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User Topic: Reconciling with the "Emotionally Unavailable"
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Default  Posted: 12:46 PM, June 7th (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I just found this thread. I don't feel so alone anymore.

I am married to an EU man which led to M problems which led to prostitutes, which led to me needing an emotional man in my life. But I don't have one!

He never comes up to kiss me, hold me, asks about my day, does things for me. Nothing. But when I initiate these things he doesn't pull back either, he accepts them and then will reciprocate. It just doesn't occur to him to do these things!

When I tell him what I need he will listen, but no action takes place. It is quite exasperating. I don't know if I can live like this anymore. I want to feel special and he doesn't make me feel that way. He doesn't even say I love you although I know he cares.

He won't go to IC, and my IC say's he can't change much because that is who he is. I'm so depressed about that.

I don't know of any materials that are for the EU to read. I know mine won't read or do anything about it. He is not a bad person. He gives me financial support, doesn't abuse me emotionally or physically. He just can't deal with emotions and has a hard time talking about them. I do have to say after the infidelity he has made an effort to share feelings and then I get my hopes up and then nothing.

At one time I decided not to touch, hug, kiss, talk emotional, do little things for him, etc... and see if he noticed. I went four days of none of this before I broke down and did what I always do, be the one who initiates these things. I am starved for attention.

BW 55, WH 64
2 years of prostitutes.

Posts: 277 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: California
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Default  Posted: 4:47 PM, June 10th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Books that may be helpful:

The Emotionally Unavailable Man by Patti Henry. Has sections for both men and women.

Almost anything by Terry Real. "Why Can't I Get Through To You" is about how cultural expectations of masculinity stunt men emotionally. "The New Rules of Marriage" is about what it means to play fair and how to work together lovingly. His web site has some good stuff too, particularly an article called "The Awful Truth." Typing on my phone so can't find and post but def worth looking up.

It'll all be OK in the end. If it's not OK, it's not the end.

Posts: 133 | Registered: Nov 2011 | From: Boston
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Default  Posted: 7:37 AM, June 12th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I am branching out a bit looking for suggestions. Dday was almost 4 years ago, I am at acceptance, healed (mostly), and have wanted to R with FWW. FWW has attended 2+ years of IC, some of that off and on, to work primarily on her borderline personality traits. She also has issues with sex after CSAb, and a rape, and is an ACOA. Early after dday she would describe her unwillingness for emotional intimacy as wearing an emotional body condom to keep people out, including me. She was worried that she would “loose herself” if she were too open or trusting.

She has gotten better, and says that she loves me, but I wonder how much of this is just saying the words she believes I expect to hear? I also know that she simply will not tell me what she feels. She can be angry, or fine. I do not discover the anger until she explodes and acts out.

How to you have a M with someone who hides a part of themselves to you. Hell, she may be hiding parts of herself from herself. We have talked about additional IC for her, but I honestly believe that she is just burned out on working on herself.

It is frustrating having been M’d for 20+ years and not have a close and connected relationship to show for that, even after struggling through the aftermath dday. At my age I will never have a long and successful M, but is that any reason to stay in one where I feel more like a caretaker than a H?


FWW 60
M 1990, dday 10-5-09

Posts: 3964 | Registered: Feb 2010 | From: FL
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Member # 38288
Default  Posted: 8:12 PM, June 18th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I just bought The Emotionally Unavailable Man by Patti Henry and hope it will help me understand my EU WH better.

But seriously though, I don't know how much longer I can live with one who is EU.

BW 55, WH 64
2 years of prostitutes.

Posts: 277 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: California
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Member # 39521
Default  Posted: 2:23 PM, June 25th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

While I haven't read every post, I have randomly read quite a lot...and boy am I sad that there seems to be NO happy endings in here :(

We are 5 years out from dday, and I am no closer to healing than I was then. While my fWH has made many many improvements, I'm lucky if he's said a total of 5 sentences about his affair, and none of them include anything even remotely helpful. "I'm sorry. I know I fucked up. I'll never do it again. I know it was a mistake. I don't remember anything."

We're as good as I can fake it, which unfortunately I'm only good at faking for short periods of time. When I'm in fake it till you make it mode, we're good. We do things together, alone and as a family. We can laugh and play, have great sex and actually enjoy each one another. Eventually though I'm exhausted, something will trigger me more than normal and down we go again. Some times I'm able to keep it to myself (not like I haven't learned bringing it up gets us nowhere) I'm sometimes quite capable of detaching and retreating, other times it bursts forth from me and I just can't keep quiet any longer. I vent, ask questions, express my deep sadness, sorrow and loneliness... I either get a repeat of above quotes, or he just stares at me. Once in awhile he'll actually try to backtrack and bullshit me, those times SUCK!

I can't remember the last time we had a REAL discussion about anything. It's all surface superficial bullshit :/ ie: Mutual married friends of ours had a huge, out of character fight last week. Wife was talking to me about it, asking for advice. I was speaking to fWH about it, going into quite a bit of detail, I asked his opinion from the males perspective. His response? "I don't know." Wow, thanks for sharing! Not the most important conversation or example, just the latest in a every growing list of how every.single.conversation ever goes. Whether it's about us, our family, friends, anything.

I feel like I don't even know this man, how can that be? How can you have 12 years, 1 step child, 4 kids and one grandbaby together and not know a REAL thing about them?!?!?!

I believe deep down he is at least one of the ones that WANTS a connection, but I'm afraid he'll never reach a place to accept one, to offer one. I am sad for him and sad for myself.

I have downloaded the sample and started reading: The Seven Levels of Intimacy: The Art of Loving and the Joy of Being Loved by Matthew Kelly. So far, good stuff. Another one to read is 5 Love Languages

Hugs and Hope for us all!

Me: BW 37
Him: WH 38
(DDay: 2/2008)
13 years, 5 kids...Six years of Limbo

“I don't want to get to the end of my life and find that I have just lived the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well." ~ Diane Ackerman

Posts: 178 | Registered: Jun 2013
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Default  Posted: 11:33 PM, July 8th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

If we met our spouse today, knowing all we know about them, would we go out with them or even give them the time of day? I'm done with my wife. Her affair only reinforced her negative behaviors, and I can't live with them anymore. What the fuck are we waiting for? A miracle? Because that's what it would take. I'm not going to wait years to figure out that she is still a frog. Today, I let go of the hope/fantasy of a magical reunion with my wife. I know now that life will give me the best because now I will not accept anything less.

[This message edited by powerthroughpain at 12:30 AM, July 9th (Tuesday)]

14 years together 1 dd 3 yold
5 years married
WW dday 4/23/13 8 month ea/pa
WW in ic
No contact finally 6/3/13
Not working on r
Filing for d

Posts: 29 | Registered: May 2013 | From: powerthroughpain
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Default  Posted: 10:44 PM, July 15th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

My WH is EU, PA, and has had multiple affairs, so not sure which thread to post on with this question. He is aware of his emotional issues and is in IC twice a week working on them, although it seems his IC sees his behavior stemming mostly from our relationship dynamics.

We are still separated and had a lengthy phone conversation today (first time in 3 weeks) so he could discuss his progress in IC. He says the reasons for his sexual acting out during our marriage are intertwined with the marriage itself. He says he is not a sex addict, and according to his counselor he does not have a personality disorder. He says he was unhappy in the marriage starting very early on (year 2 or 3), and that his desire to constantly please me, his inability to express his thoughts and feelings, and his avoidance of conflict all contributed to that unhappiness. According to him, he began seeing prostitutes 7 years ago in order to "pinch" himself to make sure he was still alive. Like our marriage had deadened him inside or something. He needed to escape the marriage so he turned to prostitutes to get the emotional fulfillment missing in the marriage, but that never came. He continued to see prostitutes through the years until he began an EA/PA and then, according to him, he started feeling very guilty because he finally got the emotional connection he was looking for but ended up missing me. I had no idea that he was unhappy in our marriage so early on, and I was shocked to find out how early his acting out started while I was trucking along thinking everything was fine. I'm really confused by all of this.

Has anyone ever heard anything like this before? That repeatedly cheating on your spouse is a way to "pinch" yourself to see if you're still alive. It seems so bizarre to me that I can't relate to it at all. Is this just a cop out, or does this make sense in a weird way to an EU person?

Me: BS 39
Him: WS 44
Married 10 years, cheated at least 7 of those years
Two young DS
Multiple DDays in May 2013, and still waiting for the next DD to strike
Prostitutes abroad and in our home, 2 long-term simultaneous affairs - 1 PA & 1 EA/PA

Posts: 17 | Registered: Jun 2013 | From: The Desert
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Default  Posted: 7:03 PM, July 19th (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Hi Confused71

What you said

starting very early on (year 2 or 3), and that his desire to constantly please me, his inability to express his thoughts and feelings, and his avoidance of conflict all contributed to that unhappiness.

Yes that happened (is happening again) to me, early the first couple of years and i thought things were good.

Funny this behavior from a man who puts water out for the wild animals in the hot weather, but brings me home STD's.

Posts: 9 | Registered: Jul 2013 | From: Atlantic
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Default  Posted: 3:26 PM, July 23rd (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I don't know who the genius is who started this forum but thank you! I had no idea there were others like me and my WH.

Letitout - your story sounds so much like mine it is eerie. Just wanted to let you know that I have been there more often than my poor ego can take. Feels like crap to always be the one to initiate.

WH- 35
Married 7 years (together 16 yrs)
DD- toddler
D-Day June 23, 2013

Posts: 16 | Registered: Jul 2013 | From: Nyc
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Default  Posted: 6:40 PM, July 24th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I have belonged to this post for ten years, I have been told that WH is wounded from his childhood of being a foster child and that his need for instant gratification is from neglect.

I get about 3% of the affection I want or need and WH Has said that he does not know how to show it because he did not recieve it as a child.

I am left to feel like I am crazy for wanting something so natural, he thinks I should look to the future and stop living in the past.

I have never known anyone to be so scared of talking about emotions

Wow this is my WS. My WH doesn't even know how to hold me when I'm crying. He says it makes him uncomfortable. My WH also had a very abusive mother and did not see what love was AT ALL. Ugh guess I belong here too. I can never tell which issue is more predominant, my WH has a lot of them: NPD tendencies, ADD, PA, and EU. Yay me!

[This message edited by crazyblindsided at 6:41 PM, July 24th (Wednesday)]

BS/FWS (me):40 Madhatter
WS/BS:42 Serial Cheater
Together 18 years, Married 13
DD(10) DS(7)
DDay(s) 5/08, 5/09, 3/30/12
In R
"If it can be destroyed by the truth, it deserves to be destroyed by the truth." -Carl Sagan

Posts: 2248 | Registered: Apr 2012 | From: California
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Member # 34888
Default  Posted: 2:04 AM, August 1st (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

a bit late but confused, your WH sounds like my WW. started cheating early on. never had a real connection with me or with anyone for that matter. The APs - though exciting (giving impetus/urgency to the A), were superficial and only allowed in 'more' because they wouldnt really get to know the real her - something she's denied me throughout anyway. i dont think she ever felt guilt either.

its always surfacy, never real. fake smiles, no intimacy, faked emotions, avoidance like her life depended on it. she lies/lied to me, to her ICs, to our MCs. her one priority is to 'sound' right.

How to you have a M with someone who hides a part of themselves to you. Hell, she may be hiding parts of herself from herself.

well said atse... exactly that, feels like she denies bits of her so she doesnt have to own up to her darker areas.

she knows what 'right' is - because she demands it from those around her; just cant seem to hold herself up to those ideals.

i dont think there is any change possible unless they make a HUGE effort by themselves. i also know, to a certain extent, that even fear, guilt, shame or loss of things/people most important to them may not be enough to want them to make that effort.

at the end of it-it comes down to drive and I think the EU/PA personality types are classic underachievers. the label probably only ends up empowering their EU; if anything.

Posts: 739 | Registered: Feb 2012
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Default  Posted: 10:53 AM, August 26th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Google Shari Schreiber and read the ENTIRE website, very insightful. There is a lot of great information there on Borderline, PA, NPD, plus an amazing link for OCPD (who knew that even existed?!?). It can help you understand your EU spouse, whether they are BPD, have many BP traits, or just a few. I certainly understand myself a lot better after spending days reading here. I'm so thankful to have a better picture of our dynamic, but it is doing nothing positive for our outcome....he will never do what is necessary to heal himself and in turn our marriage.

I got on FWH's phone yesterday and deleted every email and text I've ever sent :( I just couldn't leave all of my feelings sitting there uncared about. Like all of you, we've had what feels like a thousand conversations (aka, I pour my heart out while he sits there like a cold stone), and I'm just done putting myself out there, being this vulnerable, only to walk away completely broken from these encounters.

He had my emails filed under 'To Read' I know he's read them, some times I even get a fragmented sentence in response, like "I'll read this more later" "You might be right, I love you", but he never goes back to read them, never brings it up again, and certainly never follows through on anything I ask for. Pretty damn telling that they weren't filed under 'To Do' huh? I'm wondering how long it will take him to even realize they're gone. There were no work related emails mixed in with them, so I'm figure it will be a very very long time, if ever.

I am doing the 180 now. Yes, it will give him the reprieve from all of the stuff he doesn't want to deal with, but I don't care, I'm doing it to save my sanity! It's time for me to figure out just what the hell was/is wrong with me that landed me in this marriage with a man that is superficial at best, or almost soulless at his worst.

In less than 24 hours he noticed a change and asked me what's wrong. Ha, what a joke! As if I haven't clued him in a thousand times. As if he actually wants to know. He doesn't care how I feel, he just needs to know 'where I'm at' so he isn't in the dark on which manipulative tactic he needs to employ next. For the most part I don't think it's an intentional maneuver, I know the scared little kid in him freaks when I pull away. He may not be able to feel much towards me, but he has to know that I feel everything towards him so he'll feel grounded and secure.

I told him I wanted to go to my parents while they were out of town to get some space from him/us so that I could think some. At first he seemed fine with it, I should have known better. Said he'd take off work to stay with the kids during the week day so I could have my space. Not what I wanted at all. I told him no, I'll come home every day and just go back to my parents when he gets home from work and then sleep there, I'm not trying to move out. Wasn't long before we end up in one of our crazy making arguments where he's pushing the issue, "because he's just trying to give me what I need". No amount of me saying that's not at all what I need was getting through. It's all PA at it's finest. Then he throws out that I'm leaving my family and my there goes me getting the time away, no way I'll give him that to hold over me. I realized he was flipping out because if I'm not there, constantly telling him how I feel (even if he doesn't like to hear it), he is lost. How could he handle not knowing what I'm thinking, what I'm feeling? How would he know how he's supposed to feel? Pointed out that that is how I live every single day with him and he's right there next to me. I said it's scary isn't it, not having a clue what's going on in the head and heart of the person you've pledged your life to? Of course he sat there saying nothing...what is there to say.

I may not be able to leave him, doesn't mean I can't work on me. I'm sad to realize the best we'll ever have is parallel lives, it's not what I want and it's terribly lonely and unfulfilling. Lately at least the sexual side of our marriage was good/great, but once I accepted that intimacy isn't actually possible, that is now miserable as well. No amount of me trying to let go is working, my heart is so heavy even then. When I realize the connection isn't happening I almost break down. A few more times of this and I know we'll be right back to where we were years ago, and God that is heartbreaking....back to sporadic, middle of the night 'release' sessions; no feelings, no tenderness, no buildup or wind down, just quick 'get it done' sex :( It's so unbelievably depressing to come to terms with the fact that it was ever only different because I needed it to be so badly that I saw love and intimacy where it didn't exist. Our sex life was horrible for most of our marriage. He either withheld (he had a huge list of excuses), or it was 4am faceless, emotionless, 3 minute sex. It's only been the last 12-15 months of anything different, only the last few of which I'd say were great. But it was all me, projecting what I needed to see and feel.

Anyway, sorry for all that are in an even remotely similar place.

[This message edited by WoundedOpus at 10:56 AM, August 26th (Monday)]

Me: BW 37
Him: WH 38
(DDay: 2/2008)
13 years, 5 kids...Six years of Limbo

“I don't want to get to the end of my life and find that I have just lived the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well." ~ Diane Ackerman

Posts: 178 | Registered: Jun 2013
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Default  Posted: 2:36 PM, September 3rd (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

P.S. When the counselors advised Perv that he is emotionally unavailable and passive aggressive, he decided that they were "quaks" and needed to have their licenses taken away...that they didn't understand people.

He is also combo. NPD and was rather shocked at such ideas, even though...even though he knows there are things about himself that "don't make sense always or are hard."

Still, it's been told to me that even if I knew this years ago, it may or probably would not have stopped the cheating.

The lack of emotional intimacy was very hard and he used it as a coping mechanism-the counselors thought it was his way of protecting himself from possible rejection from his own wife, rather than wait and see or intimate things, like I did.

And when it got difficult to communicate, he just blames(d) me.

[This message edited by Ashland13 at 2:40 PM, September 3rd (Tuesday)]

Ashland 13

The only thing that stays the same, is change. -M. Etheridge

Posts: 1965 | Registered: Feb 2013 | From: New England
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Default  Posted: 11:49 PM, September 5th (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

"BEFUCKLED" I love it and I'm stealing it!!!!

BW - 2 x's
DD1 - 4/2001 - 1 OW, left, returned, therapy
DD2 - 8/2013 - 75 anonymous men

Posts: 15 | Registered: Sep 2013 | From: NYC
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Default  Posted: 4:54 AM, September 6th (Friday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Wow. Yes. This. My WS has been "unavailable" for years now. It crushed me and made me act in ways I should not have. Very angry.

Even now, after what just happened she cannot seem to comprehend how what she has done has hurt me. She can't understand why, previously, I felt second fiddle to other friends (including the OM). Really?

I don't know that she's emotionally void... but maybe emotionally clueless? Emotionally selfish? I thought she'd had a breakthru, but it was just more horse hockey. It actually scares me how cold and detached she can be... I'm incapable of that... my emotions are, perhaps, too available!

Posts: 14 | Registered: Sep 2013 | From: LonelyBird461
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Default  Posted: 7:41 AM, November 21st (Thursday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Just bringing this to the front for another Si'er to find.


Posts: 787 | Registered: Apr 2010
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Default  Posted: 12:52 PM, November 23rd (Saturday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

We've been in MC for the past two months and our therapist has worked mostly with him for the past two sessions. While my WS says he feels his emotions, the therapist says he has a block that prevents him from expressing them. He says all the right things from an intellectual perspective, but what he says isn't believable (her words). There is either no emotion accompanying his words or his emotions come across as artificial or contrived (maybe learned?). It's the same thing I've felt all along in our M, and it's such a relief that someone else recognizes it.

Towards the end of the last session, after an hour of the MC trying to explain what she meant about him having an emotional disconnection within himself, I think he finally got it and broke down into tears (I've never seen him cry before). He said he had a brief moment of clarity and finally understood how messed up he is. The MC said he can repair this disconnect between his emotions and his expression of emotion, but it will take a long time. I had decided a few weeks back to give up on the relationship, but if there's some chance of a healthy M in our future maybe I should give it more time. So hard to know what to do... Why do I miss a relationship with someone who was always emotionally absent?

Me: BS 39
Him: WS 44
Married 10 years, cheated at least 7 of those years
Two young DS
Multiple DDays in May 2013, and still waiting for the next DD to strike
Prostitutes abroad and in our home, 2 long-term simultaneous affairs - 1 PA & 1 EA/PA

Posts: 17 | Registered: Jun 2013 | From: The Desert
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Default  Posted: 3:45 AM, November 26th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I'm glad I found this, and plan to read through later. I have been attempting to reconcile, even pre-A, with an EU man. My husband is emotionally unavailable and I think it's because of emotional abuse from his family, especially his mother, since childhood. Some of the things other posters have said have resonated with me. He gets so easily overwhelmed by emotion that he can't be there for me at all. He's so stuck in negativity and beating himself up, it's hard for him to see me. He's in IC and is working on his self-esteem and negative self-talk. I have some hope, but I think if he can't become emotionally available that would put the final nail in the coffin, as it were. Such a hard place to be.

Me (BS): 33; Him (WH): 32
Married: 6 years, together 13
D-Days: 02/07/13, 11/12/13
More information found 03/28/2014
Getting a divorce and thrilled about it!

Posts: 29 | Registered: Nov 2013
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Default  Posted: 1:01 PM, November 26th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I think I have been married to an EU man for most of our marriage. Also think he has been PA more so in the past than currently. He has admitted that his affairs occurred because he felt angry at me but didn't want to try to talk to me about it, he has gone so far as to say he thinks he might have been trying to get back at me for perceived efforts to control him. He says now he looks back and realizes they were real efforts to get him to help and participate a little in the marriage. I guess EU can change but I want to see the long term

Me BS 54
WH 55
Married 34 years
2 grown sons
2 PA ? EA's didn't develop due to discovery

Posts: 85 | Registered: Aug 2012 | From: midwest USA
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Default  Posted: 8:00 PM, December 11th (Wednesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I feel so much in common with most of you here.
I have been with EU WH for 14 years. It started off like a dream.
Found out about the first affair one year into the relationship. The OW had left a gift for him 'for his new home' on my deck!
He said it was over. I forgave him. He said he was scared of committing to me, He behaved for a while, we were tight, we got married.
Then he started disappearing when we were out partying. I would cab it home, he was nowhere to be found. Would come home the next am with lame excuses.
He liked to party hard, I didn't, I believed his excuses that he was with friends.
I worked out of town 4 days a week, gave him plenty of time to screw around.
I got pregnant, by accident - as doc had told me I was infertile - then he told me at 5 months of pregnancy that he didn't love me anymore. Real winner, huh? Get her knocked up then pull that.
We stayed together, formed a relationship again, scraped by without killing each other. Even fell in love again. Meanwhile, a few folks warned me he had other stuff going on, but would not elaborate. Of course, no one tells you BEFORE you have a child that your DH is a slut.
Then a few weeks ago, I get a phone call from OW who he has been screwing around with for 10 F-ING YEARS. He spends more time talking about why she betrayed him than he does trying to deal with the impacts to me!
He told me it is not a 'big deal' and that they just screwed a few times. If that were the case, he wouldn't care as much as he does.
Meanwhile he has a tendency to talk in his sleep and the name Heather has come up a few times. Not sure who she is but I suspect she's another one he has on the go.

This man is completely EU and, although he craves a real connection, he isn't capable of making one. He was diagnosed with Attachment Disorder, and fits the bill perfectly. His therapist has also told him the chances of a successful marriage are low given the issues he is facing.

I am tired of living with this toxic negative man, who has nothing nice to say, looks for attention constantly, and can't form healthy boundaries with people. The only reason why I am under the same roof as him is because of our DD. We are entering marriage counselling in January to try to have an adult conversation without hissy fits. All I know is that I have been miserable with him for years and i don't another 14 years of this.

Married 11 years. Together for 14
Female, age 40. WH is 47.
DD, aged 6
Found out about affair November 1, 2013
Info is only trickling in :-( it was a long affair.

Posts: 15 | Registered: Nov 2013 | From: Canada
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