguessed posted 7/8/2014 08:14 AM

It has been 10 months tomorrow since I found out about my Husband's affair. It has been roller coaster and we have worked so hard. We have come so far and were feeling more connected than we ever had been. So why do I feel flat? Just plain indifference towards him right now? I am so confused. Nothing has happened to change anything. It is affair season now, and that is in the back of my mind on occasion, but honestly, I did expect to be feeling far more impacted by this time of year that I have been so far. What is happening???

jo2love posted 7/8/2014 08:19 AM


It sounds like the Plain of Lethal Flatness. It is part of the rollercoaster. I hope it passes soon for you. This is from the Healing Library.

The Plain of Lethal Flatness - by BlindJustice

It's a fitting title. You're flat, emotionally, in the middle of... nothing.
It can be lethal, to your relationship. And to yourself, if you stay there for a long time.

This IS a common state in recovery. Some people hit that plain a few times in the process. It's a time for you to emotionally catch your breath. As someone said, your brain has been working overtime. Your emotions have been on the wildest ride of your life.

You've built walls to protect yourself. Now you're getting to the point where maybe, just maybe, those walls can start coming down. This is an extensive battle in itself. Emotionally, you're going to need a lot of energy to do this.

This plain you're in now does not have to last a long time, and it doesn't have to end your marriage. The decision is in your hands.

When I was in that period (the first of a few times), I tried to just relax, not try to force anything, and let things happen as they did. It was a time for reflection, to see how much progress we had made to that point, and gearing up for what was ahead.

It CAN be lethal, but it can also be a big help in your recovery. It all depends on how you approach it."

[This message edited by SI Staff at 8:19 AM, July 8th (Tuesday)]

Blanket posted 7/8/2014 08:20 AM

It's such a strange feeling. I feel indifferent when things are good and an insecure desperate woman when they are not. Maybe a defense mechanism, when things are good you have the strength to protect yourself and that's what the I defence is.
How did you get so connected what did you do? I am asking because sometimes I feel like my H and I are on different planets! And I so want this to unite rather than divide us!

Neverwudaguessed posted 7/8/2014 08:36 AM

Thank you for responding. How do you keep it from becoming lethal? We were on such a good path and even when I feel like we have gotten pretty far, he surprises me by reaching another level of understanding regarding how his foo issues influence how he relates to me, how these issues influence his reactions to would be innocent exchanges, the inaccurate assessments he makes based on the dysfunctional ways his family related and based on the maladaptive coping skills that he used to survive in the chaos that led him to do the things that he did. Not only does he search for and deal with these layers, but he uses the knowledge to become different and open and we have really felt the fruits of his labor within our relationship. I never expected to be feeling this, now.

We did just return from a trip where my daughter's gymnastics team competed in a major competition. It is ALWAYS extremely stressful for the mother's of these little athletes as it involves making sure that they are well rested, spending time with their teammates, managing moods, fears, expectations, etc, and it is a couple of days of competition plus spending additional hours in the gym supporting their teammates who compete at various different times and days. This time my daughter did extremely well, and once it was over, I expected to feel that relief set in that I could now relax and enjoy the rest of the trip, but the enjoying part of it just didn't seem to happen. I was wiped out, and definitely wanted to relax, but the pleasure I typically derive from this portion of the trip didn't really kick in. Maybe this was too much of me to handle after such a difficult 10 months? I really didn't see it that way or feel like that was happening, but I am just searching for answers now and I am such an optimist. Feeling flat and indifferent is just not my style...

Neverwudaguessed posted 7/8/2014 08:51 AM

Blanket, thank you for offering up that idea regarding indifference as a defense mech. I have actually struggled with the idea that my instinct is to stay open, even though my soul has been ripped apart. I have wondered why I am that stupid really, NOT to be protective of myself. I suppose I am is some small ways, but overall, I am just the same open person I have always been, trying to regain my balance and keep true to me….

Regarding the connectedness, my husband had some HUGE walls up to protect himself and as a result it prevented us from having any for of an intimate connection. Because of that, the only form of connectedness that he was able to relate to at all was sex and when I began to care less about the fact that he felt rejected each time I pulled away form the idea of sex, he no longer had any for of connection and felt lonely, alone, empty. All of those things were already present, but now they were at the forefront, and he could not "ignore" those increasingly intense feelings any more. When faced with this crisis, instead of getting help, he looked outside of our marriage to make himself feel better. Of course this did not work, and once I found out that he had had an affair and then ended it, we went into counseling. He and I both have IC and MC. He was extremely motivated to find out what caused him to do these things to me, and to himself, and to become a healthier person. He describes each new revelation as a peeling away of another layer of the onion, and it feels like another burden lifted. As he learns more about himself, he remains open and works to get and stay connected to me. Through this process, I have felt secure and safe that he is gaining the understanding that he needs to keep this from happening again and that helps me remain connected to him. But it was HIS motivation to do the work that has created this. His hard work in therapy and on his own that has helped us to be connected.
The road was very rocky, don't get me wrong. It has been agony at times, but we both work hard and support each other as much as possible through the process. If your Husband is willing to give the counseling a real try, you will be amazed at how the process just works. I will be pulling for you both; I hope he agrees to give it a try!

jo2love posted 7/8/2014 09:03 AM

Never - For me, it went away on it's own. The rollercoaster of emotions went back forth between shock, despair, anger, flatness, utter emotional exhaustion, etc... Your body/mind have probably been at high alert with the A season starting and the gymnastics competition. It sounds like you both are fully committed to R. Keep talking to him about how you feel, journal, post, and remember it's ok to feel this way. It will pass.

[This message edited by SI Staff at 9:06 AM, July 8th (Tuesday)]

Neverwudaguessed posted 7/8/2014 09:14 AM

Do you really think that I should share this with him? These feelings are not as a result of anything that he is doing wrong, or not doing. And I have no explanation for them.

jo2love posted 7/8/2014 09:37 AM

You should be able to share with your H how you feel about anything. Communication is key in a relationship. He doesn't have to fix it, but he can listen, acknowledge how you feel, hug you, and be supportive.

[This message edited by SI Staff at 9:38 AM, July 8th (Tuesday)]

Neverwudaguessed posted 7/8/2014 11:51 AM

I understand; it's just that it is hard not to take personally that someone feels indifferent towards you after you have worked so hard to make things better.

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