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User Topic: Reconciling with the "Emotionally Unavailable"
SI Staff
Moderator
Member # 10
Default  Posted: 7:52 PM, November 15th (Thursday), 2007View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Please use this thread if you are personally reconciling with a P/A or "emotionally void" spouse.

Posts: 10001 | Registered: May 2002
runoverbytruck
♀ Member
Member # 11752
Default  Posted: 8:03 PM, November 15th (Thursday), 2007View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Gosh I feel bad being the first one--calling my H "emotionally void" in public. Given that Truck is on this site and all.

Anyone? Anyone? Beuhler? Beuhler?


LTA BS

If you think the grass is greener on the other side, it's because it's fertilized with bullshit.

The best protection a woman can have is courage.~Elizabeth Cady Stanton


Posts: 6814 | Registered: Aug 2006
KSA2
♀ Member
Member # 9474
Default  Posted: 8:04 PM, November 15th (Thursday), 2007View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Edited the title. That better?


No one asks for their life to change, not really. But it does. So, what are we, helpless? Puppets? Nah. The big moments are gonna come, you can't help that. It's what you do afterwards that counts. That's when you find out who you are.

Posts: 29360 | Registered: Jan 2006 | From: Mod Dungeon
survivingslowly
♀ Member
Member # 14214
Default  Posted: 8:25 PM, November 15th (Thursday), 2007View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I'm here, I'm here (waving Hi).

Although I can't stay as I've got kiddies in the tub but just wanted to say that I posted a quick note on the other thread and posted the link for here, so hopefully you'll have company soon.

I'll be back later or tomorrow.

I'm excited about this thread and feel that we can really get down to some nitty gritty and hopefully shed some light on this topic which seems to be aparently very common (who knew?)

ciao for now


BS-me
FWH-him

dday#1-March/07

Fully reconciled. Life is really good!!


Posts: 310 | Registered: Apr 2007
gibbonsrose
♀ Member
Member # 16280
Default  Posted: 8:33 PM, November 15th (Thursday), 2007View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I'm here! Jeez, so nice of the mods to do this -- thank you!

I guess I am excited to talk about my "emotionally unavailable" spouse with -- "emotionally available" people! Sad or funny, maybe both....

Just wish the man would talk, share, feel, empathize, connect. It would make this incredibly difficult journey called "R" a heck of a lot easier.

I jotted down the title of that book referenced in the other thread -- "How to Improve Your Marriage without Talking About It". I will check out B&N tomorrow for availability.

Question: Anyone's spouse currently in IC for issues like P/A, emotionally unavailable, etc? If so, would you know of some exercises that he/we could do at home?


Me - Befuckled
WH - Limber at limbo *sigh*

Posts: 5040 | Registered: Sep 2007 | From: mountain transplant
hellonearth
♀ Member
Member # 11919
Default  Posted: 12:50 AM, November 16th (Friday), 2007View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Count me in!!! My WH is definitely in this category, heck, he even admitted so the other day, when he asked me what feeling "empty inside" means, he knows that he really felt that way pre and during the A's. Sadly, I'll admit, from over 1 yr of not seeing/feeling true remorse through actions, I have to say, I now also understand what "Feeling Empty" feels like.
gibbonsrose~ my WH is in IC and he is starting at ground up, I mean his IC gave him a sheet with tons of different happy, smily, frowing, angry faces describing emotions/feelings 101, the very basics. The sole purpose is to star to have them identify what emotion they are feeling/or what emotion WE are feeling, so they are able to be empathetic, show remorse.

Do you all find that you're not getting remorse 100% of the time, rather defensiveness or anger from your spouse who's emotionally unavailable??

For us, we go through this pattern, vicious cycle more like it, where things are ok for a few days, then something comes up (trigger) or I simply need to talk about the A, show and unleash some of this pain, hurt anger, etc. you all KNOW what I'm talking about. I have very good control now with bringing it up without lashing, but then after he blankly stares into space, doesn't show true remorse or usually says something totally outrageous, such as a comment he threw out a couple weeks ago...

I was saying how I didn't feel that he found me attractive, he actually asked me, "how could you think I'm not attracted to you?" Sure, HB is still pretty much going strong, since we FIGHT every week or so, but C'MON now, what kind of question is that????? That is when I lost it, went into a fit of anger/rage. Then he gets SO down on himself with guilt, he spits back defensive stuff, such as demands that I NOT speak to him that way, that I NOT verbally attack him etc. Ok......enough rambling, just throwing this out there, sound familiar to anyone else?

My IC has said he beleives my WH has PA tendecies, I see it, I really do. Actually, one of the layers as to his WHY for having A's, is control seeking on his part from our searching.

[This message edited by hellonearth at 12:57 AM, November 16th (Friday)]


BS-Me-39 FWH-Him-38
Together 23 yrs. 1 son 9 yrs old
Dday#1-Aug 06
TT until Nov 06
False R until Jan 08-too much anger/defensiveness, lack of consistent support from him
S- Jan 08-July 08
Aug 08-Fall 2011-rugsweeping
back in MC and IC trying

Posts: 503 | Registered: Sep 2006 | From: Canada
survivingslowly
♀ Member
Member # 14214
Default  Posted: 9:17 AM, November 16th (Friday), 2007View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

For us, we go through this pattern, vicious cycle more like it, where things are ok for a few days, then something comes up (trigger) or I simply need to talk about the A, show and unleash some of this pain, hurt anger, etc. you all KNOW what I'm talking about. I have very good control now with bringing it up without lashing, but then after he blankly stares into space, doesn't show true remorse or usually says something totally outrageous, such as a comment he threw out a couple weeks ago...

This was EXACTLY my life for the first 6 months of "R"...I wouldn't really call it true R for us at that time....we really stumbled through those months.

I was absolutely stunned at his lack of feeling or emotional response to my fear, sadness, devastation, pain, anger you name it, I had it. The only time I would get a response was when I was angry and lash out and he would show anger in return and become defensive. It was a typical cycle.

We talked way back then about PA but more in reference to how conflict resolution styles....I remember him saying "I hate that word, passive aggressive". I now think I know why, because it really did fit but he didn't want to see it then.

There were things pre-A that totally fit now in hindsight, like his lack of enthusiasm for gifts, plans, events etc. He used work to avoid being with the family. Many of our fights were about me wanting him to just be "there" more for me and the family. I always felt second or worse...I didn't feel like I was a priority...almost like "he's just not that into you" kinda thing.

He would also use subtle put downs and sarcasm, kinda like joking but ever so subtle....either way, I'd walk away from the encounter thinking and wondering "what was that all about?"

He's really into watching sports t.v. and also likes to nap...or always seemed tired, often falling asleep while I was in mid-sentence talking to him....then to go to bed and him want to have sex. I never did get that. You must have found me soo boring just a few minutes ago, boring enough that you fell asleep, but somehow you have no problem having sex with me.

Also, sex was so not intimate....his "happy ending" was my loneliest time when he would cast me aside and fall asleep...now I've been with enough guys to know that many many guys can stay awake after sex despite how much it "takes out of them". Whatever!

I could go on and on about some of the signs. Now. How could I have missed them before?

anyway, gotta get kids out the door...but will return later.


BS-me
FWH-him

dday#1-March/07

Fully reconciled. Life is really good!!


Posts: 310 | Registered: Apr 2007
naivegirl
♀ Member
Member # 14234
Default  Posted: 9:33 AM, November 16th (Friday), 2007View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I also belong here. Our reconciliation has been so hard becuase it is difficult for him to show or feel empathy. He has had a rough childhood and has built up so many walls. He is in IC for this. Counselor said he may never show empathy like I want. This made me feel hopeless. Anyway things are fine as long as I am having a good day but if I am feeling down or need some reassurance forget it. It is like I am speaking a foreign langauge. He has no idea what I need. Our MC is also working on this empathy thing with him. He realized he can feel empathy for some other people if someone has died or soemthing but just can't really feel it for me. He says probably becasue that would require him looking at himself and realizing he is a jerk. He is not into self reflection. This is all so discouraging to me because if he doesn't look at himself and break down those walls I think we are in for more of the same. I am praying IC eventaully works. At least he is doing that although he tells me he doesn't believe in it. He is NC and trying so that is a start.


Me BS 39
Him WH 38

D-day #1 Jan 31 2007
D-Day #2 March 25 2007
Roll on Roll on Roller Coaster
We're one day older and one step closer
Roll on there's mountains to climb
Roll on we're on borrowed time
-Kid Rock

Working on Re


Posts: 1733 | Registered: Apr 2007
hellonearth
♀ Member
Member # 11919
Default  Posted: 9:38 AM, November 16th (Friday), 2007View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

naivegirl~ I get that response too, like he's on AD's, but he doesn't really think he should be, doesn't really think he needs them.....I've counted his pills on a number of occassions and he misses them regularly. It's so damn frustrating.


BS-Me-39 FWH-Him-38
Together 23 yrs. 1 son 9 yrs old
Dday#1-Aug 06
TT until Nov 06
False R until Jan 08-too much anger/defensiveness, lack of consistent support from him
S- Jan 08-July 08
Aug 08-Fall 2011-rugsweeping
back in MC and IC trying

Posts: 503 | Registered: Sep 2006 | From: Canada
confusedbythis
♀ Member
Member # 15455
Default  Posted: 9:52 AM, November 16th (Friday), 2007View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Yeah Mods!!! Thank you for giving us this forum!! I am on my way out the door to IC but I will be back later today for sure...

Thank you again!


BS me
WS older than me
DS- typical teen (from a previous marriage)
DD #1 1995, before we married (how stupid am I...)
DD #2 6.8.07 EA, PA
Divorced June 09...free fron CRAZY-LAND!!! Yahoo!

Posts: 233 | Registered: Jul 2007 | From: OR
naivegirl
♀ Member
Member # 14234
Default  Posted: 9:52 AM, November 16th (Friday), 2007View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

It is so annoying when he says I don't believe in counselors. I just want to scream. Obviously he has done such a great job on his own. If you read my profile his cheating has gone on for years. It is odd that he can be so broken but think he has it all figured out. I love him but it is so hard for me to relate to this. I always knew he was guarded and distant but I always thought if something really bad happened he would feel it and support me especially if he was the one that caused the pain.


Me BS 39
Him WH 38

D-day #1 Jan 31 2007
D-Day #2 March 25 2007
Roll on Roll on Roller Coaster
We're one day older and one step closer
Roll on there's mountains to climb
Roll on we're on borrowed time
-Kid Rock

Working on Re


Posts: 1733 | Registered: Apr 2007
survivingslowly
♀ Member
Member # 14214
Default  Posted: 9:57 AM, November 16th (Friday), 2007View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Another thing that I've realized is the whole *push-pull* cycle....and I've seen it play over and over through out our dating time and in our M.

Its like he's nice/attentive to pull me in, then does something in a PA way to push me away again.

I think in our situation, it has to do with his fear of being controlled. Just like in that article that was posted on the other site....it comes from his own childhood and it has more to do with how he saw his father so passive to his mother and maybe even swallowed up by her.

So his greatest fear would be that if he were truly intimate with me and let his guard down, then he would be completely controlled by me which would be his greatest fear and he would end up like his father.

It makes sense to me, but when he read the article, his response was more (in true Emotionally Void style), "yeah, I can kinda see some of what it said..."

But for me, reading that article was like getting a frying pan smashed over my head again and again and again.

So, it would start with us in a cycle where I might be more needy of him and need him to help out, such as when I'm 9 months pregnant or just had a baby or am stuck in the house with baby spit and laundry. I may ask him to stop and pick up a few things etc. He would do that well once or twice, and then he would get the complete opposite of what I asked for...its like his hearing was dyslexic or something.....I would ask for "Campbell's" and he would come home with something completely different like he never even heard me.

Over time, this became very frustrating...I know it seems small now, but when I think back, this same cycle plays itself out over and over and eventually onto bigger things. He was a big procrastinator too which I think is part of the PA part of him.

He has made another appt. with his IC to specifically talk about this stuff so hopefully it can get him somewhere.

I do think he has acknowledged some of this and at least seems willing to address it. When we talked about that article, he did tear up and say looking back at one's past and family of origin is really hard because you have to face imperfections....I thought that was really insightful of him.

anyway, just rambling on probably more to myself than anything...trying to establish a train of thought which might lead to an "aha" moment.


BS-me
FWH-him

dday#1-March/07

Fully reconciled. Life is really good!!


Posts: 310 | Registered: Apr 2007
naivegirl
♀ Member
Member # 14234
Default  Posted: 10:05 AM, November 16th (Friday), 2007View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

What article are you talking about? I want to read it. We seem to do the push pull thing too. He has a big fear of being controlled. He drags his feet on doing anythign I need. He says I don't think you need it you want it. MC tells him no I think she is saying she needs it so I want you to do that for her sometime before our next session. Well our session is coming up and I am still waiting.


Me BS 39
Him WH 38

D-day #1 Jan 31 2007
D-Day #2 March 25 2007
Roll on Roll on Roller Coaster
We're one day older and one step closer
Roll on there's mountains to climb
Roll on we're on borrowed time
-Kid Rock

Working on Re


Posts: 1733 | Registered: Apr 2007
survivingslowly
♀ Member
Member # 14214
Default  Posted: 10:42 AM, November 16th (Friday), 2007View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

naivegirl; just read your profile and wow, you've been through the ringer!!

Is it hard now being in the same house? or easier?

We're 8 months lving apart and I really feel that this whole PA EU stuff needs to at least be addressed before I would feel comfortable living together again. I know it won't be fixed because I would think that's a long term project but I feel that we have to identify the issues before we work on them within the same house.
Anyway, I'm going to list a few of the resources that were mentioned on the other thread. Hopefully we can add to this list as things come up: This is the article that I was referring to:

http://www.angriesout.com/couples8.htm

The Emotionally Unavailable Man, by Patti Henry (thanks weepy)

When Good Men Behave Badly, by David Wexler (thanks runover..)

How Can I get through to you?, by Terrence Real(sp) (thanks Brassring)

How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About it, by Patricia Love and Steven Stosny (thanks runover..)

As well, Runover....mentioned info. on "Normative Male Alexithymia"

and Oliver talked about excercises that her H's IC had him doing.

This is a starting point that hopefully can be elaborated on.


BS-me
FWH-him

dday#1-March/07

Fully reconciled. Life is really good!!


Posts: 310 | Registered: Apr 2007
runoverbytruck
♀ Member
Member # 11752
Default  Posted: 10:46 AM, November 16th (Friday), 2007View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Thanks for the title reword, KSA2.

He has had a rough childhood and has built up so many walls. He is in IC for this. Counselor said he may never show empathy like I want. This made me feel hopeless. Anyway things are fine as long as I am having a good day but if I am feeling down or need some reassurance forget it. It is like I am speaking a foreign langauge.

This is my sitch too. He's all about me having a good day and just "forgetting" about anything else. That's much easier to deal with for him. He doesn't like to do the whole "talking about things" bit. But that is what the book I'm reading goes into. When they have to talk about how they're not doing this or that (communicating/sharing feelings, etc.) all they hear is "you're a failure" and they feel shame. So they avoid "the talk" like the plague. The book also says that when they shut down and withdraw, all we hear is "I don't love you. I won't be there for you." (Still in awe of this book.)

He is not into self reflection.

Not only is my H not "into" this, he has no idea what it is. He can't do it. He can't relate words to his feelings. I've watched him struggle, so I know it's not that he just doesn't want to talk about it. There is no connection there. And if you remember, I quoted parts of a book on the other thread that said this very thing. Their brains do not work the same way. They said to think of it as an "emotional disability", which makes perfect sense and could really help us with dealing with them.

naive, my counselor also told me she didn't know that he could ever give me what I wanted in the way of "connection". It's very discouraging. Because really, I already feel like I have to settle for what he's done (the affair), and now...knowing he may never be different emotionally? It's alot to "settle" for.

Do you all find that you're not getting remorse 100% of the time, rather defensiveness or anger from your spouse who's emotionally unavailable??

No, my H is remorseful. Seldom angry and defensive--usually only when I'm not fighting fair.


LTA BS

If you think the grass is greener on the other side, it's because it's fertilized with bullshit.

The best protection a woman can have is courage.~Elizabeth Cady Stanton


Posts: 6814 | Registered: Aug 2006
HurtingInDenver
♂ Member
Member # 15974
Default  Posted: 11:18 AM, November 16th (Friday), 2007View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I feel like the "odd man out" - literally!

I read the other string yesterday and it seemed like the "Emotionally Unavailable" are mostly WHs.

Well, I'm a BH and my WW is the one who is emotionally unavailable. Despite that one difference, my story is EXACTLY the same as survingslowly and naivegirl.

We're about 12 weeks out from DDay#1 and 8 weeks from DDay#2 (the real DDay). She hasn't shown any real remorse, and the whole push'n'pull scenario describes our MC to a tee. She hasn't read any of the books MC recommended and is not interested in joining SI (though I'm pretty sure she lurks here).

I'll admit, we had issues and unmet needs in our M leading up to the A. And I think because of that she feels sorry for herself right now. I also think she's still going through withdrawal from POS#2.

We've been together for 13 years (M for 5). We were best friends and everyone thought we were the perfect couple. We have a beautiful life and son together.

About a year and a half ago I started noticing her distancing herself from me emotionally. Being moody for no reason at all. Responding in a sarcastic or mean way. Withdrawing sexually (sorry if TMI).

After DDay#1, MC, and reading several books (and SI) the emotional withrawal makes sense. It's incredibly frustrating, and lately it has taken all my energy not to throw in the towel. It's like she is a completely different person from the one I fell in love with so many years ago.


I'm flat out spent, this woman she been driving me to tears
This woman so crazy, I swear I ain't going to touch another one for years -B.Dylan


Posts: 781 | Registered: Aug 2007
runoverbytruck
♀ Member
Member # 11752
Default  Posted: 11:33 AM, November 16th (Friday), 2007View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Denver, what was her childhood like?


LTA BS

If you think the grass is greener on the other side, it's because it's fertilized with bullshit.

The best protection a woman can have is courage.~Elizabeth Cady Stanton


Posts: 6814 | Registered: Aug 2006
weepy
♀ Member
Member # 8790
Default  Posted: 12:20 PM, November 16th (Friday), 2007View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

So, how many "clubs" does it make for you run? I think I'm up to 4


Dday: 9/12/05
M: 29 yrs( me anyway )
BS(me): 55 And I'm ok with that
FWS: 57- Multiple PAs, LTA 7? yrs.

Try not. Do or do not, there is no try. -- Yoda


Posts: 9340 | Registered: Nov 2005 | From: SE PA
runoverbytruck
♀ Member
Member # 11752
Default  Posted: 12:43 PM, November 16th (Friday), 2007View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

This is only my second "club". And I'm feeling a little anxious about it because I know how much time and attention a "club" takes!!! How am I ever going to keep up with all the posts now??? How do you manage FOUR "clubs", weepy??? <<<bowing to you>>>


LTA BS

If you think the grass is greener on the other side, it's because it's fertilized with bullshit.

The best protection a woman can have is courage.~Elizabeth Cady Stanton


Posts: 6814 | Registered: Aug 2006
weepy
♀ Member
Member # 8790
Default  Posted: 1:34 PM, November 16th (Friday), 2007View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Fortunately two "clubs" aren't so busy.

This is the most frustrating aspect of any reconciliation. I've heard and seen everything all you have mentioned ++++. H doesn't believe in C either, still sees his though, calls him Dr. Dickhead. Now if that's not PA, what is?

Denver, you know it's not gender-specific. You're NOT the only male dealing with this there's a couple I'm pretty sure of. And as a female, I can tell you that I'm exhibiting signs of it myself now due to the trauma.

I just don't want to share. I dont' want to discuss my "feelings". I don't want to be intimate, I want my life separate, but I still want him around. It's really an f'd up feeling.


Dday: 9/12/05
M: 29 yrs( me anyway )
BS(me): 55 And I'm ok with that
FWS: 57- Multiple PAs, LTA 7? yrs.

Try not. Do or do not, there is no try. -- Yoda


Posts: 9340 | Registered: Nov 2005 | From: SE PA
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